Be the Chickpea!

Ciao Amica Mia,

As I write to you, across the world salons and gyms are reopening, sun-bathers are returning to the beach and diners are finding their way back to favorite restaurants.
For some of us the past ten or more weeks of insulation have felt nourishing and needed. While others have felt suffocated and confined. And like a sprinter poised, ready to break through the invisible barrier, giving everyone and anyone that stands in their way an energetic flip of the middle finger – just because!   
I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt a little bit of it all depending on the hour. And as the world begins to open up, I remain conflicted about stepping “out there”.  At the same time doing my best to stay informed assessing the risks that the pandemic has created.
Finding a balance and continuing to remain steady is of course the anecdote.  But you may be wondering, how?
My recommendation is a return to basic breath awareness. A simple and sustaining practice for keeping your central nervous system healthy and even.
~First, begin by noticing the breath as it enters through the tips of your nostrils.
~Then after taking three deep inhales bring your attention to three slow exhales, pushing the last bit of breath out of the lungs.
~Next, notice the natural pause at the top and bottom of both the inhale and exhale.
~Continue this practice even though you might also become aware of an under-lying tension, a constriction in your chest and questions swirling in the spaciousness of your mind:

Are we truly moving into post-Covid life?
What does that look like for me?
Is the world ready?
Am I ready?

Lastly, I want you to stop for a moment and consider this – the space in your mind, where these questions arise, is called the Madhya in Sanskrit. Madhya means the middle or mid-line and often is referred to as “The Gap”.   
In Tantric philosophy The Gap is thought of as the place where God lives. You might refer to The Gap as the residence of your higher self or legacy self.  The name you assign to the Madhya is irrelevant. What’s important is that you recognize The Gap as the container that holds your true power. This unbounded power arises from the inner chambers of your heart and is the seat of deep intuitive wisdom.
I want to remind you that mostly we want to push unsettling questions back underground. So, try using this breakaway strategy and give freedom to your thoughts without attaching any meaning to them.
Simply allow your thoughts and emotions to surface and dissipate without force or control and you’ll find yourself crossing over the threshold and slipping directly into The Gap.
When you find yourself suspended in The Gap, initially you may feel frightened. Your mind might think, “oh my gosh, where am I?” Or, you may feel the need to rush in and do something, anything just to re-anchor back into your ego self.
I invite you instead to follow my interpretation of the mystic poet Rumi’s words, be like the chickpea in the boiling cook pot and allow the hard shell of protection you’ve constructed around your heart to slowly soften.
Allow yourself to simmer in the juices of Creativity until you burst open with new textures and flavor.
Trust that in The Gap, even if at first it feels illusive, like smoke rising from the ashes, you are indeed giving space for restoration.
My advice; be the chickpea. Be the phoenix. Be open and ready to Breakaway from old worn-out beliefs and shift into a renewed you. “Bit by bit, little by little, day by day.”
I wish you blessings on this Sacred Sunday.

Xoxo, Paulette


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