Lately it's occurred to me
That I've had enough of that
And lately I've been satisfied by simple things
Like breathing in and breathing out
Those are lyrics from Natalie Merchant’s song Not In This Life from her Motherland album. For years the line about breathing in and breathing out has struck me. I would say to myself, “Oh, that’s what I need to focus on”. Then before I knew it, my fabulous monkey mind would have swung to another branch, then another, then another. But every time I have come across that lyric, I have paused and enjoyed the open stillness that comes with just focusing on the breath, on the moment, then letting it go.
After I divorced and again a few years ago, I tried internet dating. There would be pre-fab questions for participants to answer to help others to learn about you. One of the questions asked about the 5 things you can’t live without. I thought it a stupid question. One thing I’ve known for a long time about myself is that I’m a survivor and that I can survive all sorts of losses except that of food, water, air, and shelter. I certainly understand why people say they cannot live without their children, their pets, their friends or their prized possessions. Those are all certainly very important and meaningful, but I’m certain all of those individuals would survive without them. Loss can be inconvenient, painful and at times devastating, but it can also be the harbinger of good things. Loss reminds us of what we truly need in order to exist, and also reminds us of what gives our lives meaning.
My point is that this holiday season, since my adventure in TN, I’ve been thinking a lot about where my life is, my stressors, joys, passions, how the scales are balanced. On the drive home from TN, I heard Natalie’s song again and remembered how easy it is to go to that place of serenity inside. Whilst there I recognized that all I need to live is very basic and elemental and that was very reassuring. I didn’t lose anything that gave my life meaning. I did lose a car that I loved which created some inconvenience and expense, but it also created an opportunity to obtain a vehicle that will likely prove a better fit for our lifestyle.
I want to extend a warm “thank you” to Catherine who has graciously bestowed my blog with this award. I hope this little blog of mine proves worthy.
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