Allow: A Poem by Danna Faulds

Allow

There is no controlling life.

Try corralling a lightning bolt,

containing a tornado. Dam a

stream and it will create a new

channel. Resist, and the tide

will sweep you off your feet.

Allow, and grace will carry

you to higher ground. The only

safety lies in letting it all in-

the wild and the weak; fear,

fantasies, failures and success.

When loss rips off the doors of

the heart, or sadness veils your

vision with despair, practise

becomes simply bearing the truth.

In the choice to let go of your

known way of being, the whole

world is revealed to your new eyes.

 

This poem was read to me by my teacher in our mindfulness group some while ago, and it is on re-reading it now that I feel again deeply moved and a further release of some of the shadow of grief that I carry still from my mother’s death. I allow the feelings, the complicated mix of feelings time and space to simply be with me, and then to gently flow in ribbons that entwine with warm, loving memories so that I can reflect without being overwhelmed.

Living In The Moment, Not In Our Heads

A powerful influence takes us away from being fully present: our automatic tendency to judge our experiences as not being quite right somehow; not good enough; not as expected; hoped  for; desired.These judgements then lead us into sequences of thought about blame, guilt, about what needs to or should be different and what could or should be changed. Indeed these thoughts often take us down well travelled and well worn paths in our minds- almost automatically and thus we lose awareness of the moment, the real moment and the freedom to chose what action needs to be taken.

We can regain our freedom if, as a first step, we simply acknowledge the reality and actuality of our situation, without being hooked into automatic tendencies to judge, fix, or desire things to be other than they are. The body scan provides an opportunity to practise simply bringing an interested and friendly awareness to the way things are in each moment, without having to do anything to change things….to accept and to simply be.

Alongside the body scan daily practise can include specific activities to develop the habit of mindfulness. Taking time once a day to eat mindfully- to really take time to observe, smell, taste, chew and savour each and every mouthful is a valuable tool in every day routine as is mindful walking. A daily walk is food for the mind, body and soul in terms of health but to do so mindfully, savouring the sights and sounds around, the sensation of the ground beneath you is to truly embrace the full advantage of this simple exercise.

Image result for mindful walking

Image result for mindful walking

Image result for mindful walking

Image result for mindful walking

Image result for mindful walking

Image result for mindful walking

 

If I Had My Life To Live Over

I think living in the moment requires a little reflecting on but not dwelling in the past and feel this lovely poem by Nadine Stair (age 85) from Condensed Chicken Soup For The Soul captures the wisdom of that: learning from where we have been in order to better be where we are, to cherish, relish and appreciate the moment, every moment. Take the time to walk barefoot and really feel the ground beneath you.

I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.

I’d relax. I would limber up.

I would be sillier than I have been this trip.

I would take fewer things seriously.

I would take more chances.

I would take more trips.I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.

I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I’d have fewer imaginary ones.

You see,I’m one of those people who live sensibly

and sanely hour after hour, day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments and if I had to do it over again;

I’d have more of them. In fact

I’d try to have nothing else. Just moments.

One after another, instead of living so many

years ahead of each day.

I’ve been one of those people who never go anywhere

without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat

and a parachute.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot

earlier in the Spring and stay that way until the Fall.

If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter next time.

I would go to more dances.

I would ride more merry-go-rounds.

I would pick more daisies.

Image result for daisies

This also reminds me of one of my favourite quotations:

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me. When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell. And of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered.”
— Aldous Huxley, Island

Image result for daisies