My Flame

My Flame

Yesterday, one of my most favourite people on the planet asked me if she thought it would be weird if she attended an Ash Wednesday service. I knew immediately why she asked and what she was feeling. Through baptism, she is Catholic. Through life she is non-denominationally kind, accepting and sensitive.
The world has been weighing heavily on all of our shoulders and hers were aching. It was not yet 9:00am. Little did I know how this conversation, this thick emotion, would continue show up the rest of my day. Different faces in different places. Every single soul weary. The illusions of our worldly plane and the masks we all wear were losing their powers. Hour by hour it seemed.
I was oblivious. No, that’s a lie. A tsunami of something was rumbling in the distance, evident in the tears of every person seated infront of me grieving the loss of a 61 year old who had way too much charisma and fire to be taken away without warning.
By 11:30am, the next level of my emotional armour was minus two more layers. I am known to deviate from my own script when I lead a Celebration of Life but this was akin to being hijacked. There was a purpose that was using me.
I saw the magic of a packed room filled with love. Different faces from different places. Different jobs, shapes, sizes, colours and contexts. All together. Bound by love. The light in the darkness. Fuel for our souls. I was imagining it rippling out over our wounded planet.
By 4:00pm I was walking my dog yet thinking about my daily yoga practice. I never really got yoga but it seems yoga has got me. It’s a moving metaphor. Heart openers to remain receptive. Grounding to stand strong in your essence offering roots and branches to those who may need to lean. Drop your shoulders (worries), create space and nurture flexibility in all realms of your spiritual, physical, mental and emotional being. Be present.
I thought of how hard that was. Being present. It made wonder if everyone found the sharp edges of rogue negativity bleeding their spirit too. Brene Brown, my very best friend that I’ve never met, has this wonderful lesson that she taught her kids and one I wish I had known to teach mine.
Brene would have her kids cup their hands. She would then explain that within their hands is their flame. It is their light, their soul, their spirit. She taught them to surround themselves with friends, whom when they saw their light shining bright, would never feel the need to blow it out. And, on the days when it is windy and stormy, you want a good friend that will cup their hands around yours to protect your light.
It’s now 7pm and I am acutely aware of how unpleasant being unpresent feels. I tried to do yoga. I made strange with the flavour of zen. Even Adriene’s cherub You Tube approach could not settle me. Then my phone rang. It was someone calling to cup their hands around my flame. Another kindred soul texted. Randomly on time.
My hands were not cupped around my own flame. I’m not sure whether it was my sputtering light or my hands flailing around claiming unworthiness to rise, but I am so grateful hands arrived to breathe life into my light.
All this sounds dramatic but, in truth, it was just a bad day. A bad day as described by a girl that can tell a great story. Some would sum it up with ….it sucks. Two roads arriving at the same destination. Potato ~ Potatoe.
We’ve all had way too many bad, frustrating, empty, lonely, numbing and terrifying days. In my quest to understand the light and dark, I chose to hurl myself into both with zero concept of what I would do with my findings. Total squirrel in the middle of the road plan of attack.
My flame is back. I feel it and I hope you feel my hands around yours. We’ve got this.
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