Week 5, checking in. How are you my friends? Take up that space right between the chest and stomach when you inhale. It seems odd, these times, so out of place, and yet the more time passes the more we find this is normal. The daily routine, the waking up, the coffee, the news, the remote work, the lunch, the evening dog walk, the dinner, TV perhaps, or reading. Are we including some time to take care of ourselves, to take care of us as individuals? We have to tend to ourselves, because in times like these, we need that extra care, that extra hug, that extra smile. Conscious breathing, taking time out for a at-home spa day, tending to our gardens, yoga, meditating, reading, many paths to reach the same destination.

There is so much fear around, and honestly, the daily dose of news does nothing to calm it down. If anything, it just aggravates. Can we switch off the news for a while. Let the news belong to another world, just for a bit. Maybe that is all we need to give us the space to breath. Because, even in the face of everything the world is going through, there is still so much more out there and inside us that will actually nurture us. And we, just like all plants and animals, need nurturing to grow. Take time, with family, but also alone. It is so rewarding to reflect on what nurtures us, what we need, as individuals, as humans.

Solitude should not be mistaken with loneliness. They both bear gifts for us, but for now, embracing a little solitude is welcome. This is an opportunity, a chance for us to check back in. What is going on inside? How do I feel, really feel? What do I need? And the acceptance of whatever comes up when questions are asked. Allowing oneself to be, just be, is so easily said and so hard to do. There can be ease, yes, there can be acceptance, yes. I allow myself to feel the way I feel. I allow myself to be the way I am. 

 In my garden some of the tulips are over, their petals have dropped revealing the seed heads with the yellow studded anthers. Some of the varieties I had planted did not make it through the very heavy rains that clogged the flower beds for days. This is always a wistful moment for me, when the spring flowers fade, because I know that one season is over. Although the promise of a beautiful late spring and summer lies heavy in the air, I still cannot help but feel saddened to let go of the daffodils and tulips, all those first beauties that starred in the spring garden. But then nature continues her cycle. And there is comfort in that, and hope. Lots of it. Soon bright cosmos, zinnias and dahlias will sing to a blue sky. Already the seedlings are growing at an amazing speed, sending up their green shoots. The stage has been set, the orchestra in the pit, the bows all poised on the strings, the audience is waiting for the curtain to rise and for a glorious and spectacular show to begin. And what a show it will be. For now, I allow all the feelings I have, I acknowledge all the mixed feelings I have. And I let go. 

Within my mind
a thousand words rotate,
as a thousand feelings jostle;
all chaos and noise.
I surrender instead of the usual struggle.
I sit with them,
let them be.
Soon their voices get smaller
and smaller
and I can let go.
A fresh start.
A clean slate.
All ready.
For a new day
to begin.
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