You Don’t Have To

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 11

As I’m letting the fullness of my one little word settle into my heart and soul, I find myself attuning my awareness for secure reminders. Getting back on the mat, rededicating myself to the practice of yoga, standing in warrior asanas allows me to embody secure. Morning pages, a journaling ritual, having always helped ground me, provide a secure base for me to enter into each day. These are the obvious ones, my go-to reminders. But I’m trying to broaden my attention, widen my perspective, and find the essence of secure in places I haven’t looked before.

I see the geese, their trust in the pattern of the seasons, the signs in the wind, take refuge on a frozen pond, secure that the ice won’t crack through. I notice the words of sage poets, wise women and men, describing their knowledge of life line by line, and I take solace in their telling me I don’t have to “do” anything as I am secure, right now.

PX70_Geese_rsWild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

How are you settling into your one word for 2014?

11 Responses

  1. I was thinking about this yesterday, Meghan. “Ease” is my word, as you know, and I have been trying not to fight things, not overplan. The other night ago Abra was supposed to be in bed, but Maikael found her outside our door, listening to our conversation, with a pair of My Little Pony underwear on her head. It’s normally the kind of thing where I would have said, harshly, “Get back into bed!” But I let myself laugh, because it was funny, that underwear on her head, and I snapped a few photos of her before carrying her back to her bed. It’s a subtle shift in how I approach my day, but one I hope I can continue to practice this year.

    • Meghan says:

      I love that anecdote and start of your year of ease. I think it’s all about the slight shifts, the small changes we can embrace each day. Here’s to more “ease.” xo

    • Meghan says:

      I love that anecdote and start of your year of ease. I think it’s all about the slight shifts, the small changes we can embrace each day. Here’s to more “ease.” xo

    • Meghan says:

      I love that anecdote and start to your year of ease. I think it’s all about the slight shifts, the small changes we can embrace each day. Here’s to more “ease.” xo

  2. Corinna says:

    Love this post, and that you are seeing “secure” all around you and integrating it into your days. Love the poem too, of course. xo

  3. Melissa says:

    Beautiful. I think it’s a challenge to hold on to the power of the word as the year goes on, so would love to hear how you continue to focus on it and manifest it in the coming months.

    And Elizabeth, that photo of Abra the spy was the best! Loved it and love that your word allowed the moment to happen.

    • Meghan says:

      Yes, I’ve struggled in past years to really hold on to my word and make the best use of it. I’m trying to live into my word more this year in an intentional way. xo

  4. Mary says:

    Beautiful post. Wild Geese is one of my favourite poems. Thanks for sharing it here. It’s always good to read and reread Mary Oliver’s words.

  5. […] need to practice most right now, ease, of which I hope wellness will be a byproduct.  Inspired by this post, I am already seeing ease manifest itself in small ways during the past week and guide my […]

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