December 9, 2019

5 Words for when Life feels too Damn Unbearable.

“Come back to the place.”

It is a phrase my yoga teacher uses to direct us to the center of our mats to practice stillness between poses.

Today, it struck me as so much more.

Come back to the place. Return to the center. Practice stillness.

In everything.

When your day throws you off balance, come back to the place.

When you are overcome with emotion, return to the center.

When there is noise all around, practice stillness.

In the place, we know only love. At the center, we are in harmony. It is where the mind is unconditional, and where our being-ness has never been bruised. The place is where we are absolute.

On some days, it may seem elusive, or far away, or impossible to get to. On those days, let it be. Surrender to what is, and notice.

Notice the sensation that arises in the thought of someone who loved you, in the memory of a smell, in the numinous beauty of the sunrise. The place.

Surrender to where you are and allow. Be with the tenderness of laughter and the elegance of tears. They are the same. The center.

Surrender to what doesn’t make sense. Hold reverence for the questions. Stillness.

And on the days when it still feels unbearable, harsh, and hopeless, stand in the middle of the mess and honor the awful. This is where you are, and today it feels impossible. Patience is not always a choice.

Sink into the bath. Follow a path into the woods. Listen to music—or make it. Create, draw, paint, write, cook, bake, build something. Clean up a mess—or make one. Jump up and down. Play in the dirt. Rest.

“There is a place in you,” said poet, priest, and philosopher John O’Donohue, “where you have never been wounded, where there’s still a sureness in you, where there’s a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquility in you.”

Come back to the place.

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