The sun is rising amber to pale peach against the feathery tree tops in the distance. This morning, before all else, I need to set intentions and find some peace inside my heart. I apply copaiba, lemongrass, frankincense, clary sage and clove to the palms of my hands. I breathe the oils in deeply and rub them on the back of my neck, my chest, the fronts of my wrists. The oils help me deepen my meditation because over time, I have been pairing them with these still moments, the limbic system receives the message readily; my body responds easily to their scent. I don't have to work so hard to breathe and expand.
My reading today contains three pulls, one for my community, one for my family and one for myself, so that I can receive any messages that might help me live my purpose and be more present for others. The answers are reassuring, but still, there is so much more to know. Some of that mystery simply has to be experienced and I have to accept that.
This morning, I choose to be quiet, to find some peace within, to set an intention and think about how best to spend the day. I need to acknowledge what is real for me right now. The hard stuff, the hurt, the fear can not break free unless I acknowledge it and let it flow. If I stop it up, it just swells into a flood. I have to be present for myself before I can truly be present for the little boys who have yet to pad down the steps to greet me.
On my heart: It's the first time I will be able to enter my classroom for a brief time to retrieve belongings. I didn't expect to feel so sad about it. With all of the other what ifs and sudden changes, I am really just allowing myself to grieve this time lost with my students. My students are adopted in my heart and I will be without them for almost a month- maybe more if we follow Italy. My parents. My dad is diabetic and just fought cancer. Will he stay home, socially isolate? Will he be ok when he does? My mom- forever a waitress and caregiver- serving others, will she stop to take care of herself? Will she stay active in isolation and tend the seeds of her inner garden? My wife- will she have to work every day and continue to bring home the heavy burden of what-ifs that surround her teachers who will be impacted by this financial loss- a group already underpaid and undervalued despite the contribution they make to this world by working with our youngest population? As the pandemic swoops in, who will be sick? Who will be lost? How will we move through that grief? On the simplest level, how will I meet the needs of my children, my students and myself in this?
Putting it all into words allows a download, it's like clearing up space in your cell phone or your computer. It feels good to unload some of the thoughts and worries that we can't possibly have the answers for. Now, it's time to let them go. Breathe deeply, picture a happy moment you love from the past or imagine a beautiful moment you can create today. If you love the beach, start by imagining all of the freedom you feel at that beach. Breathe in the salty air, feel the mist off of the water. Imagine your toes in the soft sand. Sit on the beach towel and let the sun warm your body or watch the sunset over the water. Imagine your children or friends playing in the sand next to you. Hear the birds and the waves lapping.
Once you find the peace of your special place, begin to imagine a beautiful moment within your current surroundings and with your loved ones or with something that brings you joy. If you have children, picture making that cookie project and laughing or playing UNO, building with blocks or coloring. Feel the warmth of the smiles, imagine the hugs and snuggles and high fives. Taste the sweetness of the treat. Set an intention to make that happen. Put it into plan. When will you fit that moment into your day? If you live alone, see yourself doing something you love. Can you go for a quiet walk in the woods? Can you see yourself reading a great book? Painting a picture? Working out? What joy can you get by diving into a passion you get lost in or used to? Now is the time to pick it back up. Find or order supplies now, before deliveries slow.
Place one hand on your heart and one on your stomach feel the warmth and grounding. To receive more uplfiting feelings adn spaciousness, try the Jnana Mudra. Connect your index finger with your thumb forming a circle. Turn your hands so your palms are facing up and place them over your knees. Breathe and feel the sense of insight growing in your palms.
Take the time to schedule in moments that are so sacred you can't pick up the phone to find the latest news- block out at least 20 minutes at regular intervals for something that is real, healthy and concrete. Promise yourself to be present for these periods of time.
On my schedule for real time today:
upper body workout
30 minutes of family reading
A 1.5 mile run with Petey
30 minutes of basketball with Phoenix
Cooking with a glass of wine
30 minutes of writing (minimum)
laundry catch up
Today, feel free to share your ideas about how best to find peace and joy in a difficult situation. What intentions can you set? Which did you pull off?