I had left for Paris heartbroken and a little lost, so I spent much of the train ride looking out the window at the world passing me by. As I watched the landscape change from countryside to cityscape, I contemplated who I wanted to be and tried to reconcile it with the woman who had escaped here to write and hide…
I was so excited to be on safari in Botswana. Everything is primal, basic and within hours I can feel my senses and my instincts sharpen. Before sunrise we are bundled up, and head out to witness life as it has always happened. I watch the world begin to wake, the birds, the grasses, the big cats. It is such a privilege to feel like a witness and a participant in both the magical and mundane; a mother leopard and her cubs are on the move.
I have become a seeker of what’s right in the world. I have become a keeper of celebrations. I feel a calling now to notice and to hold up the ordinary moments that when viewed through the kaleidoscope of celebration show us that there is much right with the world. The vast quantity of things there are to celebrate has continued to shift my experience of the world. Even in the complexity of anger or grief, I can remember to breathe compassion …I breathe in and celebrate. I sometimes ask, demand and beg of myself to find the thing in any moment that I can celebrate.
It was the first day of a 7 day retreat. Beginnings are such important things. The first handshake, the first hello, the moment you decide to engage or check out. I wanted to inspire them with a metaphor to ignite their desire to emerge into something new and inspire them to find the courage to do so.
To “celebrate what’s right” is not about finding the good and the beautiful things, it is about the practice of CHOICE. For me, it is a discipline, when tempted by fears, familiar doubts, ego-based concerns to step away from the worry-fondling that we do, like small children stroking the satin lining on a stuffed rabbit’s ear, and chose something else.
To Dance like nobody’s watching is to bow to the weight of judgment and criticism that others, and ultimately we have of ourselves. To Dance like your BFF is watching is to hold yourself with a tenderness and joy that allows for the full expression of who you are –foibles and fabulous rolled in one.
Of course, the irony of it all was that the whole purpose of this trip was to give myself the gift of time: to explore, to pause, to discover. Seems the Universe and the ancient city streets had conspired to give me just that opportunity, but I was having none of it. I was way too preoccupied by being lost.
Wag, wag, wag. Because I am human and I do need the crutch of mantras and affirmations this is my new one “wag, wag, wag”. Let me stand in the midst of my own vulnerabilities and flirtations with shame over “foolish behaviour” and remember that I don’t need to lead with it. I too can be unapologetic in my being
Look around you. Nature doesn’t work on a calendar. She also doesn’t always respect order. She doesn’t finish the book when it is boring, she doesn’t care if snow falls on leaves. Sometimes she turns up the heat. I think she just smiles at it all. I’d like to think she is content just to play by her own rules.