Have you ever had a moment that was so joyful that you found yourself whispering, “I wish I could bottle this feeling…”?
Perhaps you remember feeling angry, guilty, nostalgic or ashamed; and bottling those emotions within the contour of your body.
Imagine that you were asked to bottle an emotion or a series of moments. What shape will your container be? What thoughts or emotions will it hold?
Will you keep a jar of happy thoughts? Or a jar of secrets? Or something altogether different?
Go ahead: Pick a jar. On slips of paper, write out the details you carried on your skin from the day. Place them inside the jar.
Bottle the smell of brown rice boiling on a stove top, the sight of the lazy sun resting on your knees, or the slithering snakes dancing in the shadow of a bamboo garden. Bottle the sight of mustard seeds sinking to the bottom of a pickle jar or the tired eyes of your mother holding you in her gaze. Bottle the sound of rain hissing on the asphalt on a hot summer day, crackling thunder that kept you company at night.
Let the details pickle for an extended period of time. Read them when you (and the details) are ready.
Last year, I turned my life upside down.
It was my year of the Saturn Return, complete with major upheavals, epiphanies and chaos.
During that year, I quit my job, broke my apartment lease, launched my business, ran a fundraising campaign, traipsed through the Southwest on a solo three-week trip, surrendered myself to a 10-day silent meditation retreat, published my short story, and began healing my broken relationship with my family.
In July 2015, I packed up my belongings into cardboard boxes and left them at my friend’s basement. By July 2016, I had lived in fifteen different homes, carrying my red suitcase and a tote bag wherever I went.
Can you feel the chaos? Continue reading
Sometimes we find ourselves in tight spots.
We may be overwhelmed with our writing, or work, or relationships, or feelings.
Our heart feels clenched shut. Emotions feel like pins prickling our skin.
If I just get through this week, this month, this year. . .
We don’t finish that thought.
Hope waits for us at the end of that ellipsis.
So, we make declarations.
I will push through this rough patch.
I will grit my teeth, clench my fist, suck it up and get it done.
Then, we utter this pithy saying: “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Sounds familiar? Continue reading