Throughout your day, do you notice the space, the aura, the light that surrounds you, or do you feel small, as if you are always falling short of someone else’s expectations?
On my commute to work some mornings, I have the luxury of crossing the Dumbarton Bridge. On one particular morning, I noticed the silhouette of land and water against the morning light. In that moment, I felt a profound silence and spaciousness that I will never be able to describe with words.
What if I could always live from this place, this space where who I am can never be diminished by the disappointed look on another’s face, by the to do list that never seems end? What if I could choose to see my reflection in the eyes of those who truly understand me, in the work that has the deepest meaning for me? Who would I be?
If this concept resonates with you, what gets in the way of you fully inhabiting the space surrounding you? Maybe it’s guilt, someone in your life keeping you small, or the belief that filling the space is somehow narcissistic and will not allow you to improve those aspects of your personality you dislike.
A teacher once suggested a practice for me. In a daily gratitude email exchange with a friend, she suggested I list at least one thing that reflected my goodness. It could be a personal quality or trait, something I was proud of that day, etc. I realized my reflections weren’t so much about physical attributes or accomplishments, but about heart based connections with myself and others. This practice is especially useful when I feel like I have failed or fallen short of an expected goal. It’s like an internal rainbow that appears during or after the rain, and doesn’t require any external validation to remind me of my space, my aura, my light.
But what about the times when fear of unmet expectations (both external and internal) come pouring down on us , and it’s hard to find that rainbow? May the following guided meditation serve to remind us that we can live from a spacious heart filled with love and the remembrance of who we really are.
My wings will not be clipped by
your sharp looks of disapproval
I will soar to heights
of new understanding
where I am no longer your child
too short to measure
up to your expectations
but an eagle floating on wings
of mindfulness and compassion
in a sky where my vastness
was never in question