I took a walk just now to clear my head. Too much noise inside. Too many passions, needs, desires, and fears talking at once to be able to hear the soft, still voice of my truth, my soul, my grounded, connected-to-source inner guidance. In moments like these, the quickest way I’ve found (there it is again, hurry hurry!) to calm the mental chatter is to walk my neighborhood without my phone, and take in the beauty around me in as open and sensual a way as I possibly can.
Electric green moss hugging an old stone wall. Pausing to receive that gorgeous green.
Graying late-season lavender, heaven scented as ever. Rubbing it again, inhaling its medicine over and over.
Hints of autumn’s coming, twirling and swirling like the first ones to brave a dance floor. Slowing to let them swirl around me. Delighting. More receiving.
The more I learn about nervous system regulation, the more essential it feels to the process of getting out of funks, thawing from a freeze, and calming inner chaos. But what I don’t often hear people talk about is what I experience as a need to be a little less in my heart in order to be more in my body.
I’ve been extra in my heart the past month or so. Grief and loss and change are very much alive for me right now, and ever since I decided to live with my heart wide open once and for all nine years ago, I’ve had a new challenge on my hands:
Not only does my mind want to run the show as it’s been conditioned to do, but my heart often insists on me slowing waaaay down, feeling allll the feelings, and connecting with the pain of the world as if this were the most essential task ever. Open-heartedness has transformed me. It’s shaped me into a softer, more compassionate, more attuned and less harmful human. It’s given me access to the joy, pleasure, authenticity, and true intimacy I craved for decades.
Letting your heart break open once and for all is something I highly recommend.
But/and, a decade into this open-hearted living thing, I’m being invited to explore what feels like an even fuller and deeper experience of this one wild and precious life. The rest of my body now wants in on this being fully alive thing, too, and not just occasionally. All. The. Time. Once and for all.
Here’s a process I cycle through often these days:
Here’s the key for me…
On today’s walk, in addition to the moss and the lavender and the first signs of autumn, I stopped at a little free library and picked up a copy of Women’s Activism in Latin America and the Caribbean (I love my neighborhood), I noticed a fellow divorcé (we split from our respective partners around the same time) on his porch with a new gal, snuggled up reading books together (so delicious), I passed an elder neighbor whom I’ve always admired and felt delighted when she remembered my name, and I watched a no-nonsense spider clean debris from its web.
By the time I got home just 15 minutes later, my heart was still engaged, but my whole body was not only helping to hold the pain, but moving that energy around, alchemizing it, putting it to good use. Embodiment brings vitality to my life. It honors the wide open pool of my heart and keeps fresh waters moving through it.
And you? What has embodiment done for your felt sense of wholeness and ability to live with tenderness and fluidity?
With love from a well-held heart,