Tonight I am full of the sweetness of a day spent taking care of myself and holding space for others to do the same during our first Digital Day Retreat. While nothing can replace being together in person, it's incredible to experience that we can share a palpable sense of togetherness that transcends the screen. In my bubble of family life and on-line classes, I have been touched by all of the sincere and genuine connections that are arising.
While driving home, I saw dear Katja. Anyone who comes to Mytree will know Katja because she is such a dear and dedicated part of our community. I pulled the car over and jumped out, so excited to give her and her friend Alice a hug....and then I remembered. No hugs. Of all the adjustments we are making in our lives, this one is the hardest for me.
There will be many more moments in the next days like this, when we will respond automatically to an ordinary situation, only to remember things are different now. Some of these will be easier than others and what is hardest for one person will be no big deal for another. Likewise, for some this quarantine period feels like a gift, and for others, a nightmare.
Either way, through this experience, we are all gaining insights and examining our lives. Questioning life before and envisioning life after. And learning, over and over, what it means to live in the present moment. Thank you to those of you who have shared in various ways your notes to your post-quarantine selves. In the coming weeks I will be curating and sharing them in some form; if you'd like to contribute yours, whether with your name or anonymously, please send it directly to me.
One of the the gems that has come through these last weeks for me is the creative potential that flows freely when I release my grip on expectations of how things should be and open my mind to notice how things are. I forget this as often as I forget the no-hugs rule. But when I remember to receive instead of to resist, each moment, even the difficult ones are "opportunities to merge with what is." This line is from a poem called "Even in the Struggle" by Tara Sophia Mohr that we read in our retreat today. She continues:
"Most of us don't step through the doorframe.
We stay on the known side.
We fight the door, we fight the frame, we scream and hang on."
Whether you are stepping through willingly or clenching onto the frame of familiarity, we are at a threshold. We may not have hugs, but we can still express kindness and care in the way that we greet each other on the side of the road, in line at the supermarket, and on the other side of the screen. May we treat ourselves and each other with compassion as we pass through the doorframe, arms open, receptive to the possibility that:
"You are being loved not in spite of hardship, but through it.
The thing you see as wrenching, intolerable,
life's attack on you,
is an expression of love."
Sending you a big, virtual hug