Hold it all gently

I encountered this online this week, and the invitation landed in some freshly tilled ground in my body.

“I’m just going to hold it all gently.

The uncertainty. The hope. The mistakes. The calling. The past. The story of not good enough. The impatience to heal. All of it.

I’m just going to hold it al gently.”

Not to keep on saying the pandemic word, but these past 14 months, I’ve spent a lot of time not really knowing what to feel, or what’s going on, or what’s coming.

This invitation felt like the just-right-response to all-the-things — not to judge, assess, categorize, label – just to acknowledge, and hold gently… all the eggs go into the same basket.

Mindfulness meditation is a practice in doing this. In this beautiful essay (you can read it, or if you’re a podcast-fan, you can listen to her read her essay and it’s quite beautiful to experience that way), about Fear, I was moved by this statement:

I started meditating a few years ago. For the first couple of years, I did it obsessively, a means-to-an-end habit buoyed by the app’s Australian voice and my frantic desire to find quiet. It wasn’t until this past year that I started to see how deeply I missed the point. Meditation doesn’t salvage us; it teaches us the worth of our own attention… True mindfulness … is the capacity to nod at something, inspect it, and then set it to the side to attend to the things that truly matter to you in life.

Natalie Rousseau shared this article with me.

If you’re interested in exploring mindfulness, and practicing meeting your self, your own mind, your own swirl of thoughts and feelings, with this kind of gentle attention, Natalie is offering a series of four Thursday evening classes through June, as an offering to support India through their current COVID-19 crises for a $40 donation.

  • Thursday evenings from 5-6 pm PST and everyone is welcome, no previous meditation experience necessary.
  • Each class will include a short introduction to our meditative focus for that night followed by a  brief walking meditation. You’ll then move into a 20 minute formal meditation practice followed by a short relaxation practice. Each class will conclude with a few minutes for group conversation and Q&A.
  • Natalie will offer instruction on the value of training our minds through the practices of embodied mindfulness, personal awareness, and compassion.
  • When the June session concludes all participants will have the chance to vote on one of three charitable organizations and Natalie will submit the group’s donation. 85% of all proceeds from this series will be donated.

Class Details

It feels like such a great task to tackle – to learn to hold all the things gently. I have been sitting with the image of all the things I’m holding, imagining them as eggs, all the betrayal, sorrow, hope, ambitions, upheaval, stories… I’m imagining my carrying device – is it a fabric grocery bag? is it my hands? is it something I’ve woven into a basket? – I’m thinking about the way I held my kiddo, the gentle steadiness, the love that poured through me (now I’m 7 years past his infancy, it’s all bled into just love, and the exhaustion and frustration has faded LOL). I’m imagining myself with this kind of gentle-handedness… It makes me feel more gentle towards myself and my frustrations and pettiness and the whole lot. 

Just holding it gently.

As it feels the Earth holds us.

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