This year I was really called upon to “step up” for the holidays. Both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday this year. SANCTUARY NYC is a relatively new community ( albeit with an old soul) and the process of setting the whole construct in motion has been “more than a notion”. For me it was a decision.” I will show up 100% for the whole holiday thing.” I really had to dialogue with my inner child on that one…Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years…it all came in a wash of beautiful lights all over the city, gigantic menorahs in the median of Broadway and 86th, 5th Avenue all aglow and abuzz…and two complete and unique Sunday services to plan and execute – when honestly I would love to have been celebrating with family in a more personal way. But I decided…and what a blessing it has been!
The theme of “Expectant Waiting” took me personally to a very deep inner place…and now I am aware of experiencing a bit of reluctance to come out of hibernation. I don’t know about you, but during the month of December, I re-encountered a quiet center inside of me…through this discipline of inner listening. And I am now negotiating with “her”…that inner stillness- and reminding the action figure part of me that without the still small voice having a really good seat at the table- all of the time- lots of important cues can be missed.
And so, after spending the whole day Monday in my pajamas listening the ten hours of Sounds True downloads and not speaking to a soul until late in the evening…literally fasting from speaking…I have found myself a little different…a little quieter, really listening…and more than listening…really hearing. I told a couple of people that I was considering making that my new career…the pajamas and Sounds True thing…
There is no way to really capture the dynamism of the inner journey of this last year in my life. Some wise person told me once that the degree to which we can experience true joy is balanced by the willingness to experience great pain. Although I hate the pain part…I actually hate it less.I have experienced both this last year…great pain and great joy…great disappointment and amazing surprise and delight. I have found soul friends I only could have dreamed up…well maybe I did dream them up actually…and for this I am grateful. and I have moved on from people with whom I thought I would be journeying longer. Two family members have made their transitions.
Monday I listened to the whole series of Pema Chodron on Tonglen meditation…twice actually (both in and out of pajamas). I also listened to Pema Chodron’s dialogue on same with Alice Walker, and to Steven Levine’s whole series on “A Year To Live”. And now it is time to come back to …to where?
I am changed. And so who I bring to this day is a different person than the one who went inside.
I greet this day with an open hand…and with an increased capacity for both great pain and for great joy. And I have two new pairs of pajamas…from Costco…Christmas presents…Happy January…