Wisdom in the Work

Today is chaos. Yesterday was chaos. And the day before and the weeks before.

I am finished watching the implosion of what I took for granted, things I thought were etched in stone fall apart when the consequences are so far reaching. I have to find another way to be with what's happening in this world so that I can support the change this world so desperately needs.

I was fortunate enough to spend last week at MICI, a Movement Intensive in Compositional Improvisation taught by The Architects. It was a transformative week led by some incredible, brilliant women. I keep trying to present and re-present myself to the wisdom of this work and 'bareness of being' I found there.

Let's just say I felt a bit unwound.

I introduced myself crying. I cried in class. I cried on the lawn. I cried through the whole damn thing. I embraced the crying. I cried when I spoke in class. I cried everywhere including during a solo I performed...As someone who hates crying in public, this was different. It caught me off guard but felt necessary to see what was behind the layers of exhaustion and while I am still processing, I've had some basic realizations: I don't live well at the pace I've been living. I don't live well from a place of fear. I don't live well the way I've been living. I don't live well from a constant place of reacting. And I'm tired of pretending I do.

I've been so focused on trying to navigate the turmoil and upheaval that seems to unfold daily and doing what I can to help, that I've put blinders on. I've closed off. I've stopped seeing what's right in front of me. To really SEE the people I am so fortunate to be in community with. To connect and experience with others. And to listen. By trying to pay attention to all the things, I've stopped really listening to anything. Like really listen.

"Deep listening requires letting go of our internal argument with the world. Before we can truly listen, we must exhaust ourselves of our assumptions. In truth, if we are to ever glimpse the world outside the stubborn certainty of our minds, we have to put down our ready made answers to everything. ...we often wear so many opinions that wonder has very little chance of touching our skin. We all struggle with this. Yet the courage to be begins with the risk to let that instant of unknowing grow between what is said to us and our reflex to ready our response. Much of our isolation and sense of difference comes from our inability to slow down and let in what is before us. Regardless of the medium, this is the beginning of art, the honest listening without pretense or judgement, to life as it meets us. Listening is not reacting or responding but meeting experience openly, the way a lake is filled by streams." Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

Listening is not reacting or responding but meeting experience openly, the way a lake is filled by streams.


In some ways, I feel a strange sigh of relief and a bit lighter. By no means am I ignoring what's going on, I'm giving it space. I am pausing. And in no way am I trying to sum this up to put a little cap on it like I often like to do. This shit is complicated. And messy. SO MUCH MESS. But by allowing for there to be room and space, I am in many ways, tuning in more, and strengthening the way forward. If only I can remember this when the news feels so dark.

What a blessing last week was in many more ways than I can articulate.

What a blessing this work continues to be.