I hoisted the two-wheeler on my shoulder, descended the first flight of stairs.  Made a half turn at the landing, surprised at the revelation of a second flight.  Each subsequent landing led to the next descent.  My breath was labored and I wondered how long until I reached bottom.  And what was down there?  And why was I sure this was the way?   After an untold number of flights I paused.  I looked up.  I knew there was no way I could return to the top.  There was no elevator. I didn’t want to go to the bottom either.  I woke up.

It’s 4:30 am and I sit fireside.  Again.  The night-wakies.  Maybe you have them, too.  No dream interpretation degree needed to fathom this bicycle nightmare.  We don’t always remember dreams, but the work of our unconscious is unrelenting through the night.  I trust that.  The work of my unconscious by day has been bolstered by this pause.  Caught tear-stunned several times daily: cooking, bathing, walking outside, dancing.  Sobs well up, tears flow.  I trust that.  My body’s natural and remarkable way of releasing.  Embodied grief.  On so many levels.

We’re all on the same spiraling downward journey.  Every day another landing.  Wonder and doom. Another flight down.  Panic and awe.  Making our collective way through and toward the unknown.  Adaptation, stubborn clinging.  No clue where or when we’ll land.  Flexibility, utter resistance, unleashed creativity.  Dreams. Tears.

I sink low and I soar and sometimes I rest in equanimity.  I am patiently impatient.  I remind myself to harvest this pause, unprecedented opportunity for my own true rhythm to emerge.  Night-wakies part of that rhythm.  I tamp down then suffer gusts of helpless hopeless.  I give myself, sometimes grudgingly, permission to feel all that arises. 

Out of the depths, a repetitive sensibility consistently emerges. A highest good arrow pulled back taut.  Clearly we’re being called, each in our own unique way, to harvest this time gift.  I have no idea what that means for you.  Clearly there is suffering all around us: from the beings that populate this planet to the planet itself. I keep leaning back into two words I love—integrity and alignment.  Concepts I can toss around with the best of them. 

Relax, there’s nothing that needs fixing, loves.  But we have been given some unprecedented space and we could sit with the power contained in these words.  Take a deep look inside.  At the micro and the macro.  Be curious about a small do-able action that contributes to honest living.  What might bestow a sense of wholeness?  Where do things feel precarious, out of balance?  What might shift a bit? 

The repetitive sensibility that consistently emerges is so basic you could miss it.  Perhaps the fundamental service being called for, our most critical offering for these precarious times, waits for us in the very home we shelter in.  The food we consume.  How we care for these homes.  The way we tend our bodies and spirits. How we show up for loved ones, neighbors, service people, strangers.  It’s unavoidably front and center.   Personal integrity and alignment.

Yesterday, talking with someone, I caught myself saying I was practicing grief.  Hah!  This is not practice.  I am grief.  And yet practice is where the skill builds to be grief.  To be love.  To be compassion.  To be the fullest version of the self we are born to be.  Practice fosters my integrity and alignment.  And holding space for this community to practice is woven into that integrity and alignment.  The burgeoning of on-line practice offerings is inspiring.  Today I could choose to practice with a teacher in Dubai, New York, Melbourne.  Do I want to?  Strangely, no. 

Because I want to practice with you.  This has become so clear this past week.  Sunday I danced with you up in my studio.  Yesterday I rolled my mat on the deck and called you in with me.  I’m set up now to continue what I’ve been doing for a long time. In this community.  Albeit in this strange new on-line version.  For the duration of this spiraling journey.

Essentials begins this Tuesday April 7 at 10:00am.  This class is for anyone with a body housing a soul that wants to practice. A slow moving introduction or refresh for fascial release with rollers and balls, subtle core toning, stretching.  Expert guidance to establish or recharge your mat habit.  Read about it, find your roller, register in advance at this LINK. After registering, you receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. The waiting room opens at 9:45. It’s a yoga class…thanks for being on time! We’ve all been affected financially by the challenge of these times.  Some of us way more than others.  This offering comes from my in-service heart and soul.  There’s a donate button. There is no obligation. 

So I guess it’s time to make some coffee now.  I’m holding space for us four times a week.  Just like before.  Info https://bodyjoy.net/. I feel you out there.  We’re still community and it feels like we’ll emerge from this more intimately connected than ever. Let’s stay curious about integrity and alignment as we practice alone together somewhere soon.

Love, bella