Taking Up Space

It is all good stuff.

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Plum Blossoms first. Cherry Blossoms second.

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Thingvellir-iceland-northern-lights-GettyImages-498878456Trying to tame what is naturally ours is a lot like telling the wind how to move. It does not listen. It is too vast. Life on every plane. We come in many forms. We can be seen and measured through brain waves on a chart. Measured through colors that light up all of our different sections of thought. We can be outlined from underneath to our bones, to the frame of our bodies with X-rays. We show up in sound waves. In the sounds of our blood and muscle tissues pulsing through an ultrasound. Trying to measure ourselves in one way does not do us any favors because we exist in many different ways. We take up space, and we take up time (thank God).

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How can we really know ourselves? Are we the reflection walking beside us along those store front windows?  Or are we more like those patterns skirting around on a screen? Our roots run deep. To believe that we are breathing, do we need to hold a paper bag and watch it inflate? Do we need to see every breath to know that it exists? No, and we continue breathing anyhow because we are vast. We have been here for forever, so let it happen.

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Back to Zozo-Ji

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Zo-Zo Ji || Shiba-Koen, Tokyo, Japan

We always have a place to step, but we do not always realize it. If we are able to seal the past, present, and possibility of a future together, we create a track to walk on. If our palms are fabric pieces of our parents’ hands and their parents’ parents’ hands, we must always be walking on some sort of track.

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I stopped by Hamamatsucho station to see if I could make it Zozo ji and Tokyo Tower again on my own. I could, and I did. I walked to the doors of Zozo ji to see if they were open. They were, so I went in. I sat down and prayed to anything, to silence, to love, to hearing the vibrations of loved ones counter out the space around me. My clothes still smell like incense and my heart is still pronouncing itself clearly in my chest. My eyes are full and ready with this choice to live like it was the first absolute time it has ever happened to me. It is the skin on the fatty parts of our heels and the balls of our feet. This is the real that happens here. This is the reality we are capable of knowing. It hangs like the parts that have always belonged to us. This is the real that happens here. Breathe it in. Breathe this air.

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The weight of something that almost happens. The weight of the car hitting your body knocking you out of your skin. Knocking you to where it is almost like getting hit with your own body. You feel it more like the car being hit by your body than your body being hit by the car. If you hold onto thawed meat this is what it feels like with the force and impact of something great. This is what I imagine an out of body experience to be. Something to witness where you are not you. I’ve been in more car accidents than I would like to admit, so I know the sound so well that I swear it is still in me. I can almost hear it all the time. This is not a fear as much as it is a reality. A reminder that this is a body I live in. This is a physical expression of me. This is one way, not the only way, that I exist. This is one way that I take up space. Stretch.

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Too Bright

As I sit up here on the 24th floor, one of the boys from our show is learning French with his tutor behind me repeating “Fete, fete” like an audio tape or something. The skies are so deceptively blue that it is easy to forget the freezing temperature on the other side of the glass. There is a violin concerto playing softly. This is a future cliche in the present. The sunlight is almost too bright, and it is hurting my eyes. It is almost too bright for the present. Too futuristic. Too sweet. Tooth ache. Sweet Tooth. Too rich. Sinking. Floating. I am too awake and unready for that. This is now.

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I see you, Mara

The negative voice inside of me has been around for so long that it takes practice to recognize it for what it is. It takes practice to cut ties from our lines of thinking. Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, and Ethan Nichtern all talk about personifying the self-hating voice. Only recently have I started this, and since Mara (the embodiment of greed, hatred, ignorance and shame) works for so many Buddhists, I have taken this name as well. Mara visits the Buddha on the night of his enlightenment, so I am calling my negative voice Mara. I am not afraid or in love with Mara. I see you, Mara. Let’s have tea, but I am very busy. This will not take up much of my time, and then you will need to be heading on your way. Once the negative thinking voice has a name, we can treat it like the old friend that it really is. The person we have always known who just won’t go away. We find healthy boundaries. This person gets all out of sorts sometimes, so it just needs a quick recognition and nothing more. It is not in charge. It does not live in my house. I see you, Mara. Anxious, Mara. Come in for just a minute, then I would like you to leave. Good bye. ❤

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Love Everybody

We have to love everybody. We cannot choose sides. This includes loving ourselves. Love is endless. We exist in endless ways, so let go of forcing this experience into a dot. We have the power to experience this place all the way, and this is probably shocking to those of us who have made a lifelong commitment to escaping. Be all the way here. Be here now. We are perfectly imperfect, and we are allowed to take up space. ❤

P.S. Maybe we just keep doing different things over and over again, and our souls stay the same. ❤ ❤ ❤

For more on the sobriety, yoga, and travel journey, please follow @the_oam on Instagram, and like The OAM facebook page for updates & inspiration.

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