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Practice Day 21: What am I? What will I be?

Theme/Mantra: “What am I? What will I be?”


Hoeing by John Updike

I sometimes fear the younger generation will be deprived

of the pleasures of hoeing:

there is no knowing

how many souls have been formed by this simple exercise.

The dry earth like a great scab breaks, revealing

moist-dark loam—

the pea-root’s home,

a fertile wound perpetually healing.

How neatly the green weeds go under!

The blade chops the earth new.

Ignorant the wise boy who

has never performed this simple, stupid, and useful wonder.


Find a comfortable position for meditation, and take one cleansing breath.

Consider the question, Who Am I?

Listen to the answers that come.

Your fleshy body.

Your emotions.

Your intellect.

Your relationships.

What else defines you?

Consider the ways in which “YOU” has evolved.

What particularly comes to mind.

Listen to the ways.

Accept them.

Embrace them.

Celebrate them.

Physical Movement:


Lie on your stomach.

Bend your knees, bringing your feet up toward your head. Reach back and grasp your ankles (one at a time if need be).

Inhale and slowly raise your head, your feet, and your knees.

You can use your hands to pull up on your feet/legs.

Gently rock back and forth without pulling or straining.

Breathe (don’t forget to breathe).

Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Exhale, and release your hands.

Slowly lower your legs and straighten them out behind you.


(Perhaps repeat the words- “I am strong and confident.”)

Repeat as desired.


How many of us were raised believing that we were special or unique? Like a snowflake?

It seems as though the song here suggests that uniqueness was a good thing. I was raised differently. Perhaps I was told I was different, but that difference was something to cause shame, not rejoicing.

But we, all of us, are different from one another. We may have personality type indicators that put us in certain boxes (or tendencies for the best of them). We may have mental diagnoses that define us. We may have job titles and skill sets that identify who we are and how we function in the world. And still- each of us is unique in so many ways. And each of us is so much more than any one of these labels.

My hope for you is that you can identify these different faces and facets of who you are.

Aware that not all of them are mature or evolved, but still in process, still in progress.

Embrace the process. Work on it. But also embrace it.

I invite you to spend a little time looking in the mirror today. Either your face. Or your whole body- with or without clothes. This is you. This is the physical you. What do you see? How can you embrace it. Be grateful for it. Include it in the multiple, complex ways you are YOU. Today.

Song: Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes


I was raised up believing I was somehow unique

Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see

And now after some thinking, I'd say I'd rather be

A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me

But I don't, I don't know what that will be

I'll get back to you someday soon you will see

What's my name, what's my station, oh, just tell me what I should do

I don't need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you

Or bow down and be grateful and say "Sure, take all that you see"

To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me

And I don't, I don't know who to believe

I'll get back to you someday soon you will see

If I know only one thing, it's that everything that I see

Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak

Yeah I'm tongue-tied and dizzy and I can't keep it to myself

What good is it to sing helplessness blues, why should I wait for anyone else?

And I know, I know you will keep me on the shelf

I'll come back to you someday soon myself

If I had an orchard, I'd work 'til I'm raw

If I had an orchard, I'd work 'til I'm sore

And you would wait tables and soon run the store

Gold hair in the sunlight, my light in the dawn

If I had an orchard, I'd work 'til I'm sore

If I had an orchard, I'd work 'til I'm sore

Someday I'll be like the man on the screenUntil Tomorrow- Peace

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