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the trick of living

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"Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun." ~ Clifford Geertz

In an effort to cleanse the space (attempting the Marie Kondo technique in fits and spurts – which is totally not the technique at all, but my adaptation of the technique as it fits with my schedule) I went through tubs that have neatly been stacked in a corner, doing no harm but still taking up energetic space. I found a note someone I deeply love and respect, once wrote to me:

"...the trick is to keep your heart open so you are not even slightly diminished. Only made larger..." 

This woman is part of my “village” and was offering advice as I dealt with the residual affects of someone who operates from a place of perceived scarcity. 

What I appreciate about my friend's wisdom is her innate ability to understand that we have the chance to grow larger in circumstances that threaten to make us feel small. These moments of conflict show us, in no uncertain terms, a direction we do not wish to follow. Behavior we do not wish to emulate. Seeing the negative, we can reframe it and more clearly see the direction we do wish to go, the ways we do wish to be.

...“keep your heart open…” To not shut down or grip or put up a defense, but remain permeable, so things can move through you. So you can hear and feel and sense everything and make the next decision from that place of availability.

It’s not making yourself vulnerable, it’s making yourself available. To be a person you’ve always been, but larger, more you. 

"...the world we live in is not really one made of rocks, trees, and physical objects; it is a world of insults, opportunities, status symbols, betrayals, saints and sinners. All of these are human creations which, though real in their own way, are not real in the way that rocks and trees are real. These human creations are like fairies in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan: They exist only if you believe in them... a consensual hallucination..." ~ Jonathan Haidt

Sadly, the person my friend wrote to me about is still in the periphery of our lives, attempting harm. What I can do is soften my heart when it wants to harden, breathe deeply so ample oxygen gets to my brain and the fight or flight signal quiets, and resolve to hold life more dear by walking in the direction I wish to go.

Today I am deeply grateful. That today, I have enough. Enough love. Enough food. Enough shelter from the spring rains, warm sun, and the occasional hail storm. Enough friendship – in particular that one voice across the country who holds life dear in such a way she chooses only the largeness of joy. 

 always in motion,


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  • Good morning Fia. Love starting my day with your beautiful words. Grateful for your insight. Jan

    Jan Heaton on
  • Thank you for this message, so beautifully written. Yours is the second message I’ve received this morning, both from far away, both from women I’ve never met in person. Both were well thought out responses perfectly timed to what has been mulling over in my mind. Thank you for the clarity💜.

    Elizabeth on
  • I find it such a delight and marvel how so many folk meander continents away, following, listening, breathing, laughing or crying into the truth of who we each are, walking from soulself,eyes filled with heartsmile, stumbling, forgetting, beginning again the next instant as we are given reminders of who we really are …all in a heartbeat. And it is a joy for me here in Devon to hear about your meanderings.

    Peggy Jennes on

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