The world is FULL.

A mantra I’ve embraced this year and repeat to my son all the time, “The world is full of magic, medicine and miracles. Every day is a new adventure.”

Its been a rough few weeks….months? I’ll be frank, its been a real rough year. For a lot of people, not just me. But the last few weeks really threatened to kick the shit outta me. I lost sight of my mantra. It happens. Things pile up, layer upon layer until you’re staring at a mountain that seems insurmountable and suddenly months of tiredness, years of tiredness, all hit at once and you want to draw all the shades and hide. The world is just too much. I know there are a few million or more people who can probably relate to this feeling right now. What is going on in the world right now feels like way too much to hold. Despite the current social and political climate, this is familiar terrain for me come mid-December. Wanting to hide out, feeling overwhelmed. And the amount of self care I feel like I need to cope seems impossible for the life of a working, single parent.

But here is the miracle, here is the magic: for anyone in a dark place right now, it only takes a tiny crack of light. When it feels like the mountain is sitting on your chest, a knock on your door can turn everything around. When you feel like you’ve fallen for the last time and you’ll never rise again, it may just be that someone else’s call for help that pulls you out of the fog and into the big bright world again. Or maybe a good homemade meal, a walk, a long hot shower. Just for today or just for the next hour. These are miracles. Maybe they don’t change the circumstance. Maybe they can’t bring order to the chaos still swirling inside you or in the world at large, but maybe – they can help us to keep breathing through it all.

I have come to realize that the real miracle is the abundance I have in friends around me who can point me back to light and remind me to keep looking for the magic, the medicine and the miracles. Earlier this month I got to visit with a long-but-not-so-lost kindred friend who I am so indescribably grateful to share this lifetime with. We have known and watched one another grow for over twenty years. We are not the same girls we used to be but somewhere and in some ways we still are. It’s weird. And though our paths have winded away from each other for years, somehow life has brought us back together at a time when we find ourselves in very similar processes. And this gift of being seen, really seen by another person and to speak the truth we see, this is medicine for the soul. 

Then this weekend I was visited by another newfound but not so new soul sister and am elated to see how paths have intertwined. We picnicked on the beach, went in search of a mysterious hidden labyrinth in the cliffs above the waves, we ate the best chocolate I’ve ever had in my life, found some magical crystals and talked and talked and talked. Time passed differently. Everything felt symbolic, every word meaningful and synchronicity abounded. My friend, she brings magic wherever she goes. And this weekend she brought it to me. 

I have another dear sweet friend who fights courageously every single day through pain and depression to keep breathing, to believe that things won’t always be this way. She fights for her life, she fights to find the purpose in her struggle and I watch her and wish desperately that I could take her suffering away. But she inspires me every single opportunity I get to spend time with her, even on her worst days. She is a MIRACLE. Another crack of light, my sister-in-law who sat with me on my bedroom floor and helped me make phone calls I was too overwhelmed to make and create a plan for getting through this last week when all I felt like I could do was lie on the carpet. And another friend who sits me at her kitchen table and makes me coffee and breakfast on a hard morning. Yet another friend who brings me oils to help with pain. My neighbors who bring over food every time they have extra of anything and have no idea that it always arrives at the exact moment that the fridge is empty. The fact that I have at least ten people I feel like I could call at any give point and say “I need help” and they would offer whatever help they could. Small miracles that are big. Small miracles that suddenly make things more bearable. Small miracles that at the very moment they arrive feel like they save your life.

I am moved to tears by the WEALTH of family, friends and community that surround me.

The little Acorn Scout asks “What is a miracle?” I tell him it is an amazing and unexpected gift. So whenever something happy happens, he says, “Is that a gift, mama? Is it a miracle?” And I laugh and say yes, yes! It is a gift. It is a miracle.

The warm sunshine in the middle of a cold December, a friend’s buoyant recovery after surgery, a gift of firewood found on our porch, a hot shower, mending a miscommunication with an apology, a steaming cup of turmeric chai with honey,holding my friend’s sweet newborn baby, the right song at exactly the right moment, cherished new and old friends, soft and warm socks, two almost pain-free days in a row, a card in the mail from a friend I haven’t heard from in too long, an extra long real hug from someone that doesn’t know all of it exactly but doesn’t need to, another morning waking up to beauty of the morning fog in the redwood treetops…treasures around every bend.

Whatever you focus on is what you’ll find. Keep looking, I tell my son (and myself). Keep watching and you’ll see… the world is full.

magicmiracles-source

Collage by me.

 

 

 

 

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On parenting in the dark.

For the next four days I am alone. I am completely alone in my house for the next four days. 

Ok well, there is a dog and a cat here but for the next 96 hours there are no other beings in this household that require my attention.  I haven’t been alone in my house for this length of time in over four years. My son’s father came and picked him up this morning, headed to see family 400 miles away. For all my initial anxiety about the upcoming trip, by the time the moment arrived to see them off I was awash with a mixture of unexpected feelings. This week has been one of the darkest and most intense weeks of parenting that I can remember.

The world at large right now feels heavy, hurting and angry.

My heart is heavy, hurting and angry.

And my son, three and a half, seems to have tapped into the collective wellspring or is otherwise coming up against his own pain and rage over the current state of things on the micro-level of his family and immediate environment.

And I am his target for all of this, of course. And target in every sense of the word. I am bruised, battered and raw from the battles of this week. Where has my sweet little companion, full of smiles and affection gone? And what phenomenon is he currently processing to cause such a disturbance in our normal balance of daily life??

I know all the “things”: It will pass, it’s normal. It’s not about me. All I can do is give him a safe place to feel and process. Stay connected. Stay neutral. Stay present. Don’t take things personally. The caregiver he’s closest to gets the worst of it. Practice self-care. Model healthy boundaries. Model healthy ways to work through strong feelings. Give him words and tools to identify what he is feeling and what he needs. Remember the relationship comes first. 

But all of these truisms don’t help me right now. Because even with trying to do my best to remember all of these things, deep in the moment parenting just feels shitty and terrible and awful and unfair. And because I am just empty. That’s it. I’ve just got nothing left to give this kid right now.

And so suddenly this trip feels like grace for both of us.

He is ecstatic to see his papa. He runs screeching and laughing into his arms. He waves goodbye and doesn’t look back. And I am grateful. For their bond and the relationship they have cultivated, which is much closer and more loving than either of us had with our own fathers. Grateful he is not fearful about leaving me. And grateful because honestly – I just don’t think I could have stood another hour of being beat up, being bullied, and of battling it out.  Grateful because honestly – I don’t even like my child right now. And I don’t feel capable of being his mother.

And closing the door behind them, this truth makes me cry and cry.

Last night I heard him tossing around in his bed, calling out softly in sleep. It woke me and I lay there for a moment, waiting to see if the he would settle himself and drift off on his own. He probably would have after another moment or so but I got up anyway and opened the door to his room and crossed the carpet to kneel at his bed. He mumbled incoherently in a half-wakened state. Tentatively, I reached out to stroke his forehead and he allowed me to comfort him. Then slowly, inch by inch, I moved onto the bed next to him and curled my body around his. For the first time in weeks he didn’t resist but relaxed and nestled against me.  I held him close and rubbed his back. In the darkness he reached out his little hand to press it against my face and I saw his brief, small sleepy smile in the glow of the nightlight. I lay there for an hour or more relishing this rare moment of closeness, not daring to move a muscle lest the spell be broken and the feral animal awake. My arm fell asleep and my back started to ache but I couldn’t bear to move. For a short time I felt again our sweet bond. I needed to remember.

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I know it will pass. I know we each have to process in our own ways what it means to not be an intact family living under one roof anymore, and who we each are as we grow into the people we are becoming.  And as we test the limits of what we think we know and are capable of and explore our own spectrum of experience, we come to understand the safety and strength of the container of this relationship. We trust that it can hold our process, that it can honor both the darkness and the light. But it is only in the darkness where true resilience is revealed, when we find it is stronger and more spacious than we thought, that it can allow and recover, heal and adapt. That it can both nurture and even be strengthened in times when the light is scarce. That it is both steadfast and constant and that it is also ready to change as we change.

Tiptoeing back to my room and back to my own bed, I feel thankful for this tiny bit of reprieve. In the morning I ask him and he doesn’t remember anything. But I know it wasn’t for him. It was for me.

As I watch the car pull out of the driveway this morning it occurs to me that there may come a day when he wants to go and live with his dad full time. The thought hits me a little like a sock to the stomach. As I stand in the middle of the empty living room I am gutted by the realization that ultimately all of this effort, the intense marathon of parenthood, the unwavering commitment to every small teachable moment, the anguish over whether or not we are doing things right, whether we are giving them the right tools, laying the right foundation for healthy relationship with themselves, with others and the world — all of it — every single worry that keeps us up or on the phone for advice or nose deep in books, all of the ceaseless energy we put into giving our children the best possible start guarantees absolutely nothing.

We do all of this with the acceptance that all possibilities exist and one being that there could come a day when our child says goodbye and walks away without looking back. We have great hopes. We cultivate hope against odds at every turn that our kids will emerge from childhood undamaged, happy, vital and devoted to us. But in the end we are all forced to relinquish every expectation and investment in the outcome. We do this parenting thing in every moment out of some mysterious compelling place of unadulterated selflessness. Its the biggest most profound lifelong investment we ever make and yet there are no guarantees of anything. And still, as a species we have decided it worth doing over and over and over again.  It makes no sense.

They won’t remember all of the tiny moments you sweated and grasped for answers, fumbling for the right tools, the right words, the right thing to do. They will just be left with this broad, colorful landscape, full of feelings they felt. And they get to interpret it however they choose. The only certain thing is that we won’t see it the same way.

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I read somewhere that parenting is the a lifelong exercise in unfailing optimism. That sounds about right.

And I have the next four days to find my bootstraps.

 

Five Ways to Fill Your Well

I am re-blogging this fabulous post from The Practical Mystic because it resonates so much with me right now. Summer days are a time of high energy and activity, days are often full of social activities, events and trips. For me, the clear evidence that I have been letting self-care fall by the wayside is when I begin ruining those otherwise lovely, fun-filled times with friends and family by suddenly becoming a miserable grump and resenting everyone around me, including the dog and the cat (omg, especially the cat).

Part of the commitment to self, as the Practical Mystic points out, is carefully observing what your needs are today, in your body and spirit, and knowing that they will shift from day to day, season to season. My usual strong vinyasa practice is not serving me well right now and in the mornings my body is wanting to move more than be still for seated meditation. As the temperature warms and my life is in the midst of major transition, I am being drawn to more restorative or yin yoga practices, exploring tantric breath work and learning more subtle techniques for moving energy in the body.

I am thankful for the great resources offered in this post and re-commit to exploring new ways of nurturing myself in this season, paying closer attention to keeping my “well” from running dry (and I become a heinous bitch version of myself.)

And if it’s already too late and the train has derailed, don’t worry – here is some emergency first aid. I already used it this morning. (:

The Practical Mystic

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One of the things that has been turning over in my head recently harks back to a recent post, where I wondered how it was that my personal practice could be tweaked so that I could avoid burnout and illness during and after a busy period. On a walking talk with my mother the other day, she suggested that now I am in my 40s, my daily routine may need to be tweaked to reflect my changing life. After all, she said, your 40s are a time of hard work out in the world, and these busy times are likely to become the norm. Your practice needs to incorporate filling your well so that you can embrace this time, a time that you have been preparing for over the last decade and longer, without burning out, getting sick or both.

Aha! The missing piece of understanding clicked into…

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1 in 7

1 in 7 mothers in the US today report experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety. Among lower socio-economic groups, the numbers jump to 1 in 4 women. It takes many forms. It may not look what a woman or her family thinks depression or anxiety look like.  You cannot always tell a mom has postpartum depression just by looking at her. She may think it’s just her, that there is something intrinsically wrong with her. She may need medication or counseling or both or neither. She may get the help she needs or she may suffer alone. She may very well believe that it is because of something she did or didn’t do. And she may think of a million things that if only could change, she would feel like herself again.

But often the truth is that if you are that mom, yourself is a foreign concept. You might not know where to find her if you even had the chance to go looking between feedings and diaper changes. That is because she is gone.

Forever gone.

There is a new you emerging but you haven’t met her yet. And then there is this strange, precious tiny bundle of constant need snuggled in your arms. You, but not you. Your body yet not your body, an extension of your heart and yet also alien.

1 in 7 is what the stats are. But we know it is probably much higher. (Read: “How Many Women Really Get PPD?”)

It was me too.

The month of May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness month.  In the last few decades the US has made great strides in recognizing the millions of Americans living with chronic and often debilitating mental health conditions and reducing the stigma around seeking treatment. While we still have a ways to go in creating accessible and affordable programs for all who need them, the ongoing conversation in mainstream media has begun to shift in a positive direction.  And recently a few celebrity moms have spoken out recently about their own struggle with postpartum depression (PPD). But maternal mental health still seems to carry a particular charge.

“How much crying is normal?” I asked the doctor over the sound of my son’s screams, while I bounced and patted and rocked and walked and sweated, bleary-eyed and my throat raw with the pain of swallowing my own scream. “Some babies just cry a lot,” she said gently, reassuringly.

But secretly, I was kind of wondering about me.

Because the truth was, we spent whole days crying, he and I. Here I had this beautiful, perfect little boy who in all respects was deemed healthy but who howled like his insides were twisted, with an intensity meant to drown all other sound, all other need or thought except the sheer urgency of alleviating suffering. But there was no soothing. Colic, they said.

“The most important thing is that you get yourself some support,” the doctor went on.  You don’t understand, lady. The only thing I need is for my baby to stop crying. Then everything will be fine, I thought.

Depression and I have a history. But had I even allowed myself to think about seeking help, I was well acquainted with what the out of pocket expenses were for therapy and medication.  My medical coverage had dropped me at 6 weeks postpartum and my family was barely getting by. In the past few years I had worked hard and developed a strong set of tools to help me navigate and see myself through the low times.  However, blindsided by traumatic a delivery and the unprecedented level of demand on the physical, mental and emotional levels, my tools were simply too far out of reach. Deep down I really believed that it was just me. What was wrong with me that I felt like I couldn’t do what women had been doing for millions of years, what seemed to come naturally to every mother around me?

A year and half or so after that day in the Dr.’s office, I had a conversation with a mom friend about her postpartum experience. She says she wished there were some kind of hotel or care center that new moms could check themselves into for a few days and compassionate staff would care for the baby, offer moms a hot shower, uninterrupted sleep and nutritious meals until she re-cooped her strength to feel like she could keep going. Kind of like triage for moms and babies. A place where you a mother could go and say “I need help” without fear of being judged.

And I just thought, why is this such a crazy idea? Why does this not exist?  
We know that having this kind of support changes outcomes for moms and babies, we know about the importance of healthy bonding and attachment for mothers and infants in the earliest stages And yet I talk to so many mothers who felt utterly overwhelmed and alone during the early months of motherhood, who live in a state of constant adrenal-fatigue, who can’t remember the last time they showered or ate a full healthy meal uninterrupted. Yet the concept of what new motherhood really looks like still seems to be mostly lost on larger society.

Newborn needs, post pregnancy hormones, physical trauma, lack of adequate rest and nutrition and then add major identity shift, relationship stress, pressure to go back to work, financial strain, plus whatever-specific-challenge-you-got and it’s a straight up malatov cocktail. That’s not to mention the the pressure to get back “in shape”, lose the pregnancy weight, reconnect with your partner, etc.  It is a wonder that the stats aren’t much higher.

Our culture is among the least supportive of their needs and yet there seems no other demographic we judge more harshly than mothers. Right now, thousands of mothers feel alone and scared to speak up out of intense fear that to confess the need for help equals admitting incompetence. The heartbreaking reality is that thousands of women will believe the lie that they are actually are failing at motherhood when the truth is we were never meant to do it all alone. We were meant to be having babies and raising children in a community, surrounded by our village, our people, our fellow women.

the Birth of aphrodite

Ludovisi Throne Birth of Aphrodite

Birth was meant to be treated as sacred initiation, a rite of passage, marking a major life transition in a woman’s life.  Historically, the very vulnerable time following birth held much more significance in the past than it does today. Customs vary across cultures but often for a period of 30-40 days mothers were were attended to on physical, emotional and spiritual levels with ritual, special food preparations and healing herbs.  Women were allowed to process and heal and step into her new role as mother in a space that revered birth as the powerful and transformational event that it is.

Unless we are really fortunate, most of us do not have this postpartum experience. Most of us don’t have our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, sisters down the road sharing food and childcare and tending to each other post birth. And even if and when we do have all the support and time and space to heal and process and still feel the weight or sadness, grief, rage or crippling fear can we give ourselves permission to let that be part of the mysterious process that marks a woman’s sacred journey into motherhood? Could we honor it for what it is, speak openly and seek the help that we need without shame but instead acknowledging as a valid part of our story? Why do we insist that motherhood is all light when in reality it is a human drama of the most epic proportions played out in the most common, mundane moments of daily life. It is all of it.

 I have talked to so many women with such different stories about labor, delivery and recovery, it is high time that we expanded our notion of what a “normal” postpartum period looks like to include every woman’s experience. 

I wonder now if I had given myself permission to have my own authentic experience without all the judgment and shame, how that first year would have been different. Because what my depression what telling me was the truth. I was very fortunate to become a mother to a beautiful little boy. But what is also true was that he screamed almost continuously for 5 months. There was no sleeping through the night until he was over two years old. The simple act of feeding my child was heart wrenching, complicated and tremendously stressful. The truth was there were days I was in so much pain I sobbed just leaning over the bassinet to lift him. The truth is I went back to work too soon and worked two jobs nearly full time while caring for my infant at the same time which is only possible if you give up eating and sleeping, basically. I was completely numb.  And yet when people asked me how I was doing I said, “We’re good!” and forced a smile while on the inside I wondered how I was going to survive the next 24 hours. But somehow I still didn’t feel like there was room for my real experience within the socially misconstrued idea of what motherhood should feel like. (When someone asks, “how do you like being a mother?” they aren’t really looking to hear that you feel like you are in a nightmare you can’t wake up from.)

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this is not me. I stole it from the internet.

The truth was that I felt let down and betrayed by the reality of giving birth, left alone to flail and grapple with deep fear, inadequacy, loneliness and pain, robbed of the experience of becoming a mom that I had dreamed of my whole life and silenced by a prevailing myth that I should be this happy, glowing, grateful image of a new mom. I was angry but there was no one to be angry with. So I swallowed it and smiled. I was deep in grief but grieving is not something typically associated with the first year of motherhood, aka: the happiest time of your life.

16715519-Mother-breastfeeding-her-baby-in-a-field-of-purple-flowers--Stock-Photo

also definitely not me.

I didn’t want the label of PPD, I wanted someone to validate that what I was experiencing was legitimately difficult. That under these circumstances any normal person would have a hard time feeling blissed out. I wanted someone to say that it wasn’t just hormones, it wasn’t just sleep deprivation, it wasn’t just the colic.
I wanted permission to feel like this was the hardest thing I had ever endured and that I didn’t have to do any more than to endure it.

And this is the truth: we deserve more and we deserve better. No mother should suffer in silence. No woman should be forced to go back to work until she feels healthy and capable. Every single birth and postpartum period should be recognized as a process as unique and sacred as each mother and each child. And every single mother has the right to her experience and to the support that she needs. This is why I choose to tell my story.

There are many factors that go into maternal mental health. I am not suggesting that all we need to “cure” maternal mental illness is a community of herb-wielding wise women and extended paid parental leave. But as a culture we could begin by recognizing birth and motherhood for what they are. Not just a marker point on the timeline of a life, but the most momentous and vulnerable time in the life of any woman who chooses to mother a child and a pivotal and irreplaceable period of bonding with a new baby.

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image taken from reductress.com

Most of us would find the practice of forcing a woman to labor and deliver in silence barbaric and utterly cruel.  Would we then silence her call for help after the fact? Would be tell her she should be stronger, that she should be able to handle it on her own, that this is what motherhood is, to swallow to her own screams, her tears and her truth while she nurses that baby through another long, lonely night? Would we relegate her again to quiet indentured servitude to an outmoded and incendiary archetype?

Would we perpetuate the myth that to be a woman is to suffer in silence?

Women of a society steeped in patriarchy, we are fooling ourselves if we think we haven’t played a part in the gruesome history of whitewashing the shadows out of what has previously been the most sacred feminine rite, of wiping away the afterbirth as quickly as possible, in essence, of sanitizing the story of motherhood. 
The poetess Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) wrote in 1968, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”
It is time we told the truth and allowed it to set us free.
My journey back to health took time. I eventually got health insurance, put myself in therapy and got diagnosis and treatment for a birth injury that had plagued me with daily pain. I recommitted to yoga and my meditation practice, and reached out and asked for help from my community. Three years later, I love being a mom. My son is thriving and our bond is stronger than ever. I am in awe of him every day and amazed that I helped to create this little person. I love watching him grow and become more of himself. After all of that crying he turned out to be a pretty well-adjusted, happy-go-lucky kid. And I get why people do it more than once. Still when I’ve gotten some version of the inevitable question, “So do you think you’ll have another?” I glance over my shoulder at the still-fresh trail of sweat, tears and bloodied fingernails I left as I clawed my way inch by inch back into the land of the living. And I shudder. I know there are no guarantees. And while finding myself recently a single parent and the possibility less likely than ever, I know that life is unexpected.  So I just say, “We’ll see.”
 …
“Isn’t it just the best thing in the whole world??” A friend gazes her fresh newborn nuzzling at her breast. And I have to admit that there is nothing in the world like feeling that sweet weight resting in your arms or asleep against your chest. I have craved that feeling since I was a girl. And I looked with happiness at my friend who had the unmistakable look of a new mother: bleary-eyed, love-drunk and just beginning to realize that she had no idea what she’s in for. I pause, feeling my heart ache with the intensity of love for my son who was once just as tiny, back when we were just learning who each other was.
“Yes,” I say, “It is.”
And for once I know it’s true. It is all of it.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
(Ol’ Mr. Dickens knew somethin’ about somethin’.)
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Us, post bath, somewhere around the 6 month mark.

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST. If you are a mom, if you know a mom, if this post meant something to you or even if it didn’t – please share it for someone to whom it may matter. 
If you are currently suffering with depression or anxiety please know that you are not alone. Speak out. Let someone know. If you know someone who may be struggling, talk to them and let them know you are worried and you care. If you have a story about your own struggle and recovery from postpartum depression or anxiety, speak up. TELL YOUR TRUTH. It is so important. 

Toll free hotline: 1-800-PPD-MOMS

Other resources:

Read this: Frequently Asked Questions about Postpartum Depression

Visit here: PostpartumProgress.com

Read this: American Individualism is Destroying our Families

Get involved: National Maternal Mental Health Coalition

Climb out of Darkness 2016

More moms being raw and honest:

Read writer Beth Morey’s post: In Which I Stop Silencing Myself and Tell You the Truth

Take peace!

8am. The day so far: Up three times in the night with the baby and both of us up for the day at 4:45am. Dog peed all over the bedroom carpet because no one let her out before bed. Spilled my first cup of coffee all over the kitchen floor. Baby is grouchy due to lack of sleep, his displeasure unmitigated by all my best efforts. The sink is overflowing with dishes, there were no clean spoons for oatmeal, while my son screamed for oatmeal. Husband just left for work. Long, long list of to-do’s today and I look out upon the hours stretched ahead of me like Almásy staring across the barren sands of the Libyan desert.

“There is no peace that cannot be found in the present moment. Take peace!”~ Fra. Giovanni Giocondo

Scribbled on a scrap of notebook paper, this quote traveled with me for nearly eight years of my transitory twenties. It was taped to bedroom mirrors and tacked to bulletin boards. It was a well-worn bookmark for awhile, pressed inside my journal. The words resounded in me like bell and yet at other times seemed mocking when peace seemed so unattainable. A simple statement and baffling in practical application. Yet at moments I have clung to these words beyond my understanding the way one clings to a bouy in the ocean. Because it is all that is there.

A couple of years ago, I slipped the quote inside the cover a book I passed along to someone who I thought might need something to cling to. You never know if it’s the right bouy for someone else but you cast it out anyway. Besides, the words are mine now permanently, I can call upon them whenever I need to. But only recently do I feel like I have alighted upon the touchstone of their premise: Peace is what you practice.

Few things come easy when we only practice them once in awhile. The artist creates everyday, the writer puts his pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard diligently, the athlete daily disciplines his body. How can we expect to find peace in the more troubling times if we cannot master proficiency in the here and now?

With whatever surrounds us at the moment, there will come no better time. If I cannot experience peace where I am at, it does not exist for me in some far off moment when the house is clean, the baby is content, my checklist is done, the bills are paid with money left over, my work is complete, I’ve lost 15 pounds, etc. etc. etc.

I control my inner peace.

brathing-in