A New Year Blessing

Jan. 1, 2022
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A note from Erin:
What I really want to say is exactly summarized in this quote from Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel:
“Let’s be fierce in our commitment to value and utilize even the most challenging circumstances as a way to deepen our understanding and cultivate compassion for others as well as ourselves. Let’s continuously find creative and skillful ways to serve living beings and this precious planet, our home, and look at life around us as the rich ground for awakening from self-absorption. If we can do this, how can we possibly lose?”
I know some folks who’ve lost everything in unthinkable urban winter wildfires in Colorado this week. Some of us are relishing the holidays. Some just made it through this time with heavy hearts. Many are ill with covid. Some of us are excited to begin a new year. Some of us are so deeply exhausted we’re just dragging our tired asses into 2022 as best we can. (raising my hand! 😂)
What can I say that might help? That quote above: Let’s be fierce in our commitment to use any circumstances – pleasurable, awful, boring – as ways to deepen our compassion, to awaken from self-absorption, and to serve the well being of Life all around us. We can always do that. Isn’t that miraculous?
In 2022 I’m wishing you many occasions to slow down. I’m wishing you curiosity and reverence that lights up the way you see the world and yourself. I hope you might be easily pleased and deeply satisfied by simple joys many many times this year. May you be permeable to beauty and resilient to despair. May you fall head over heels into a wild love affair with life and this precious, temporary chance to be an Earthling on this gorgeous planet. May you find ballast in kindness of many kinds, given and received.
For many years I’ve participated in an annual Healer’s Intensive retreat with Deena Metzger. She always begins the week by handing each person a poem as a sort of divination for our time together. This past summer, I received the following poem. I’m inspired to share it with you.
Blessing When the World is Ending Jan Richardson
Look, the world
is always ending
the sun has come
crashing down.
it has gone
completely dark.
it has ended
with the gun,
the knife,
the fist.
it has ended
with the slammed door,
the shattered hope.
it has ended
with the utter quiet
that follows the news
from the phone,
the television,
the hospital room.
it has ended
with a tenderness
that will break
your heart.
But, listen,
this blessing means
to be anything
but morose.
It has not come
to cause despair.
It is simply here
because there is nothing
a blessing
is better suited for
than an ending,
nothing that cries out more
for a blessing
than when a world
is falling apart.
This blessing
will not fix you,
will not mend you,
will not give you
false comfort;
it will not talk to you
about one door opening
when another one closes.
It will simply
sit itself beside you
among the shards
and gently turn your face
toward the direction
from which the light
will come,
gathering itself
about you
as the world begins
I imagine us sitting beside one another, gently turning our faces toward the light, beginning again.
With love,
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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.