March 5, 2021

Trying & Striving are Exhausting—I Yearn for the Quiet Treasures of Life.



After spending a weekend in bed with a fever, freaking out that I might have COVID, and worrying about all the things I should have been doing—but wasn’t able to—something shifted.

Clouds that had formed around my face dissolved like a fine mist dissipating back into the cool, almost spring air.

Sunlight penetrated where only darkness, the harsh dust of repetitive thoughts, and relentless cravings had roamed…you know, the voices that urge us to do more, be more, buy more.

Oh, all the million things we think will make us happy. Oh, the blaze of those external jewels!

But it doesn’t compare to the glory that is found within—what yogis call the fire of a thousand suns, which is said to reside within our crown chakra. I like that this implies this wellspring of magic is already there. We don’t need someone to grant it to us, like a wish. We don’t have to buy it.

So as I sit here on my couch after spending two days in bed, the events replay like a rather lame slideshow—muscle aches, a bad mood, borrowing money for a 300-dollar rapid COVID test I couldn’t afford (thanks my love—and wohoo it was negative, much like everything else about the experience), I think about navigating the downright frustrating labyrinth of health care. I think about how folks navigate this sh*t who don’t have the resources I do. That’s real. And so damn unfair.

Something small and subtle shifts inside me. It is almost imperceptible.

But I feel it.

I feel old edges softening.

I feel scabs slowly fading, with time and care.

I feel spaciousness flooding my lungs, in a pool of warm golden rays as I pet my cats.

In a world that supports our constant cravings, our thirst to be invincible, and do it all—peace of mind is hard to come by.

Quiet moments ripple outward and feel so big somehow. They echo far and wide, pointing at once to the mud and richness of the earth and up to the mysteries studded in the sapphire sky.

I turn inward and bow to my heart.

My jagged, irritable-at times, messy, loving heart.

Yes. There is so much love in there.

And I turn outward, too, because this kind of growth opens up new rooms inside; it dusts out the cobwebs and airs out the grumpy, stagnant places.

It allows me to show up more generously for my loved ones and the clients I am honored to work with for therapy. It inspires me to advocate for conversations about uncomfortable and really important topics like racism, pain, grief, and oppression.

Armor becomes liquid and drips down to my feet. I feel naked and wonderful. I feel tender enough to notice the absolute wonder in a juicy hug from my man, a blue jay outside the kitchen window, and how the afternoon sunlight spills on my cheeks like honey.

These gems don’t cost a thing, and they are so precious.

Because all the trying and striving have caught up with me—and what do they really amount to in the end? Why do I need five kinds of bronzer or pricey yoga pants that promise to make my life and ass perfect? Why do I need to achieve so much?

Since when is being human not enough?

I yearn for the quiet treasures of life. But it doesn’t really feel like yearning, if I’m honest. It feels natural, like settling deep into skin and bones. It feels like wanting to live closer to the earth and moon, to the thump-thump-thump of our beautiful, raw hearts.

It feels like an old hunger that’s ready to receive nourishment.

It feels like tasting the seasons and cycles, the crunch of snow in winter, the fiery leaves in autumn, the sweet scent of magnolias in July, the first tiny purple crocuses of spring.

It feels like listening—to the wind, to another’s heart, to myself.

It just feels natural.

These thoughts converge to form a few simple, freeing words—maybe I don’t need so much to be happy.


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