It had been a day wrought with deep emotion. My friend had gone home to be with Jesus and we had mourned his death and celebrated his life. In the midst of that bitterly cold winter afternoon, I felt deep connection and a deeper appreciation for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. I was looking forward to a peaceful evening spent stretching my achy body as calming music filled my ears. Yoga. Oh yes please!
My adult daughter had spent several hours in our home after the funeral, visiting with us. It was rich and lovely and lively in conversation. As I was preparing myself for my wonderful place of relaxation, I noticed her hesitation in leaving. There were no needy words by her. Rather, it was her slight lingering as she stood near the door, ready to exit, that suggested she needed to talk more. A heart needed to be heard at that moment. I felt myself peacefully surrendering. I set down my yoga mat. I put my car keys back in my purse.
We spent the next hour together, her sharing deep places in her heart. Me mostly listening. I didn’t know the answers. I felt it best at that moment to allow her to hear herself find her own answers rather than her mother telling her what to do. I felt myself gently surrendering once again.
It’s occurred to me that I’m transitioning into someplace new. Not a different home. Not a different job. It’s a new place I’m living from. The old place was a familiar holding pattern. Holding onto the busyness of this world. Holding onto control. Holding onto anxiety. Holding onto unforgiveness. It was how I learned to cope in this messed up world.
I’m discovering my body peacefully releasing the old patterns that kept me from growing. I find myself giving way to new places that are different and risky. Places that in the past would gently invite me in and make me curious. Places where I feel more passion and compassion. Places that love well. My heart has yearned to live in these places.
But inside I often faced fear, anxiety and shame. Old patterns would rise up, suffocating any new hopes, any new dreams. I would hear the words, “Who do you think you are to believe you can be more? Just stay where you are.” There was safety to be found in that familiar control, busyness, anxiety and unforgiveness. And yet the resilient, adventurous side of me was never satisfied and would cry out, “There’s got to be more in this life!”
Maybe this is wild living. If it is, I like it. And that wild living right now means being more fully present in myself and being more fully present with others. Giving myself more space and giving others more as well. Slowing down to notice things in this world I was too busy to notice before. It means offering myself kindness when the old patterns reemerge.
“Relax and breathe.” Gentle words spoken a few days later by my yoga instructor as my body stretched and contorted into new places, deeper places. Places good for my body to experience. I too am finding myself whisper and reassure the deep places inside me to relax and breathe as I let go of the old patterns. Wild living. And I sense my wild Jesus whispering and wooing me to this new, full life…..yes please!
Michele Kieckhaefer is forever a student of healthy living, especially nutrition. Along with her husband of 30 years, Michele finds challenge, humility and humor in being the mother of two adult children and an active elementary school son. She finds deep joy and purpose in walking alongside those who are willing to take the risk to live more abundant lives.