This morning, while I was waiting for my mother to come out with me, I was drawn to the garden. I did my rounds greeting my favorite spots. I paid my respects to my temple of morning glories. I took off my shoes and went earthing on the grass. I was overcome with the tingle of what I call “the green sense”: it’s that green halo that you feel around plants, especially where they are thickly abundant. It lies on your skin like a soft breath, opening up your pores. And if you let it, it steals in and glows in your heart.
As I walked, I felt the anxieties from last night disappear.
I was in the bathtub in the evening, my favorite place of prayer. I was feeling confused and misplaced, here in Riyadh. When will I land where I am truly at home with a soul tribe…where I don’t have to feel radically different from everyone else? Where I don’t have to pretend? Anyone who knows me well knows what a burden pretending is for me.
Where would I need to be? Where can I build my own kingdom? It doesn't need to be a big kingdom. Just a small one with a garden and a forest all around. Herbs. A soul family. Love. Away from the weight of outdated rules. Away from the barbed wires of politics and social judgment. Only open hearts and unconditional love. The freedom to be absolutely and unequivocally myself.
In the past three years, with all my spiritual exploration, I’ve developed a rather outspoken spiritual “teacher” inside me (who by the way is often no help at all. Just another critic in yoga pants). She sounds no different from my mom when she scolds me... only her words are different. It's all in your head! You need to feel at home in yourself. You’re not trying hard enough to accept where you are, where you’ve come from. This is what you’ve been born into. This is the culture that was given to you. You need to accept! Accept! Accept!
This critic has been yelling at me for the past few days. I got cranky. I got sick. Then, she played the devil’s advocate and yelled at me from the opposite side. She told me I wasn’t brave enough to choose my destiny, my place. Strong enough. Focused enough. I was not enough. But how could I be enough? What do I need to do?
So in that bathtub, I dialed down her volume and asked for help. I often find that Divine help arrives faster through the conduit of water. Which is probably why in Muslim prayers, you are required to cleanse yourself with water before you arrive at the sacred space. In Bali, the Hindu priests bathe you in water as they bless you with prayers.
The fog lifted. I settled into nothingness. When I woke up in the morning, I realized that I could possibly maybe allow love in today. There was room for that.
The grass spoke to me. The morning glories bounced in a breeze. After sinking into the water the night before, I let myself be bathed by the green sense in the garden. A manifesto trickled in, drop by drop.
I wrote it down. Here’s what came to me: While I can’t change everything today and I can’t force transformations and outcomes to happen, I will be present in this moment’s joy. This moment’s joy is sacred. I will protect it and nurture it. But I will also set tomorrow’s intentions. I will take inspired actions as I am called to when the moment for them arrives. I will trust that they will arrive and I will trust that I will be prepared. In the meantime, as my future unfolds, I will practice radical self-care and give and create from a place of love.
I was surprised by the potency of this. Why do we sometimes know things without truly knowing them in practice? Why do we often forget?
As an answer to that question, I saw our consciousness as an anemone that opens and closes in the flow of the ocean. Maybe we need to forget and close our receptors, to withdraw into our smaller selves, our scared little patterns, so that we can be born again into an incrementally higher consciousness. We climb up day by day, bit by bit. And sometimes in large leaps.
How do you stay in flow in your life? What are the blocks that you are working through right now?
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