reflection from a weekly workshop I am participating in where we are doing a lot of self exploration and working together to individually and collectively come out from behind our masks.
She said honor your feet.
We all breathed in one deep, collective breath standing side by side and dreaming midday of a single strand of golden string connecting our minds to our hearts to our guts. She
said honor your feet again, and my hands flinched, like my fingers instinctively, at just the thought of my feet, needed to fit together in full fist position ready for fighting.
Lost inside the breathing deeply daydreaming, my fingers fell flat, gave up the fight as they have so many times before. When that rare moment of oh so calm came to a close, my fingers and toes were all that was left prickling anywhere else in my whole self. So I had no choice but to listen to what they had to say to each other.
I heard my fists as they shook in the air with rage at the soles of my so worn and tired feet for marching us so fast through this so-short life chasing accolades from everyone except myself. And I listened to the tearful plea from my littler toes that are often so quiet as they begged my wide-open and facing up palms to stop giving so much of myself away and just hold onto me.
My feet stood their ground, it wasn’t their fault this heart, mind, and body were so drained … they dug in and challenged my now trembling but still open hands:
Who will she be when there’s nothing left for you two to give away?
My fists full of fingers replied:
Why don’t you two ever just walk her gently over to the mirror to see herself for once instead of always parading her through life pretending her pride isn’t gnawing on the sides of her smile as she goes? She doesn’t even know who she is now, what difference will it make when she has nothing left to give?
And in all this back and forth, from tired toes to bitten down fingernails, it was ultimately everything in between … my eyelashes and my chest and my shoulders … the right elbow I can’t help but crack over and over, the kneecaps that are somehow never quite perfectly shaved, the extra skin beneath my chin that LOVES taking photographs no matter how much I hate it … they all showed up for me and put the fight to rest.
What if we just let her play today? What if we soak up everything at this table right here, instead of bickering about what if and tomorrow and the next day and the next. What if we all just take one more deep breath, dream of that single strand of golden string holding us all together so that she doesn’t have to …
Everyone was in agreement the rest of the day, and several hours later my mouth chimed in with: this day has been amazing, I hope it never ends, let’s never go to sleep … and wait! What’s happening over there, let’s go!
My feet and hands and almost everything in between finally on the same page said … look at her, she needs to rest now.
They carried me to the mirror to see myself, and my eyes spotted my mouth trying to hold back a yawn, locked on themselves and said sweetly like a soft rain: yes, rest sounds so nice.