We wake when it’s dark
we wait for the mark
of the fleeting light
to come.

We know it won’t stay
so we dally and play
till the day
runs away
with the sun.

Meditation Friday – Balance

Balance: The Bigger Picture

I came across an old diary the other day. One which I’d kept a few years ago to write lists of aspirations and pages of ponderings. Reading back, I’m struck by how often I refer to the concept of ‘balance’. The wish to lead a balanced life, the components, the foundations (even the origins!) of balance were clearly on my mind a lot. I sensed the person writing was more imbalanced than in balance.

I start one entry with a lengthy list of actions relating to various areas of life (physical, financial, career, environmental, emotional, social, community, creative) and then, as if realising the overwhelming task I’d just unchecked, I end with the sentence: “In fact, no, what I really want is just to find balance.”

No one can say that’s not a worthy goal, but I was naïve in my pursuit. I just wanted to get there, wherever that was. I targeted some kind of grand, overall sense of balance (a nebulous concept, if there ever was one), thinking that, once attained, would stay with me permanently. I guess I didn’t want to acknowledge that those various areas of life are the very roots of balance. That maintaining them is a continuous effort. That when roots are looked after, watered, fed, given space to be and grow, a plant will transform into it’s true nature.   

I always find something to smile about when I look back. This time, I smile because I now see the bigger picture. I’ve learnt that finding the balance that’s right for ME is a matter of choosing the right behaviour day-to-day. It’s a matter of saying yes to some things and no to others — beckoning heart and head into these decisions. It’s not always easy, but it’s worthy.

New Year’s Morning

Smudged colours.
Crisp air.
Maybe awake?

Chipped silences
too delicate
to break.

Knees bent
towards a sky
hidden by
the ceiling.

Hard to say.
Hard to write.
What it is
I’m feeling.

Meditation Friday – Letting Go

How do we Let Go?

As this year draws to its undeniable end, I’ve taken the invitation to reflect on it from a distanced, yet personal level. For this, I found a quiet setting in which to run through my year, looking at what was provided, asking what – if anything – was taken away. My goal was not to analyse the Whys and What Ifs, but rather to participate in honest and objective observation of matters in which I felt fully entangled, in order that a new leaf be turned.

‘Let Go’ is a good piece of advice, but really, I’ve never truly known how to do that. It wasn’t until I made the concentrated effort to sit down and reflect on things objectively that I realised that is how. In other words, the key to letting go of something is regarding it as separate. When I ran through the ups and downs of my year, I pretended they had nothing to do with me. And what happened in my mind was extraordinary; it felt like I was shovelling snow from its paths. Some clean and fluffy; others more of a sloppy sleet. In any case, I realised the futility in spending too much time evaluating and blaming, or praising and celebrating. The best way forward is to clear the paths so that newcomers can arrive on fresh, uncluttered ground. From my experience, once we remove ourselves entirely from a situation, we begin to realise that we are no longer in control of it’s outcome, and never really were. When that truth sinks in (and I mean really sinks in), then letting go is not something we try to do, it’s just a process that naturally happens – like the weather situation.

Oh and . . . isn’t it lovely when fairy-tale billows of snow fall from the sky?

Forest Music

In the forest
do not remain
with the leaves
on the ground
You will have
more to gain
if you at-
-tune to sound

Ever present
even silence speaks
timeless old
between the
trees and creeks

To this music
bend your ear
– avoid an intervention –
until you hear
what whispers
your attention;

Long lost loves
good old friends
waiting to be heard
new beginnings
fading ends
a vital, sacred word

Be the fox
who has well trained
to discipline
its howl,
who masterfully
has attained
the wisdom of
the owl

The Admirer

Don’t mind me
I’m just admiring
your style
your way
your manner

So carry on
drink your tea
keep writing in
your planner

Click your pen
on again
stare at those
big pages

I won’t pretend
you’re not the loveliest
thing I’ve seen
in ages.

Meditation Friday – Internal/External Belief

Do we need others to believe in us in order to believe in ourselves?

Most of us do. Certainly not everyone. But, for most of us, having at least one person who supports us — preferably someone who we ourselves respect and admire, gives us a boost to go after what we want in life. Oftentimes, we make the sad discovery that the people we respect a great deal don’t seem to believe in us, or encourage whatever choices we are pursuing. This can be deflating and sometimes, devastating. We can easily start to believe them, shutting down the voice in our heart, our inner guide. The trick, then, is not to put our sense of self-belief in the hands of others. Imagine someone giving you that power? It would be unhealthy. People don’t know everything.

If there is a voice inside you, however quiet, that says you can do it, learn to listen to it. This might mean learning to silence all that outside noise.