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Updated: Aug 18, 2020

I’ve spent a lot of time with me.

Precisely 578,160 hours in my life so far

Witnessing, experiencing, denying, distracting

Learning, loving, playing, waiting and sleeping.

I reflect on who I am often

As I sit in silence and watch

What images dance before me

Or wait in the emptiness.

I reflect on who I am when I hear

Questions of seekers curious

To understand why life threw

That curve ball and landed them there.

I reflect on who I am as I watch

Plays and movies and shows

Wondering who the actors are

As they depict someone else.

I reflect on who I am as I gaze

In the mirror looking at the

New wrinkles and sags,

Feeling the tiredness.

I have let go of a lot of

Pain and loss, heartache too,

Stubborn stuckness, resentment,

Jealousy and envy.

My agenda still has items

To release, to watch and to achieve.

My inner eye is still keeping tabs on

Finding balance, meaning and love.

I’m grateful for my lack of interest

On things that pull me off balance.

I recognize the patterns that

lead me nowhere but down.

I bathe myself in inspiration

For it feeds my heart, my soul

And enlivens me like beautiful

Flowers and sunsets and laughter.

I apply myself in my tasks.

I commit myself to honesty

I listen with my whole heart

I stand present to what I need.

I find my voice to injustice

Trust my learned heart

Feel my fear and do it anyway

And speak up in the moment.

I am a barometer of what brings me up

And what brings me down.

I cry because I have a right to

And I laugh freely without self-judgment.

I release what doesn’t serve me

Hold on to what does

Relax in the knowing

I’ll recognize the difference.

What weight can you put down right now, willingly relinquishing the pointed quills of guilt or judgment? What burden of the heart can lift, what dark corner can be lit, the candle flickering at first, then burning bright? With the next breath, let it go, that old story you’ve told yourself a million times. Whatever doesn’t serve you on this path of truth, leave it behind. Offer this one gift: the simple sacrifice that in the giving sets you free to fully live.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • I found a wonderful video about the coming together of over 17,000 voices singing. This plus your referring to the 500k hours of your life touched me deeply. This idea of coming together with kindness is helping bring me together. I don’t need to push so much. I see that I am getting healthier because I am kinder to me.

  • I just had an inspiration that blasted me open. The pandemic that has happened to all of us has given us the opportunity for spiritual growth. A spiritual growth I don’t think I would have had without this pandemic. I should be grateful for this experience.

  • A catastrophe breaks us open. And when we talk about it with others, we see how others are experiencing it and what we are all learning from it.

  • What struck me from the reading was the idea of letting go of what doesn't serve you. I’ve been wrestling with things that don’t serve me. Thank you.

  • I remember a minister talking about our problems as rocks under our armpits. And he said open your arms and let go of the rocks.

  • I also liked the idea of letting go things that don’t serve. If only it was as easy as opening my arms. It’s the peeling away layers of an onion. You just go to another layer. Shouldn't I be done by now? Like with grieving. It’s just more peeling.

  • I remembered my mom saying you're no good. And my ex saying you were born guilty. While figuring out about leaving that relationship, I was sitting at a shrine and had an image of my ex’s work boot pushing me down. And I thought “I can’t be extinguished.” I remember working at a nursing home where I helped a suffering woman who was not nice and no one else would help her. She thanked me and said you are only one who helps me. Someone told me you are the gentlest soul, the most honest. I guard what I tell people. I want to let go of the memories of the words “you're no good.

  • Try affirmations. Think of the worst thing you’ve ever heard about yourself and write down the opposite of it. Post it in your space and the subliminal message will make a difference in your thoughts.

  • During the meditation, I started thinking “Who am I? Am I still that shy girl, that forming woman, the elder?” And I realized I am unified into a we, and it’s an honor to be all these different pieces.

  • During the meditation, I gave a gift to myself, to focus on expanding the outline of the story I am writing. In the silence I got ideas. It reminds me of how Thomas Edison worked: he would think of a problem and then sit in his rocking chair and go into a meditative sleep state with two heavy balls in his hands. When he relaxed, the balls would fall and wake him up; and still being in that state of reverie, he would have the answer he was looking for. In silence and a meditative state, we hear the answers we seek.

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