I exist…

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One must not only exist, one must be alive; live life to the fullest…

And so they say.

The narrative of striving and being more is around us, yet interpreted at times as an accumulation of status, power and material wealth.

Am I existing if I have the love of friends and family? Am I existing if I don’t have a dream? Am I existing if I am purposeful in my doing? Am I existing if I find meaning in my day-to-day life? Am I alive if I exist in the eyes of another? Am I alive if I find succor in nature? Am I alive in my aloneness?

What does existing really mean? What is at the intersect of existing and contentment?

 

I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.

One world is aware and by far the largest to me, and that is
myself,
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or
ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can
wait.

~ Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

 

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2017 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Breathe

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Breathe.

One word, and so much more. Different for each of us.

Breathe.

I remember when I first needed this word.

I remember when it meant more to me than an act.

Slow down.

Settle in.

It’ll be fine.

Be patient.

Treasure this.

You are amazing.

Breathe.

One word, a world of meanings.

 

 

~ FlorenceT

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Words on fear and doubt

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Some of you may know this of me, that I find comfort and inspiration in words.

So here are some words I have gathered around me this past weeks on my little trip of introspection and reflection.

I hope these words take you on a little side-trip to new territory, or re-visit familiar places of comfort and joy.

To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.  ~ Henri Poincare

How often have we been told to not doubt? This I believe, that to be open to possibilities, to be adaptable and responsive to our world require a healthy dose of doubt. It is the tiny cracks appearing on the polished facade of certainty and perfection – it adds character and invites closer attention. Don’t you think?

There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.  ~ Alfred Tennyson

And to moving on in spite of doubt, or maybe because of it, suggests to me greater belief and faith in our selves, our relationships, our humanity. We don’t need guarantees of safety to venture out into the world. There is no absolute solution, no certainty –  only faith and perspectives.

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.  ~ Helen Keller

Our fear of what could go wrong, our doubt of what could go right… feel somewhat dangerous; they threaten our sense of self, our identity in the world. Yet it is only dangerous and threatening if we strive to hold onto what is, or to the ‘greater what could be’. Life is fluid; and if we approach with a ‘come what may’ attitude and a little confidence that we are enough to meet the future, all is well. Perspective again.

To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences.  ~ David Whyte

There is strength in our fear and doubt, to be with our vulnerabilities requires more than avoiding or confronting. At times, avoiding or confronting is what’s needed to cope and to survive. The calling remains, that we acknowledge and be with our vulnerabilities, our imperfections… in them, we become strength, courage, love, grace and gratitude.

And in the end, to fully know ourselves is impossible. We fear and doubt, and if we have courage to seek, we encounter the truth of each moment. And as we know, that which we know changes; our very knowing shifts us into constant becoming.

What I have learnt and continue to practice is, to stand in the midst of the ever-changing landscape on the firm ground of this moment, being present here and doing what is ‘right’ now. Whatever or whoever visits, I will open the door with curiosity. Whatever happens, happens.

Namaste!

~ FlorenceT

An invitation to be alive

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An ‘old’ poem which still resonates with me… and interestingly, comforting and inspiring in its invitation to be alive in all and different ways.

What does it evoke in you?

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.