I have been writing more now since we moved to Chicago. It feels grounding and simultaneously liberating in a way only the creative process can embody. I do not share all of my writing, but I have been finding an overarching theme:
We have been moving frequently the past few years. I have worked a smattering of different jobs. Making new friends and trying keeping in touch with the old. Creating new routines and learning new cities. One of the first things I do in any move is get a library card. Words have the power to transform and inform any situation. I picked up a book yesterday from the library, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown, PhD LMSW. I started it only last night and stayed up too late. I feel like it is expressing all the things I have been feeling. I did not know exactly what I have been describing in my poetry or my seemingly random blog posts. I often use the word “alone” but never “belong.”
“True belonging is not something you negotiate externally, it is what you carry in your heart” ~Brené Brown
YES, my heart sang. this is what we have been feeling. The more I tune into finding compassion, gratitude and courage internally, whether through writing, meditation, prayer or yoga, the more I feel at home. It doesn’t matter that I have not made many close friends or that I am struggling to break into the yoga scene and find reliable work. The more I get to know myself, listen to heart’s deepest desires and stand authentically in my truth, the more I can withstand the hills and valleys of what Brown describes as “the wilderness of uncertainty, vulnerability, and criticism.” That little voice inside keeps saying get a desk/real job and try this new workout/fad diet and why don’t you be more social. If I listen deeper I hear my heart say have faith, do what nourishes OUR body, mind, and soul, the rest will fall into place.
I am not done with the book yet, so I will end there. I already recommend it to you! I also recommend Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle. I almost cried several times on the L when I was riding to and from from teaching downtown last week. It is powerful. It is profound. He is a modern day saint. Compassion, especially self-compassion, is another key to true belonging.
“Close both eyes see with the other one. Then we are no longer saddled by the burden of our persistent judgments our ceaseless withholding our constant exclusion. Our sphere has widened and we find ourselves quite unexpectedly in a new expansive location in a place of endless acceptance and infinite love.” ~Gregory Boyle
I almost cried again. I will share some poetry that is bubbling out of all this soon.
I am subbing around the city bunches this month, and will have more quotes in my classes from wonderful writers, visionaries, poets and saints. My February and March schedules can be found here.
Peace, love and namaste,