This is the path we take in cultivating joy:
learning not to armor our basic goodness,
learning to appreciate what we have.
Most of the time we don’t do this.
Rather than appreciate where we are,
we continually struggle and nurture our dissatisfaction.
It’s like we are trying to get the flowers to grow
by pouring cement on the garden.
Pema Chödrön, The Places that Scare You
Take this moment, right now,
right where you are,
to take off your armor.
Find one place, one tiny crack, in your shield,
and widen it.
Find on weakness in the brittle hardness
that covers your self-compassion,
and soften it quietly.
Be sure to take a deep breath:
it may feel a little unsettling, exposing.
Notice the chain reaction when you find that starting place:
what happens when you relax your shoulders,
when you unclench your fists,
when you straighten your slumped back?
What happens in your body? in your spirit?
Feel all the way down into the soles of your feet,
and see if you can feel the tiny rootlets growing out of them,
anchoring you to the soft, sweet earth.
Can you feel them drinking?