“people say that steadiness of mind is an end; no, it is a beginning. i am there; i can explain everything up to that point. then i struggle to discover what comes after, so this steadiness is not an end, it is the beginning and the instrument.” ~ BKS Iyengar

when my now husband & i were first dating we got into a tiff. i had made a comment that hurt his feelings. he took the items he had on a shelf in my apartment & cleared them out. i had no idea we were even in a fight. he called a day or two later & told me. i was baffled & confused & had zero idea his stuff was gone. we chatted & he mentioned that maybe he was too sensitive & perhaps i was too insensitive.

something about that felt very off. but i wasn’t sure why.

fast forward to today. we share a home & all the shelves in it. over the many years we’ve been together, it has become crystal clear as to why calling me insensitive felt wrong.

oblivious, yes.

aloof, yes.

insensitive, no.

i’ve learned that i’m uber sensitive to what people are thinking and feeling in the space around me, with sometimes me knowing what is going on with them even before they do. this awareness also translates into collective arenas. i sometimes find myself holding the pain & joy of large groups of people in our world. i consider it both an honor and a privilege to have this gift of sensitivity.

it can come with a price though.

in normal, everyday life, i tend to numb everything with distractions – mainly keeping my mind & body active in various ways. & when the shit hits the fan – i dive right on in head first! i learned this skill from my parents who both always role modeled how to be the “helpers” in times of need. they were some of the people Mr. Rogers was referring to. so, i jumped right into Helper mode when the world began to turn upside down a few weeks back. it felt good until it didn’t. i found myself both over & underwhelmed – absorbing & feeling so many strong emotions, only a fraction of which were actually mine.

i began to feel like i was sinking.

my short & informal daily practices were not enough to keep me afloat. i needed to retreat.

to dive a little deeper into my quiet, still place within.

my body, mind & spirit breathed a sigh of relief when i listened to their guidance.

“in dealing with those who are having great suffering, if you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. the point is to have long-term perspective” ~ Dalai Lama

i’m slowly emerging from my cocoon. i can feel the fire in my belly again letting me know that when my spirit catches up, my mind & body are ready to jump into action.

in order for me to be my best (helper) self,

i’ve learned that sometimes

i need to step back

& get my whole self

quiet & still.

for as long as i need.

it is in this space,

i become

steady again.

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