blessings from overwhelm

This began as a meandering post about the current world situation–from protests in Myanmar to the Milk Tea Alliance to Chinese mistreatment of Uighurs to the still-brewing convergence of spirituality and QAnon–alongside other things I was thinking about in the month of February.

I was writing myself into thought loops trying articulate some of these things, and realized, what I needed to share right now was not the state of the world–these very real and often harsh realities I am only hearing and reading about from the safe cocooning of Taiwan–and more about this healing. I will come back to it, I promise, because it is important.

Let’s do something, together, first.

Take a deep breath.

Hey, you say, I’m sick of this. You yoga teachers always tell us to breathe. Sometimes it is easier said than done, to focus on the breath. Or, I am already breathing, but I need more. What else is there on offer?

Pat down your body. With the flats of your hands. Feel the heat of the palms sealing in your energy. Trace the contours of your being, a reminder that our perimeters are larger than our brains.

Then loosen your gaze, yes, away from this screen. Let the pressure valve of optical intake release for a moment. Did you feel the spaciousness behind your eyeballs, the softness in the space between your brows?

Momentary grounding. So needed, right now.

After the airiness of Aquarian skies, I have felt a bit, shall we say, at sea recently—a symptom of Pisces season, here until March 20 or so. Even when things are going, shall we say, swimmingly–this sign of two fishes at play can bring a watery cosmic sadness at the state of things.

Bear in mind, I am no hater of masks or technology–but I felt so sad the other day, when it was too polluted outside to hike or run, watching a kid kick their dangling legs on the subway. Mom typing away on a laptop, harried. Kid leans their head on mom, no response. Kid looks out the window, dark tunnel. Kid looks around the train—faces of masks, infinite phone screens.

It made me think: What are we doing to this earth, to each other?

Pisces brings back to mind a mission assigned to me, as a sensitive sponge type–the words of my healer, heart mentor, and friend, Valquiria: try to be a fish in the sea and not get wet.

To be observer without being absorbed.

So instead of lingering on the hurts–today, I offer blessings. Blessings from overwhelm, blessings from yearning, blessings from seeking, blessings from wondering, blessings upon blessings.

A year ago, last February, my intention for the month was ‘let go to let in’. And without intending, last month, too, brought the same theme.

Emptying the cup, in order to receive.

Recently, my healing has come by walking through the city, seeing the beauty in smoggy mountains and urban buildups. Walking, and repeating to myself: I let go of old neurological beliefs, I let go of pain in my body. I am whole. I am healthy. I am free. And now, finally, after a year in Taipei with only brief trips into nature, there is the great gift of a week down on the wild East Coast–which I lovingly call Taïwaii, for the way its volcanic slopes meet the sea.

I am camping on undeveloped land, with spring water in black pipes and monkeys watching from the thickets of bamboo nearby. The Amis indigenous name for this area is Falalazai. So lovely to say, so much more right for this place than the Chinese words plopped on maps and road signs. My first time sleeping outdoors in a while–how dark it seemed, when I first got out of the car. That momentary adjustment, a spark of fear from stepping outside.

After zipping myself into the tent, I immediately motioned to grab for my journal. My phone. A podcast. Music. To set an alarm. Check the list. Plan the calendar. Something. The pace of city life has been building, slowly, depositing these sediments of overwhelm. And yet there are blessings from overwhelm. So much growth. So many ideas. Then the old adage, for writing good poetry: no ideas but in things.

Settling into the familiar green fabric of this sleeping bag, old festival friend that’s been around the world and back, my ears open up to crashing waves of the Pacific. Sounds of cyclical waters anneal me. Real earth below, full of clay and minerals. The nervous system begins to slow. What plans? Oh, how grateful–blessed are these blessings.

The waning moon illuminates the fabric of my tent, still rippling from where the Eastern winds meet the sea. Translucent. Then, lucid.

I remember what it means to receive. Nature’s infinite holding capacity. Earthly frequencies all around. The croak of barking deer. Thundering waves. There will be time, to share, more; to say the hard things.

For now, this–this hope, a nightlight.

From the idea of me and my heart,

to the idea of you and your heart–

Jasmine.

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