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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 picking up and moving my coaching practice from California 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.

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

Indeed, could it be that your willingness to rest in soft-eyed curiosity about the wonder of this world 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.

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

All the ways you are deeply served by this life, even without your asking.

Today, a cheer to the doe-eyed clueless parts of yourself, finding strength in your capacity to rest, not your 5-year plan.

Finding refuge in your capacity to love, not your 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, your 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.

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