Messages from This Week of Being Human

Dec 07, 2023

There is a limit to what you can do.

I alone cannot change the word, but I can kneel in the forest and learn from the aspen and pine, how to cradle and neutralize suffering. I can lean toward loving life’s countless, contorted and sublime expressions. The darkest shadow does not frighten me, for pain that has not been heard or healed only goes underground, for the darkest shadow opens many hearts and eyes. I can look at the world, mindful of how I perceive and describe it. I know I am making roads for safe (or harmful) passage. That, I can be mindful of, or at least try. I can reduce trauma and carelessness by lovingly washing an apple or refusing to rush a crying child. I can generate change, even if no one sees it, even if it feels not enough. Even if it's me, alone in a room, resting, seeking spacious, resourced energy before launching into a meaningful, creative, and informed process, before I walk down the street with open and kind eyes.

In the midst of the fiercest winter storms, penguins huddle together, as do we.

Many are on the outside, taking the brunt of the bad weather. There will eventually come a time when those in the center of the group must switch places and brave the harsh wind and hail. If you are in the center, where it is pleasant and protected, where the ice and wind echo in your ears, your place in the circle should be taken seriously. If you are in the middle, saturate yourself with peace so that when you move to the outside of the ring, you have reserves of warmth to draw on. Without ground, you have no roots, and without roots you are thrown. Be mindful of the grace given and find time to deepen your root with your practice. This will ensure that the world you carry in your body, into every room with you, is free of harm, seeking to listen and understand.

Invoke your ancestors, the women and men who have lived before you— all of them.

There is wisdom and strength in looking and opening to a potential way of being that you do not yet know in your body but can sense in the foreground. Someone has gone before you, someone has passed through the narrow cavity. Someone has held what you are holding now, and gotten through.