Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am

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Knowing, Awakened

It is early in the day and I am returning from dropping off my children at their before-school activities. So early, I am already carrying a lead weight of anxiety in the bowl of my belly, my mind racing between “shoulds” and my heart hardening with each breath. It is a grey morning, after a rain, with small puddles still gathered in pockets of asphalt. But I am moving too fast to notice.

And that would be my state on this day —this mindless, slightly panicked energy— but for an unexpected interruption. A robin’s chortle breaks into my self-absorption. Suddenly, I am aware of the veil curtain of mist, hanging close to the ground, and the cool scent of soil rising through it. New bird song rings, further away, then closer. I can feel the contours of my body, trace my breath through my lungs.

I am alive! I am here.

And I can see! I see the crabapple tree next to me, in the fog’s embrace. I see a tiny nuthatch hopping up its trunk. And I see the nubs of leaves, waiting to unfold, gathered on spindly branches.

I am here, in the damp mist and the echoes of bird chatter, and I am also home, hurtled by my senses through time and space to the landscape my Soul loves best: the contours of the mountainside on La Finca. And the awareness awakens this knowing in me, again: here, too, I am home.

When I stop to see, when I feel with my senses that I am alive, then, wherever I am, I am home.

Photo by Jay Simmons

Photo by Jay Simmons



Remembering to Listen

This is one of the spaces I have consciously created for reflection, for listening to my Deepest Knowing and to explore what otherwise would find no outlet. I created it as a space for play, in the sense that it nourishes me and I lose my sense of time when I am in it.

Along the way, I learned that I have to show up regularly, that the inspiration to write rarely comes over uninvited, and often hides under many layers of “shoulds” and apparent urgencies.

I learned that I could write many, diverse reflections in one small burst of time, and I could begin many reflections that never really went anywhere more than a tight circle.

Lately, I have been forgetting that this is supposed to be play, fun, nourishment. I have been telling myself “I HAVE to blog,” and I sit down with a pout, my inner adolescent ever ready to stake a claim for independence. I have been in a power struggle with my inner Taskmaster, as one of my clients calls the ego.

Only when I catch myself, realize this and decide to let go, step back, hold up my hands in resignation; only in surrender can I begin to find my way back to the purpose, to listening, truly, and opening up.

Now, I do. I come back and sit down with joy and curiosity, with the excitement of discovery: what does True Self have to say?

All that I can feel is my heart unfolding open, like a book.  I find no certainties, no assurances, nothing to grasp. And yet, this is real: I am alive, in the energy that vibrates out of the center of my chest, and courage to be present in this moment courses powerfully through my veins. I am alive, I am present, I am Love.

Photo by Andreas Krappweis

Photo by Andreas Krappweis



Photo credit: Sandor Bende on

Photo credit: Sandor Bende on

Walking in the woods, in the chill shade, I spot a clearing far ahead, illuminated by sunlight. I am overcome with the thought: I want that.  So I make my way towards it at a determined pace, still in shadow, only to discover, to my dismay, a tall, forbidding fence between me and the warmth I can see beyond.

The sunlit clearing seems suddenly more alluring, necessary, urgent.

But there is no crossing to it, and I feel a small hole of want forms in my throat.

Quickly I turn away, from the thwarted path, from the feelings of urgency and emptiness. I spot the lake, then, placidly blanketing the horizon. I want that. A bird calls in a nearby tree and I want that.

The hole in my throat opens into a cavity of longing through my chest, gaping, aching.

What is it that I am needing, I ask. The wanting has turned to yearning, deep, soulful; but for what? For what I cannot have, whatever that is.

I feel the impulse to turn away from the emptiness and longing, to turn to something, anything, rather than have to feel it.

But… I am here, in the shadows of the forest, with the lake beckoning and the birds calling. So I don’t turn away. I sit in silence, allowing the emptiness. I sit in its hollow company.

The sun makes its way through the leaves and rests on my neck. I find, suddenly, that I am full, regardless.

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How  is it that dry, yellow sand can possibly nourish tall, swaying mounds of grasses that release their seeds to the wind?

How can the sounds of crickets transport me thousands of miles and twenty years into the past?

How can a large-eyed, yellow warbler, fluttering fearless me before me awaken this wonder in my heart?

This little patch of green, dwarfed by the expanse of water and sky, compressed by blacktop, cement, and the smell of exhaust: how is it that it can immediately return me to my Self?

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia



I am grateful for gentle sunlight sloping through my window —warm, not too pale, nor scorching.  And the loud chorus of cicadas, reminding me that I have not looked up from the computer screen for hours.

I am grateful for the sigh that goes through my whole body and cuts through the anxiety that rests in my belly and cries out that I don’t have time for this.

I am so grateful that I have time for this!

And grateful, too, that this— stopping, breathing, noticing, seeing, hearing, lightening, opening, loving, thanking— does not take much time at all.  Its effect is immediate and transformative!


Photo by Purplepic on

Photo by Purplepic on


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City River

I arrive at my downtown destination earlier than I expected and find myself passing time on the river-walk. The sounds of city life circle around me. A highway crosses the water and the bridge clatters as each car crosses over it, keeping time. I hear brakes and the repeated beeping of a truck backing up. And the continuous drone of indistinguishable sounds that make me think of frenetic movement, busyness, doing-ness.

I look down at the water and it shines the sky back to me. A slight breeze shuffles the reflection away from this shore towards the liquid mirror at the other side. I think the white dots floating there must be trash. Then I realize it is a gaggle of ducks suspended alongside an “s” of current where two branches of the river meet.

Although above me the city drones on, down here, at the water’s level, I am drawn into a quietude of being. Instead of shaking me out of the stillness, the surprise of a small splash, a fish jumping slightly past the surface, only calls me deeper.

Photo by Andrea Friedmann

Photo by Andrea Friedmann


Fully Here

My head is full of thoughts of conscious creation and of setting intentions to engage energy. I am planning a class discussion even as I am out in the world, at the post office, doing groceries. I am there, but not quite. Neither am I fully here.


I place an order for refried beans in Spanish, because I am shopping in that kind of a place, where I can speak Spanish to the man behind the counter. I am friendly enough, but somewhat absent, still thinking of the session that put me on this train of thought about setting intentions and making requests.


A voice at my side asks if I am Colombian. It is a young man, with skin so smooth, I think he can’t yet be shaving. He tells me his “prometida,” his intended, is Colombian, and he recognizes my accent. His eyes radiate joy when he mentions her. He leaves with a smile, when his order arrives, and I am left bathed in his fresh, expectant energy, in his exuberance.


Gratitude breaks over me, for the grace that comes with him, that remains within me, reminding me that I much prefer to be present to this, What Is before me, to this gift that is the Now, and experience this immediacy, the intimacy of what I am living and breathing at this moment. I much prefer to be fully here.

Photo Credit: Andrea Friedmann

Photo Credit: Andrea Friedmann