Last night, I started a new class facilitated by Sofia Rose Smith that’s a meditation-writing hybrid. It’s remote, so we meet on the phone and online. She calls it “Spirit Poems: a 4-week online writing workshop for those with open hearts.” Ironically, I feel like my heart is very walled off, so I joined hoping it would help me open it; help me fight my inertia. Then, I thought, maybe once I tended to that, my writing and creativity would start to come back. Besides, I thought it would make a nice birthday gift to myself.
I used to be really emotional, really touchy-feely, really in tune with myself and other people, but I’m not anymore, and I’d like to get it back. I’ve struggled over the years to break through this fortress of (feigned and real) indifference, and in so doing, realized just how thick the brick is. I don’t know exactly why this happened, but I have some guesses. I think it started with one or two major emotional traumas that blistered because I couldn’t or didn’t tend to them well, so rather than heal, they just became calluses. And as I’ve gone on through the years, working professionally in very sad and sometimes toxic setups, the calluses have just grown. And grown. And they did their job–they stopped me from feeling.
Well, I don’t like it anymore. And I’m trying to do something about it–for my sake, my writing’s sake, the sake of my family and friends and associates…
So when I saw the link for Sofia’s class on the Facebook page of my friend Allison, who I look at as a spiritual role model these days, I took it as a sign, and registered immediately.
I was a little unsure about what to expect…I was worried my cynical heart would be too dismissive of or fight the experience, which it tried to at first, but Sofia’s guided meditation at the beginning of class won out. By the time it was over, and it was time for our first 5-minute free-write, it spilled out:
The rain falls in sheets. I can’t see anything beyond the waterfall. It’s mossy and wet and thick. I’m not sure how I got here in this forest, trees around. But here I am. I don’t care about getting out. I inhale the ground smells and gulp the air and rest my hand on bark. I laugh and look upwards.
I miss her.
She is here, and I miss her.
I love this place and her and ache to hug it all. To envelop them like they hold me. Close. Tight. Light. Beyond darkness.
I wonder if she’s here.
I shuffle my feet, push earth up onto my soaked boot. Plunge my hands into the ground.
Of course, I’d like to go back and edit and add and all of that, but what struck me was how at the surface it was. When Sofia gave us the sign to start, I didn’t just sit there, staring…waiting…second-guessing how it would look to anyone else. It just came, like a freight train, and I got out of its way.
After some sharing with and commenting on each other’s work (all affirmative), Sofia gave us a couple of prompts. The first one was “Earth,” to which I asked, “If we coincidentally wrote about earth in our free-write, can we share that, or would it be ‘cheating’?”
Sofia responded, “yes! You can share it! Your intuition is on point!” I let myself celebrate that tiny moment and shared.
The next prompt was “Water,” and this came:
True as the tide,
I turn to the side
When I should face front
And just open up.
I want to
Yes, want to
Like my boat needs a map
And my oar needs turn
And I’ve only one flare left in my arsenal to burn.
So I send it on up–
Over the wide open sea
And maybe, just maybe
I’ll hear back from me
I rock and sway
And try to hear what I say
But the waves catch each word
And the water’s gone inward
The class ended with another round of shares and affirmations, and I found myself not wanting to leave the space when Sofia announced we were 7 minutes over time.
I know this type of thing isn’t for everyone (or every part of one), but it’s for me–right here, right now. I’m so glad!