Are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

Dear ones,

I am still catching up with myself after returning from Italy last weekend and celebrating my husband’s birthday this weekend. I’ve never been one to suffer jet lag. Usually a long sleep when I return is enough to get me back in synch. But this time jet lag hit me hard with a lot of brain fog and disturbed sleeping patterns for the last week.

Last week, one of my favourite poets, Mary Oliver passed away. In case you don’t know of her, Mary was an American and prize -winning poet, having won the Pulitzer prize. Her poems focused on nature, her relationship to it and a sense of wonder.

I am so grateful for her poems. Reading them drops me into my own deeper relationship with nature and my soul. They remind me of what is truly important. And often wake something up in me, helping me look at my life and the world around me in a different way.

The beauty of Mary’s poems is that often they are a mediative container that opens you to the one line you really need to hear.

One of my favourite poems is, “Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches.” Whilst I would love to share it with you here, copyright laws prohibit this.

In the three pages of this poem, there is one line that has always stood out to me as a guiding star:

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

Sometimes I breathe shallow to avoid deep feelings.

Sometimes I feel like I get stuck on the surface of life unable to dive as deeply in the outer world as I do in my inner world.

Sometimes I get distracted from what really matters to me.

To me, there is an urgent reminder in this question. Life is short. Don’t waste it. Don’t get stuck pursuing things that don’t matter.

Although the question has a yes or no answer, in my mind, it is really asking, if you are breathing just a little, how can you breathe a little more deeply? How can you take in more life? How can you be more true to yourself?

So dear ones, I leave you with these questions. If you would like to share you responses with me, please feel free to email me or leave a comment below the blog post.

And to Mary Oliver, thank you for your wisdom, inspiration and teachings that live on in the legacy of poems you leave behind.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

You will rise back up and bloom: faith learned from life and the garden

 

This is what happens,
after life cuts you down to the ground.

You may be stunned and startled,
hollowed and halted,
broken and disheveled,
cut off from everything you knew
and were growing towards.

But slowly over time,
nature will have her way.

Your roots will draw sustenance
from tears and sobbing,
the pain of desolation, 
and the barrenness that breathes you
when your dream has been snatched away.

One day, maybe tomorrow, 
maybe next week, 
maybe next month
or even years from now,
you will rise back up, 
and you will bloom
more beautiful than ever before. 
Radiant with all your scars
and all your new growth. 

Despite everything, 
you endured. 

You risked, you loved, you lost
and in the end you won,
twisted, stretched, scrunched and moulded
into intricate living wisdom
that cannot be learned from reading books,
only from embracing 
and bowing to life herself,
no matter how willing or unwillingly
you fell to your knees and plunged
into the mud and the darkness.


 

PS Please share, with love.

What you are capable of

When you are tired and your feet are throbbing from the forty thousandth step and the fourteen kilos loaded on your back.

When your hips muscles spasm rebelling against the thirtieth kilometre you have walked today alone.

When your body is crying its song of pain only you can hear and begging that you stop.

You do not.

You question why you do this day after day and if it is the only way to find what you seek.

But each morning you still wake to walk, and you keep going until you reach the place you know you must be to find shelter and warmth and nourishment to thank your body for its service despite its complaints.

As you pass through another village, the chalky smoke of old fires burning invoke desire for rest.

The dark whispers tell you that it’s okay to stop, that you can quit and just go home.

But your spirit surges through your heart, strong and determined.

It tells you, laughing kindly, that you still don't know what you are fully capable of and you will never know if you skirt the flames.

You did not come into this world to live easy.

You came into this world to find out who you are and to discover the enormity of your own power.

You came into this world, to live this ordinary human life extraordinarily.

The immediacy of now

The immediacy of now

“If you abandon the present moment, you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply"—Thich Nhat Hanh

The immediacy of your life
demands that you pay attention now,
be present here and now,
and tend to the aches,
the tiredness,
the fear,
the sadness,
the anger,
the hopelessness,
the helplessness,
the confusion,
the shame
as and when it arises.

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