Soles of our feet, soul of society

Our legs down to our feet mark where we stand and where we’re going. The sole is the bottom most layer of everything. It is the place where calluses grow. There is nothing wrong with a callus, only that it is there and it may mean it’s time to move differently.

Smooth the sole. Appreciate the leathery feel, worn over time. Then lift your feet high so blood runs through your body. Your soles are not to be left unattended because they are the foundation of every journey.

The soul of society is like hundreds of soles crossing a border, migrating to new territory, challenging one hundred selves to explore, to better things, for curiosity or to ward off adversity.

The soul of society will always be one hundred plus feet, standing or walking, running or skipping, dancing. The soles of our feet, like the soul of society, feel like a very private matter and yet, our intimate dance moves us universally. It’s like listening to a fine cello piece or contemplating a painting; each born out of one but touching everybody.

I sometimes dream of a body with amputated legs after some undefined war. I wonder how it is that we can learn to survive with such pain, the sole stripped away. Then I’m in awe at how human beings are so clever. We design makeshift feet, we invent technological devices that help us move ahead effortlessly. But what about the soles of our feet? What about the soul of society when the leathery wear and tear have been pulled off and we are left with metal frames, clever gadgets and send buttons? I wonder if we are fully aware of the purpose behind movement and speed and the role of the soles of feet.

Different parts of our mind-body are working. We’re finding that the soul is dispersed evenly. It’s a new revelation, perhaps, for many, that the soul is not bound by the soles of feet. It’s like magic, really. The ability of the soul to morph into anything, so free.

I’m becoming more accustomed to this floating feeling but it’s still scary. Here we are recreating life and our way of living. I do miss standing steadily, even if it is illusory. I massage my soles after running. I love that anchored feeling even now when I know that my feet are growing old and will die.

I will say that the soul of society needs our care and attention. We should treat it like a baby. Our new soles are so soft and supple, unable to stand. It needs nurturing, discipline and a lot of love. We are a hundred plus heart beats scattered about now, but we are one when we are listening.

When The Soul Moves

We tend to distrust these feelings and avoid them at all costs because we are scared of being uprooted. We need to lose this fear.

Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully

Whenever I think of you my soul moves. Not just one, but very few of you and I’m open to more coming.

Perhaps you know what I mean? Your soul can move with your mate or it can move suddenly and out of place.

In my experience, when the soul moves it’s startling.

I’ve heard parents say the soul moves for a son or daughter. Twins who say their souls move in tandem.

However it appears, know it’s the soul moving inside you.

Focus on form rather than time or speed.

Focus on the now rather than eternity.

The soul conditions you to surrender to your hunger for food.

On a much larger scale, the soul opens your eyes to truth.

I have feared the soul, its ebb and its flow. The soul is mischievous and breeds in darkness.

The soul is a sublime piece of cake in a world where we count calories.

The soul can feel sneaky and disarming and I worry about gluttony.

It’s not wrong to pay attention to the movement of your soul because  you will want more.

Become aware and you’ll be alright.

Choose the soul and you’ll be satisfied.

But know this. When the soul moves, tears fall. The life of calories ends.

That is why we need soul stretching exercises. Learn how restlessness and uneasiness are stages of the journey.

We need to practice leaning in to the soul’s yearnings and loving unconditionally.

We need schools that teach a course on the workings of the soul so we can track its course and discover the treasure.

 

 

Coping with Grief and Fear

I lost my husband in November after 25 years of marriage. I’ve joined a bereavement group on line and realize that there are so many people suffering. Grief and fear have always been part of the human experience but now with the virus, we are facing these emotions globally. I’m learning that emotions like grief and fear can transform into compassion with the practice of mindfulness. It is slow and painful but necessary.

Grief and fear go hand in hand. When we lose somebody, we grieve the loss of love and we also face an unknown future. Death forces us to remember our immortality and the temporary nature of all things.

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Albert Gyorgy, ‘El vacío del alma’

When your whole identity breaks apart, you feel like you no longer fit in or even trust your skin. Conversations and events seem inconsequential and we find ourselves half in and half out of the real world we live in. What can we hold on to when everything is unstable and transitory?

We’re wired to believe that life is rational and love everlasting. Our perception of our life with a spouse, however imperfect, just makes sense. There’s a reasonable sequence of events, a social function, a shared commitment. When a person dies, or there’s a traumatic event, our perception of a fixed life shatters and we feel betrayed and empty. How can this be after having invested so much time and energy? We experience the truth of the temporal nature of all things and our immortality. We begin to see that underneath the routine of the material world, there’s a powerful energy that alters our reality, that forces us to evolve. It is infinitely organic, ineffable and seemingly indiscriminate.

My husband used to say, No somos nadie, which means, We are nobody. He was right.

There is no way around death, except to go through it. Each person copes with grief and fear differently but I think everyone should expect to feel sick and crazy. It is normal to lose our moral and physical strength and sensibility. There are feelings and behaviors that people don’t like to confess, but death encourages all sorts of things like excess, escapism, unpredictability, anxiety, saying bizarre things, breaking things including people’s feelings, listlessness and selfishness.

When we embrace these adverse experiences as normal, without judgment or labels, we realize that we are simply human and that somehow out of pain and suffering, out of confronting nothingness, we are part of the universe. When we accept that we are no longer our self, that we are in fact different, we begin to give ourselves time to become reacquainted. To become balanced and compassionate.

Meditation helps. Sitting and doing just that, being with oneself in acceptance. In this case, meditation can take on the role of forgiveness. It communicates to yourself that in spite of your anger, your sickness and your craziness—you deserve to be loved and to sit in dignity and have peace.  In spite of all the ugliness and darkness, there is light and goodness in your heart and in your being. There is unconditional love and you are deserving.

I also do light yoga and running. I think we underestimate the impact our body has on our mindset and emotions. It really helps to get blood flowing, to insert air into our spine and joints, to feed our heart oxygen. Our heart requires a lot of nourishment when it’s broken.

Recently, I’ve been thinking that death leads to reincarnation for the deceased and for us, the living,  the opportunity for rebirth after all the suffering. Part of the suffering is facing heavy memories, digging up old skeletons and getting angry.  Part of letting go is forgiving ourselves and our love ones for all transgressions and recalling the loving, sentimental moments. To say, It’s okay and I’m so sorry.

I’m thinking this is a form of redemption and a transition to new life.