Practice Day 27: Today I am going to Intentionally Just Be Me.

Theme/Mantra: “Today I am going to intentionally just BE”


Reading:

Her First Calf by Wendell Berry

Her fate seizes her and brings her

down. She is heavy with it. It

wrings her. The great weight

is heaved out of her. It eases.

She moves into what she has become,

sure in her fate now

as a fish free in the current.

She turns to the calf who has broken

out of the womb’s water and its veil.

He breathes. She licks his wet hair.

He gathers his legs under him

and rises. He stands, and his legs

wobble. After the months

of his pursuit of her, now

they meet face to face.

From the beginnings of the world

his arrival and her welcome

have been prepared. They have always

known each other.


Meditation:

Find a comfortable position to breathe and listen.

Take two cleansing breaths.

Listen to what is deep inside you.

What is it you have always known?

What is it that has always known you?

(or perhaps it would help to meditate on the idea –Where do I find meaning in just being in the moment right here and right now?).

Sit with the answers that come.

Breathe deeply until you are ready to move from this space.


Physical Movement:

Half Shoulder Stand

Lie on your back with your arms by your side.

Place your palms down and take a moment to align your body.

Bend your knees as you lift them and roll your hips up and over your shoulders.

Use your hands to support your back at the hips.

Extend your legs (straightening them) over your head.

Only take them as far as is comfortable, but if possible, you can touch your toes on the floor beyond your head.

Hold for several minutes.

As you breathe, you can speak the words in your mind- “I allow my inner beauty to shine forth.”

Release by bending your legs, and slowly rolling your body back down to the floor.

(the above position can be challenging, especially if you have any back issues- so here is a second option in case you cannot do the half shoulder stand comfortably)

Inclined Plane

Sit on the floor, legs extended in front of you, palms flat on the floor behind you. Point your fingers away from your body.

Lean back into your palms and raise your hips toward the ceiling.

Contract your butt muscles.

Drop your head back.

Hold for several breaths.

Bring your head up and gaze at your feet.

Lower your hips.


Reflection:

I love this idea that from the beginning of the world they were prepared… both the arrival of a calf and the cow’s welcome of said calf. That they have always known each other. What moves me about the poem is the normal commonplace sense of it. “She moves into what she has become” as if she had no option but to be who or what she was. And I wonder how differently we would live if we gave ourselves such permission. To be. To be who we are. To do what we do. To become what we are becoming.

To take the disappointments of life as a part of life.

I don’t want to suggest we should be passive players in life, only allowing things to happen to us- because I do believe we have agency.

But if we could maybe not blame ourselves for all the bad things, if we aren’t responsible.

If we could hold life more loosely?

Like Cat Stevens suggests. If I ever lose my hands? Oh- I won’t have to work no more. And if I lose my mouth- I won’t have to talk.

I want for me- and for you- to find that balance between having agency in the world as we move through it, and finding ways to navigate the things that happen in our lives that are out of our control, and accepting them.

Let us be like the birthing cow- somehow being in the world- our world- as it is right now. Just being in it as ourselves.


Song: MoonShadow by Cat Stevens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c49aDWrzeA

Lyrics:

Oh, I'm bein' followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

Leapin and hoppin' on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow


And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land,

Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if... I won't have to work no more.

And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry,

Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if... I won't have to cry no more.


Yes I'm bein' followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

Leapin' and hoppin' on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow


And if I ever lose my legs, I won't moan, and I won't beg,

Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if... I won't have to walk no more.

And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south,

Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if... I won't have to talk...


Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light.

Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night?


I'm bein' followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

Leapin' and hoppin' on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

Moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow


.

Until Tomorrow- Peace


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