do you ever get the feeling?
Do you ever get the feeling when it feels like the sky is opening up inside of your chest? When some thing, some one, some moment touches you so deeply in the most expansive, tenderized, coziest, most beautiful part of you?
Tears come trickling to the surface in that verdant fertile space of knowing. Of sweetness, of non thinking, of non attachment, of simply being. Of arms bathed in kindness stretching out to embrace you, of twinkling smily eyes. Of bright colored flowers, of summer afternoons. Of warm, soft, wrinkly skin - like fresh baked bread right out of the oven - beckoning for your touch. On wings of swallowtail butterflies, greetings of birds, the pink blush of a puffy firework on a mimosa tree.
You, are wanted here. Exactly as you are. Heavy. Anxious. Heartfelt. Emotional. Sensitive. Scared. Light. Silly. Sappy sweet. Razor sharp. There are no labels. It is beyond labels and borders and right and wrong.
Maybe, it's what Albert Einstein referred to as sacred awe.
Always, It's where the you-est you is. You, are warmed up and ready for this, ready for the moment before you. This, is why you are here. This is where things - words, fear, decisions - make sense and come together like a beautiful landscape, symphony, or painting. It is as if that mysterious, inexplicable work of art that we call soul has finally landed. It's arrived and at the same time is just a moment away. You may feel the urge to cry or dance or stand up and hug someone. It is here and has been all along.
Mostly, I cry. It comes when someone asks how I am and then actually listens. Yesterday, it came when sitting next to my husband and my children during Yom Kippur. My husband, his Tallith, a Jewish prayer shawl, draped around his broad back, was given to him by his grandmother for his Bar Mitzvah. It also covered our shoulders during our wedding and wrapped our babies during their welcoming ceremonies. Sitting there together in a room full of people we did not know felt ancient and new at the same time. It felt like just what we needed.
The Kirtan Rabbi who we know and love, lead the ceremony. One prayer we sung was to the melody of Norwegian Wood. In this space, it did not matter that I didn't grow up Jewish. Because in this space, our souls were the only thing that mattered.
He reminded us to feel freedom to do what we were feeling called to to - to dance, move, sit, be, anything. It is not something I am accustomed to hearing during any kind of service. Really during most of life unless I am in yoga, maybe. But here, he provided the space for our souls. Not our egos, not our stories, but our souls to be present.
Hearing this acknowledgment, the acceptance, the welcoming of what makes us unique, what makes our hearts sing and our souls stir is what wakes me up. It's what gets to me every single time. It's like that little light of mine, that little girl inside, raised her hand, and was jumping up and down, shouting, "Pick me, pick me." "I'm here, I'm here." Because my soul just wants out.
And I believe all of our souls do.
We need not wait for a holiday, for a sunset, for someone's death to hit us like a punch to the gut. We don't need to force it but we can make a little room, offer up an invitation for our souls to come out an play. To be heard. To be seen. To be adored. Maybe even to be allowed to take charge.
There's nothing to it. Sometimes, actually always, it's as close to us as closing our eyes and turning inward just for a moment, filling up on breath, and feeling the pulsating of our hearts, our joys, our sorrows, our anything and everything.
Sometimes, I think this is what is missing, what is making us sick, what is making us feel lonely and depressed - a lack of true connection to our souls and to one another's souls.
I don't really think our souls necessarily like to follow the rules that society or religion gives us. Sometimes, they want us to laugh when things are serious. Sometimes, they want us to be awake at 3am when the rest of the world is sleeping. And sometimes our souls wants us to feel sadness when the rest of the world is demanding that we be happy all of the time. It's not always convenient or comfortable, this is true, but it is always real, rewarding, and life giving.
It feels like acceptance.
Honoring our souls, their yearnings, their whispers, their delights by breathing, creating, connecting, slowing down and getting out of our heads, by reaching out to one another - might just do the trick.
How are you, I want to know. And what is your sweet soul asking of you in this moment? You may be surprised. You may be sad because you don't know. But, there is so much beauty in the not knowing, in the becoming and the unfurling. The world that is awake, that is kind, that is true, is waiting for you with open arms.