One of my clients is a world class entertainer. She has been doing a one woman show since March, eight performances a week. It’s the first week in August and she has two more weeks to go. She’ll rest awhile then take her work to Los Angeles, New York and London.
Before she performs, she closes her eyes, reaches deep within herself and says, thank you.
What a powerful centering prayer that is.
Thank you. It is not − I want − I need, or I must have. It’s simply standing in the grace and reality of what we are and all we have become.
Thank you, acknowledges our gifts, our health, and our deep connection to something greater than ourselves.
Saying, thank you, as prayer shines our inner light on all that is right. We see that we are human, we are flawed and we are blessed, all in the same moment.
I was struck with her session because of my own years in the performing arts. I did not say, thank you, before I went on stage. I seized in fear. I sweat blood. I judged myself through the eyes and value systems of my audience.
How wise she is, this young forty year old woman, to take her power back from all that is external by simply and honestly standing in the fullness of gratitude.
Fasting makes the veil between the worlds thin, so more is revealed. I am on my sixth day now, full of curiosity and readiness to see what is delivered. My morning has been beautiful. I slipped on my old grey sweater, pulled blue jeans under my dress and laced hiking boots. What a combination, very odd and very me. I am grateful to be able to walk along the hillside, pass into the woods and be swallowed deep inside her belly. She always feeds me and is gentle. I feast on a million shades of green and listen to the songs of the birds and the buzzing of a single black and orange bee. How grateful I am for this gift of time and communion. I could be stuck in a cubicle, in front of a computer, in traffic, in a bad marriage or in the bloody wars brought by the last administration. How fortunate indeed.
I walk the road until I come to the log that blocks my path, always a good place to rest or turn back. But today I notice a chainsaw has cut the base of it, preparing to move it elsewhere. Climbing over the top, I notice the entire lower trail has been cleared and widened into the road it was intended to be, even the basin impossibly dense with blackberry bushes has been cleared. Just a matter of time now before the owner claims his forest road and I am left without my sanctuary.
I move back over the log and retrace my steps to a small dirt clearing. With sun at my back, I am able to sit for an hour being quiet and letting the forest feed me. Fasting and age allows a stillness that is not available to the young. Their bodies demand so much of them. Run here, do that, keep going, climb higher. It takes a kind of skill to sink into the womb of the forest.
I look down at my leather boots and blue jeans, and at my dress and silk slip peeking out around my knees. I love the colors, fabrics and textures. I love the deep inner quiet I feel, and for a few rare moments, am truly happy to be the spirit housed in this body.