"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
I am a 'more is More' kind of a gal.
If there is an added bit of frosting, or doo-dad, or glitter, or adjective or knick-knack-paddy-whack-give-the-poor-beleaguered-dog-yet-another-bone, I am all for it. If you can describe a thing with four words, so I reason, why not tease it out into 15? If that first singular cup of coffee in the morning holds a little bit of magic in it, so too, should not the second, the third, the 12th?
I used to joke to people that, in choosing the six, unadorned letters, the three, measly syllables that would comprise my name - my parents were planning on a simple child. Apparently, it didn't work. For while the humble title bestowed upon me smacks of peanut butter sandwiches on white bread.... of a solitary ray of sunlight streaming through an unadorned window pane... of uncomplicated, streamlined, wholesome sweetness - the little dervish in me craves the world a tad bit more complex. Toss in a few more layers. Add the salty to the sweet. Perhaps pepper it with a smidgeon of bitter, astringent and umami too.
When pitching a workshop to a local studio owner a few months back, I can recall my attempts at "reigning it in". "It's a movement workshop, basically," I began. And she nodded in encouraging reply - eyes and head inclined imploring me to continue. "Combining elements of yoga. And ecstatic dance." The eyes still signaling 'yes''. "Oh, and we want to bring in some essential oils as well. And maybe some kind of creative project at the end. Oh, and wouldn't it be nice to incorporate live painting into the mix? And eventually, I think it would be nice to bring in some live music into the space, and...." The eyes, the chin, now slightly downward sloping, cuing me in their own, gentle way, 'Honey, take a breath. Let's stop. That will be -Enough.'
I've struggled to find the middle path for most of my life. That cosmic sweet spot between excess and lack, between striving and flailing, forward momentum and backsliding into nowhere fast. The fluid fulcrum wherein, in this moment, all is at is should be. My needs are met. My heart is full. My arms are reaching out into the world and toward my deeper dreams, and yet my feet are planted squarely on the ground, one foot moving steadfastly in sync with the other.
It's so trying to move in this way at times. When the squirrely little legs that you carry would rather lurch out into the landscape - carry you like a fitful, little puppy both this way, then that. When the buffet of life's possibilities offers itself up in a continual, technicolor array and your greedy little fists want to lurch in and munch upon each new delicacy within view? IS it truly as the sages say.... that in order to learn to run or dance or leap.... we must first do the slow and painstaking work of first learning how to walk - slowly and with care - learning first how to inhabit the tiny moment here before us - before we go spiraling off into the next? Does the secret to tapping that greater 'YES', in fact, lie embedded inside a tiny "No"?
"No. Thank you. I would love to teach another early-morning class, but I would miss out on some much-needed sleep. And the beauty and solitude of my own first, waking hours."
"Nah. I'm passing on dessert today, thanks. I'm gonna cultivate some sweetness in another way."
No to the extra project or commitment. Because you want to give the one in front of you your all.
No to the sound of music or another fabulous, mind-altering podcast on your morning cruise to work. Because there is value in silence, too. In just attuning to the breath inside your lungs right now and the sweet whisper of the day.
No to the e-mail or the text message or the 9 other things now vying for your attention in this moment. Because for now, this one thing is enough.
No to the four more items on your plate. So you can taste what's now in front of you. Savor it. Soak it in. And let the simple pleasures now before you fill your hungry cup.
Life is slowly teaching me the value of the road not taken. Of stepping into the humble work before me, rather than spiraling my energies outward into a hundred other energetic flirtations, scattering my accumulated juju into the four corners of the sphere.
Be with what is.
The path we are on is The Path itself.
Daily reminders that the tiny, little windows that we shut behind us open wide a greater door - a bigger portal - for the whole of Life to blow right on through.
May the full moon stir in you a deep and vested knowledge of your Value - your great, intrinsic Worth. May you be called to release the things inside your life that nickel and dime you, whittle you down. May you be granted the courage to say 'No!' to the things which diminish your efforts, your heart and your joy. May you be guided to that Bigger Yes - and may the friends, practices and allies that accompany you there - serve you Well.
sweetly, simply... steadfastly..