There have been times in my life that the sensation that I was shrinking and disappearing was so strong, the sense of sinking into the quicksand of violence and negativity surrounding me, swallowing and suffocating me, that it haunted and made tentative my actual steps and visible self by throwing a net of fear over me that was so powerful, it did not seem that I could ever cast it off and stand tall and free again. When a feeling so strong and powerful begins to awaken in us, we have two choices (or perhaps infinite ones, however let's think a little in black and white here, for simplicity's sake). We can deny the feelings, remaining asleep, ignoring them in any myriad of ways, or we can heed them. Although it was not an overnight process to change (as change, even miraculous change, is not truly that), I heeded the warning and began to take actions to reverse the movement towards shrinking, dying- as it were, and began to open and expand. Watch anything in nature and see this overall movement. Expansion or Contraction. It is a choice. At all times it is happening in the microcosm, in the smallest of details and choices; and the overall effect- the weight of balance of these smaller choices- is what determines the happening at a larger level. Meaning, you do not have to be perfect. You do not need to do the right thing, say the right thing, eat the right thing, etc. 100% of the time. Give yourself a break from the crush of perfectionism. If perfectionism- or your version of it- comes naturally, then bless you- you serve as an inspiration to others. Me, I can not pretend that everything I do, say or eat or drink or think is the best choice. However, I can say that overall, I am making the majority of choices and living in a way that is expanding my soul and spirit and influence and affluence (think not of money here), rather than dispiriting and in essence killing me. That time in my past where the forces within and around me were crushing my spirit and soul, causing both a sensation and reality of shrinking- of dying- those I have shaken off and let go of. I bath in the aura of old souls that I choose as friends now, whose smiles light up a room and joie de vivre has only increased as life has gone on. Who do you choose to have as your companions? What surrounds you? What do you choose to do with your day? With your mind? With your time? What sensation do you feel when you close your eyes and breath into the day? Is it restricted breath and crouching forward and caving in? Is it a dread or fear or anxiety or monotony? Or, is it opening heart and mind and breathing into the beauty of what is; what always is, all around and within you?
Playing Chateux Fairmont with Whistler Blackcomb in background