Hold the Tension and Feel More, Give More, Love More
(inspired by the Thanksgiving Gemini Full Moon of 2018 - November 22 @ 9:41pm PT)
Parker Palmer is one of my sources of inspiration. He reminds me how to connect with and live from the soul without losing touch with reality - to be in the world with all its joys and sufferings. In A Hidden Wholeness, he writes of “a habit of the heart”:
“...learn to hold the tension between the reality of the moment and the possibility that something better might emerge.”
He advises that we hold the tension long enough, until something new emerges. It’s like holding a standing pose in yoga longer than you think you can, until your mental resistance and habitual thought patterns give way to something new and you actually allow yourself to feel the discomfort and find a new way through. With a deeper breath, a fuller sense of embodiment, perhaps even an emotional release or Aha! It’s like that, but more.
What greater time than now to hold the tension and release the expectation - the tension will open your heart - will break it in a way that allows you to feel more deeply and truly yourself and ALL. In this way, may you find joy throughout this season and within all its paradoxes.
Here’s apt excerpt (especially for those of you in the smoke and fire affected areas) from David Whyte’s poem, GRATITUDE, for this Full Moon Thanksgiving:
“Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things must come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously, part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape.”
(Read the poem in full along with other beautiful reflections in his book, CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.)
Here for you, a mudra, pranayama and magical ally to support you wherever you are:
I shared this one a month or so ago, but it seems relevant to share again! Clasp your fingers lightly together, and release your index fingers so they rest flat against each other. Point your index fingers down towards your feet. Hold for nine breaths, sighing with each exhale. Visualize toxic or heavy energy flowing out and away from you. Then, release your hands and rest them with palms open. Visualize pure light energy filling and renewing you.
Breathe rapidly in/out through your nose. The inhale is passive; the exhale is forced. This is a deeply cleansing breath for mind, body and emotions. (Note: this practice is not recommended if you’re pregnant.)
Magical Ally: Peppermint
Peppermint is a lovely herb for the season (whether you have clear clean air or not). It is used as a magical ally for divination (perceiving through space and time), protection, purification and healing. As a family, Mint is sacred to Hades, Lord of the Underworld, as well as to Aphrodite, Mother of Eros. Mint can thus be a companion to us when we travel through times of both passion and darkness.
• Place a fresh bundle of peppermint on your altar to call in good energy for healing.
• Combine a bit of peppermint leaf or drop of essential oil on a piece of dark chocolate for a taste of love magic.
• Tuck some fresh leaves under your coat sleeve at your wrists to protect from ill-health.
• Sip a cup of peppermint (with essential oil or muddled leaves) tea as you journal for a clear solution to a current problem you are facing. Bonus: add lavender and sip/journal before sleep as a way to help focus your Dreamtime with intentions (a practice of dream incubation).
• Diffuse peppermint essential oil to help purify the air and focus your mind.
• Make a lung repair syrup to support your lungs and help you breathe with more ease whatever you may be moving through.
Even if you’re not breathing in actual toxic air, these practices and allies may serve you in clearing metaphorical poisons from your system - bitterness, resentment, hatred, any oppressive feelings or emotions that weigh you down and cause the breath to choke or turn shallow. In the clearing is forgiveness, and in the forgiveness is gratitude and love for All That Is. And speaking of GRATITUDE, for this week of Thanksgiving, a simple reminder from a 13th Century mystic:
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
- Meister Eckhart
I am Grateful for You.