silence and sounding

On Saturday, it suddenly occurred to me that it was time to go into
the cave. Seems queer for a woman who has basically lived in
solitude for the past year (for many years, truth be told) to feel an
intuitive and insistent urge to isolate…um, more.

But there it was…the simple, and loving, inner invitation to quiet more, to
become still more, to embody and body-tend more, to BE more.
The call to grounding and self-care is and has been ever-present.
Listening for the sensual cues of the oft-ignored wisdom of the
body is, after all, what I teach, advise, entreat and encourage. And
it’s not that I don’t practice and honor silence, natural rhythms and
contemplation; but now, again, I am recognizing how doubling
down on winter’s sacred and saving solace could amount to
something new. Something profound, a fresh finding…a sense of
being found.

At the same exact moment that I began to envision my days, those
coming at a pace I’ve not experienced before…faster and fasterer…
slowing down into less media, less connection to the outside at all,
less dialogue, less people, less promotion, less achieving, less
interaction, less stimulation…I simultaneously saw in my mind’s
eye a cascade of words, those witty, cheeky instigators of liveliness
and inspiration.

Words are my angels, come to guide me on or drag me forward.
Words my avenue of stately trees banking the trajectory towards a
new beginning down the way. Words my balm, read aloud, prayed
aloud, sung aloud soothing ache and weariness. Words the poke,
the pluck of heartstrings, the knives sunk deep to tender spaces
within, the thorns that provoke, finally, the wash of healing tears.
Words strung together in just the unexpected way bring a big-ass
laugh, guttural and unhinging. Words, spiraling around unspoken
in my head, the kaleidoscopic whirl of infinite options as yet
unorganized. Words, a way out, a way through. Words, a wonder.

What will a period of time disconnected from expectation and
busy-ness outside of myself SAY to me? I’ve chosen a month’s
passage for this initial project path; I’ve made many rules, drawn
many boundaries, in the mere thirty six hours since the twins of
silence and sounding arrived at my threshold. The loudest message
by far, thus far, is “hell yes”…and I edit, hell yes-ONLY.

Let’s see (hear) what comes of that, shall we?

What word wakes you up? What phrase soothes your soul and
sounds like home, whispering “you belong here” as you cavort
wildly through sunny days and sink below the dark surface as you
drift, restful, into holy sleep?

Say them.

true voice do-true
Get a new journal, or tear the used pages out of an old one, OR
staple or stitch some blank pages together to create a fresh and
clean and open and bare space to express yourself.

Take time. To insert something new into your day, you must
remove something…did you know this? What behavior do you
regularly engage in that you know in your heart does not support
your aliveness, your health, your vibrancy, your hell yes? Take 15
minutes (or more if you’re feeling feisty) away from THAT.

TAKE TIME, for you.

Then use this prompt to free-write (that’s “in freedom” of edits,
normalcy, expectation, grammar, critique, etc) for as long as your
pen, or pencil moves across the pages.

When it’s really quiet, I _____.

Now take a few moments and a few deep breaths. Then go back
with a colored pencil, marker or crayon and circle the words or
phrases that pop off the page at you. Then whittle those down to
ONE word or one phrase that truly sounds like you. That truly
speaks of your heart and speaks to your heart. You’ll know. Print,
paint, doodle that on a post it note or archival parchment and hang
it up somewhere that you will see it often throughout your days.

Give thanks.