Pay attention to where you are tight when you first wake up in the morning. Lately for me it’s been my hips, my mid-back, my hamstrings. Once I get warmed up enough from feeding the pets, grabbing the water bowl before my babe pours it onto the floor, counting out coffee scoops (and sometimes dumping and recounting because I’m not focusing), changing a diaper, and finally drinking my hot coffee – I am warm. Awake. Less tight. More fluid. My edges have smoothed. I’m walking less like Frankenstein and feel more flowy like water.
Now, pay attention to what stirs you, what makes you feel tight or even impassioned. What fuels your fire when it comes to what’s right and what’s wrong. What’s acceptable, what’s not. While I believe there is an array of acceptability from parenting practices, to food preferences, to immigration policies, to a woman’s rights to her body, there’s a lot of tightness in the world. (If you did not notice this last week, then I think you are just plain dead. Or were stoned. Or now both?) There’s a lot of absolutism based on personal experience, the latest and greatest research, and/or tribal dogma. We’re all imperfect beings with experiences and histories that lead us to certain decisions, and we all deserve to belong to a supportive, like-minded community, but I wish for less tight corners. I wish for more room for different lifestyles to breathe. I wish for our boundaries to be strong with conscience but soft with pliability. I wish for less spaghetti arms, more connection, more dancing. Yes, more dancing. Remember Johnny saying to Baby:
Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don’t go into yours, you don’t go into mine. You gotta hold the frame.
Life’s a dance. Or a soccer field. Or a yoga mat. Or a chess match. Or a football game. Or a PTA meeting. There are universal truths in all of those things, but none of those things fit everyone, and not everyone was brought up with those practices. However, all require meeting somewhere in the middle, communicating with other human beings, winning some, losing some. And, at the end of the day, no matter our preferences, we all hang up our hats or dance shoes and get in bed with the same heartbeats, breath, and wonders.
If you pay attention to your tight spots, literally and figuratively, they usually have a lot more to say than just a quick cup of coffee or your best friend can smooth over. Why are they tight in the first place? What can you do to find a balance of strength and softness, integrity and tolerance? I recently alluded to the following idea – probably because I believe we are all ultimately connected – but if you want to see healing in the world, I believe you have to tune into yourself first. Work on your kinks. Work on your breath. Work on your absolutes. Notice it. You don’t have to change it overnight. Just open up, be with it, breathe into it. See what happens.
Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. ~ Rumi