The more I push, long for, or strive to be there the less I'm here.
I'm not saying having goals (being there) is a bad thing.
I am saying that we don't get to argue with our here-and-now starting point, built on our past experiences which contributed to shaping us. Ideally, we can fully feel through and digest our past so the experiences don't get stuck in our craw: undigested, unfinished, and still bothering us. We often need companionship and guidance about how to complete the past. We humans really are not wired to process and heal totally alone. (I feel another blog post wanting to write itself about this topic.)
Being here, now, in our bodies will bring up past stuff, which I personally don't think will be completely clear until we're dead, and some say not even then.
So, having unfinished business is part of being human. We can release our exhalation and enjoy being connected in our humanity. And, generally speaking, the more we are complete with our past, the more freedom, ease, and availability we have to connect now, and to create what we want.
Coming home to body sensations, emotional and energetic movements, and noticing thoughts will bring up our past, since unfinished business tends to recycle through our thoughts, emotions, and body sensations, as if it wants to finish itself. And coming home creates space, and opens us to insights, creativity, and our future. Practicing mindfulness is not really the kind of thing someone is good at, or bad at. It's more about practicing -- tuning in to these three realms (physical, emotional, mental) through our bodies with compassionate welcoming so we can "be with" what we notice vs. get lost in the endless cycle of what we notice. Regular practice creates a habit which creates greater capacity for presence. Whether a given practice is easier or harder often depends not just on the capacity of the practitioner, but also the content of what life is bringing us.
There are so many ways to practice embodied presence, and I really appreciate practices oriented around stillness AND practices oriented around movement, which complement each other and build both capacities. My personal favorites are meditation, yoga, dance, as well as creativity practices of movement and writing.
One thing that prevent us from coming into peaceful acceptance of what is here, now, and what is unfinished from our past is blame. We may blame ourselves. We may blame other people. Regardless, blame functions like a protective shield from deeper attunement to something that is painful, perhaps too painful to presence and relate to without support.
I'm not a fan of jumping to forgiveness in this context. Putting our minds on railroad tracks to unconditional forgiveness may prevent us from digesting whatever happened through our bodies which leads to healing, insights, other gems that will remain unknown unless we organically go through (rather than around or over) our process. I see forgiveness as more of a natural outcome of embodied presence than a practice in of itself. And my experience is that each of us is wired differently - our own embodiment practices will attune us to our specific needs, which practices are best in a given moment to support our healing, creative power, and what we want to move toward.
The more I push, long for, or strive to be there, the less I'm here.
And paradoxically, the more I'm here, the more beauty I'm attuned with. There's a visceral sensation of support as if I'm standing on my past: personally, through my family lines, and culturally. As I increase my capacity to be with me and include the past, I increase my availability to relate with others, am graced with more insight, and my future seems to appear and unfold as the next simple next step. I'm so grateful!
If you resonate with what you read here and/or on my website, I invite you to contact me to explore working together.
May you walk in peace, accompanied by love, always,