To stand up and show my soul, I begin with my morning practice. I try to feel both soul and humanness before the world gets to me, with its stormy chaos, its fear driven, sell-you-a-new-breath-freshener obscenities.
The quiet plea of email to “read me first” is a struggle each day, but when I win I know my soul expands into my space just a little more. If I can do the whole soul centered thing–the meditation, the chanting and breathwork, and at least twenty minutes of asana–I know my soul has a good chance to stand the barrage of life, to show up vibrantly at least most of the day.
There are mornings when the abbreviated version must do, like the time my partner woke me at 6:30 am on New Year’s Day to tell me he’d been up all night and we needed to go to the ER. In one sentence dinner plans dematerialized and all expectations are dissolved. When life offers that U turn, and it does more than occasionally, I stand at the window and look at the sky. I draw my arms overhead to prayer as the breath fills, each rib expanding. Exhale arms back down. I hear the hungry squawks and squeaks of the birds outside my window. Inhale and exhale. Three times. Then I am ready to stand up and show my soul.
I show my soul by remaining calm and compassionate as much as I am able. When Bladewolf has just thrown my favorite bowl across the room, shattering on the wall, I bring my fingers to each side of my nose for alternate nostril breathing. I find the calm again, and sometimes he thinks this is very funny, and he is no longer incensed that people are trying to scare him by letting their apartment door slam in the wind. They do it because they hate him. He is sure of that.
Sometimes I throw my arms around his thick bear like body, using all of my energy to ground him, let him know it is okay. I am with him. I know it’s hard that not everything in the house is black, or dark grey. Luckily now, in a new twist, dark green is an approved color.
I am so very grateful that I have constructed a life where my soul is welcome, expected even. I sit with clients and students and speak to them of their souls, their path, and sometimes the higher reason for even the most painful circumstances, although my history and my heart know that sometimes you want to punch someone who is telling you the higher reason of why someone died, or even that there is a higher purpose for, let’s just say, the current political disaster, a scenario if there ever was one. But when the pain has subsided and the integration is weaving together, this messy weft and warp of the quilt of your life, sometimes it helps to fly overhead and see at least a glimpse of the pattern.
And as we face this Great Turning, we do need to be reminded of the whole picture. The way revolutions take hundreds of years. The fact that pendulums swing back and forth. Everything changes. You can count on that.
I show my soul by reminding everyone that love ultimately wins, even if you have to wait a few lifetimes to see the results, even if you’re a spirit guide to your great grandchildren when you finally see that assault weapons have been actually banned. I point out all the amazing things that are happening on this luscious planet, and that if we focus on the love and connection and the changes we wish for, that form follows intent. Thoughts and words are always creating the next moments of reality.
As I go to sleep, my head resting on a soft flannel pillowcase, I show my soul a good time, by reading the gentle words of the wise souls who have come before, who wished to encourage their future generations. And I breathe.