Maybe it was the title of the book
that caught my eye on that fateful day
in the College Hill bookstore.
Or maybe it was all that pent up teenage angst.
The contradictory belief that I was
The quiet and good girl.
I was helpful and nice
But a mental punching bag for bad boys
And my big brother blaming
My very existence for
Ruining his life.
I was an innocent
But carried so much blame and shame.
Too much for my 17-year old self to handle.
That book opened a doorway
And I felt the words jump off the page
Viscerally into my ears, mind, and heart.
And I could finally breathe.
I was accustomed to hiding the cries
And sharp sips of air from sobbing.
I was trying to intuitively calm myself
But not finding the support or space to calm down.
I was made to feel weird and awkward
For my self-soothing efforts.
I felt at peace for the very first time.
Comfortable with my steadiness of breath and mind.
This was my very first time practicing meditation
with just this book by Cheri Huber as my guide.
Oh, how I craved that feeling.
It was an incredible high,
I was filled with love and acceptance
of who I was on that very day.
Looking back, the framework of a
Mindful practice had come into focus.
I was empowered,
Elated that inner peace was truly possible.
My meditation practice has evolved since then.
I typically listen to guided meditations these days.
I have new teachers that I follow:
Sharon Salzberg, Hunter Clarke-Fields, Kris Carr
to name a few.
But it all started with that one book
that has brought me to new heights.
Clarity, insight, calm and peace
are always within my grasp
And I am forever grateful.
After morning yoga.
After I’ve rearranged the furniture.
I’ve cleared out space
mental and physical.
I welcome the movement, the sighs, the popping joints,
the twists, the surprising strength.
The mental games that try to
take me away from the moment.
When I arrive in my mind and body,
I find soul full awareness.
I am grateful for this body.
For the time carved out just for me.
There is no shame
as my strong thighs hold me upright.
The meanness of cultural norms in
what a pose should look like
what a body should look like.
I honorably greet both ends of the spectrum
and invite a small smile to my lips as I inhale
and clear out the mental clutter once more.
The morning birds are making loud short bursts
even through the soft rain.
They too must meet their needs
and feed that hunger.
It feeds my soul and theirs
to find a shared delight at another
glorious day to be on this earth.
To occupy the same space.
Breathe the same air
and each feel free in our own way.
Free from shame.
Free from stiffness and aches.
Feeling strong and in flight as I move my body
just like the little birds outside my window.
We may not see the sun today
but we each welcome its arrival when it greets us once again.