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Gainesville, FL

1 (855) EMPATHY

Life and communication coaching for women.

Saying Yes to the Mess


Saying Yes to the Mess

Marina Smerling

I write today on a personal note.  Since I moved across Turtle Island in December to this strange new world called “Florida,” I’ve been struggling.

Nearly every day, I awake and ask, "Is this place enough?  Is it progressive/open-minded/activist/diverse/happening-enough for me to stay?  To say a full 'yes' in my heart to being here?"

Indeed, the land is altogether different – not layered and textured like the beauty of the Bay Area, but flat, with nary a hill in sight.  Lacking the gazillion personal growth workshops-per-week that abound in San Francisco.  The ten yoga studios per square mile that reside in Berkeley.  The progressive activists of every creed, with their cutting edge analyses and deconstructions of systems of power and oppression on every street corner in Oakland. (Or so it seems, in retrospect.)

I drool just to think of it.

And yet, living here in the land of conservative-Republican-alligator-filled Florida is teaching me: once again, living in the unknown *is* the way.

Despite our conditioning that glorifies:

* The One Who Knows
* The One with the 5-Year Plan
* The One with a Vision and the Well-Thought-Out Roadmap to Take Her There

These days, it's more like:

The One Who Doesn't Have a Clue, But is Saying "Yes" to Life Anyways

Today’s missive is short.

I invite you to notice all the ways you may be harshing on yourself, attempting to lambast yourself into tip-top shape, into being the Knowing, Planning, Visioning-with-a-Roadmap one, and to consider whether a hefty dose of mercy for your NOT-knowing may in fact be just what the divine doctor ordered.

Could it be that a willingness to open in soft-eyed curiosity to the wonder of this world, as it finds you, is the precise recipe your soul has been seeking?

For in truth, the miracle is and always was right here:

this beating heart
this breathing body
these open eyes
taking in the glory of our Is-ness.

Our capacity to love wide open, without answers or guarantees, to extend a helping hand wherever we find ourselves, and to find an ounce of kindness around us – in the eyes of strangers, the mama bird feeding her young ‘uns, the blessing of the sun’s rays falling upon our skin in the morning.

All the ways we are deeply served by this life, even without our asking.

Today, a cheer to the doe-eyed clueless parts of ourselves, finding strength in our capacity to rest, not our 5-year plans.

Finding refuge in our capacity to love, not our Having Life All Figured Out.

Claiming peace in the midst of the mess, with the bathroom floor unswept, the recycling still needing to be taken out, the kitchen junk drawer still taunting you every time you pass, and the daily calls to Congress still on your to-do list.

Claiming now, claiming here, with chaos both personal and political running amok, our right to exist, to love, to soften, to exhale… here, now, without waiting.

Join me, dear ones, will you?

This world awaits your softened heart, the one that, when allowed to breathe, gives birth to right action.