Meditation on Intent

parrish priest light on road in lake oswegoIn a world where survival instincts preside, a parallel universe resides. Are-you-food-or-am-I-food black and white thinking spins practically on its own. Reflective, nuance-capable, gray-friendly thought reaps wondrous ripples as long as you practice throwing those
watery stones.

I have an intimate relationship with defense as motis operandi. I am not slow to apprehensiveness and given a wealth of causes for alarm, atop my safety-hampered history, caution is quite reasonable. But, when my un-checked imagination runs amok, fear keeps me stuck.

gorgeous path in woods

As all things grow from a tiny seed, my stance, my starting point, can, in part, be birthed and bolstered by my own sense of what’s possible, what I envision or recall, elect or believe, create or concede.

Where a whisper of perception and choice meets or averts a preemptive scream, I ask myself, in
every instance:

Which part do I want to play, now and here: love or fear?
how ’bout love, every day, I say: love, in every way…

bxw kids on geodesic dome on ground

love as a frame
love as an aim
love as a teeter-totter
a salve for fear, disappointment and shame

love as punctuator
love as a base
love as actuator
love as taste

 

Adria dancing & Parrrish w-flowers in cemetery

 

love as host
love as a meal
love as key
to open what you feel

beach wide angle with people at distance

 

love as telescope
love as air
love as the rule
not the exception
everywhere

woods w-lurah sunglasses & SAm's back

love as question
love as doubt
love as a traveler
exploring all about

love as temperature
a constant beat
love unlimited
love as a feat

 

love as a maze, love as a mountain, love as a freely accessible
fountain

parrish & dog on beach

love as protection
love as witness
love as a work-out for emotional
fitness

love as a friend
not yet named
love as our wild essence
never to be tamed

 

 

sky on fire.o'er treetopsjpg

 

love as a sign, in a sea of trouble
a messenger that
reaches us
on the double

love as confection
love as need
love that grows
prolific as a weed

 

love as recognition in a strange land, love as ignition
love as a hand, love as your very own community band

love as a stride, love far and wide, love as a fierce and gentle tide

two white small flowers in focus

love as the earth, handled with constant care
love as currency, always shared

love as vision, clear as a bell
love as wisdom, deep as a well

love as hurt that knows how
to heal
love always out, never concealed

sky thru canopy of trees

 

love as sky through a canopy of trees
love as you like
love as you please

love as stubborn as a decree
love as a look, an endless book
that reads you

 

 

[Text: Pamela Sackett Photos: Parrish Priest]

✒ “Feeling-favoritism” & “Feeling-equity”

It makes familiar andbig rocks in water089 practical sense to put happiness above all other feelings, especially sadness and grief. It is our cultural practice, as humans, to prefer happiness since the interactions and events that prompt happiness are highly desirable and the interactions and events that prompt sadness and grief are, naturally, not. Regarding a feeling as inextricably linked with the event that prompted it–and attempting to repeat or avoid that type of event and the feeling associated with it–makes familiar and practical sense.

Difficult as drawing this distinction can be–especially in traumatic situations–it is the capacity to be open to feelings, the capacity to be with and have all feelings, the capacity to understand their context and the capacity to empathize with ourselves and others that grants us resiliency and creative access to, and say in, the rich meaning, movement and direction of our daily lives.

Though it is important to be pro-active in life and optimistic, and to reach for the experiences we easily favor, our lives ebb and flow with events, circumstances and relationships that are often outside our control, prompting a wide and often unpredictable range of feelings.

Even within a world of uncertainty and potential danger, it is within our influence and control to permit ourselves to sustain and stretch our capacity to feel, to house all of our feelings (lest they go homeless), to seek to understand, accept and embrace feelings, as we would a child in need of comfort and celebration. Given the inevitability of life’s ups and downs–and, clearly, we definitely favor one kind of circumstance over another–this kind of open-ended, equitable relationship with feelings takes courage, clarity and practice with profound benefits to be had.

Feelings are like a river, constantly flowing within. Just think of the amount of time, energy, expense and potential loss, whenever you endeavor to impede that river’s flow. ELA encourages a robust swim on a moment-by-moment basis with every wave. Feeling equity provides buoyancy in the swim and the perceptual opportunity to distinguish the capacity to feel from the occurrence of an unwanted feeling-prompting circumstance.

Like life’s ups and downs, the shape of the river’s waves and the rate of their flow influences the nature of our swim and those waves and their pace don’t have to be the final arbiter on whether or not we stay in the water.

“What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse. Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away. And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.”
—Eugene Gendlin

Please respond to this blog post with a life experience for which you decided or were invited to expand your capacity to feel…what were the benefits and challenges?