A Ritual To Read To Each Other

Let’s take a moment to pause together.
Allow your day to slow down in this moment.

Take a deep breath filling up your belly.
And take a slow breath out.
Notice the space at the bottom of your exhale.

If that felt good.  Do it again.

I have a client that likes to exchange excerpts of books and poems before we begin our one-on-one yoga sessions.  It has become a really lovely ritual that brings us both into a more connected mental state.  A few days ago he shared a poem called Sky, by William Stafford.

The first line reads, I like you with nothing.  

After he finished reading, my response was, “It’s rare for someone to see you as you truly are.”  It’s rare to be appreciated for the essence of who you are, instead of for the way you look, or a skill you possess, or because you have something that someone else wants.

Along these same lines, someone may not see us truly because of what we lack.  Maybe we’re too young or too old, our skin color isn’t right, we don’t make enough money.  Somehow we aren’t worthy of time or attention.  We are passed over because of somebody’s perception.

There is so much opportunity for US versus THEM.  With the amount of political and social unrest, this heightens.  Sometimes it seems like there is more separate-ness and hate than unity in our reality. It may feel as if we are living in a hostile world.  The truth is, we can make a shift to increase our connectivity one interaction at a time.

World peace starts with you.  In your mind.  In this moment. 

In a thoughtful act, continuing our conversation around this topic, my client shared another poem today.  My intention of sharing it with you now is to increase our avenues for understanding, acceptance, and compassion.  Planting just one little seed.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other
By, William E. Stafford
If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dike.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

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