Rise and Thrive
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HAVING BOTH AND

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…Each of us a geode looking be cracked open
And to crack each other open
Over and over
I am no longer young except to those who are older
…I try to be gentle
The years crack you open enough


Alicia Jo Rabins

I spent a week in Pazcuaro, Mexico dancing. There. On the grass. In the trees, gardens, bushes, flowers, but mostly in the grass. I courted a young eucalyptus tree. I yielded completely to a new and exotic kind of tree I've never seen before. I played with the patterns on the agave leaves and was graced by the shade of a Jacaranda. I was in heaven. And I spent the week in community; cooking, cleaning, meditating, walking, talking, laughing and improvising until midnight, cuddling, dancing and being with a group of Buddhist creatives all of whom I adore. 

I mean, can you imagine a better week?

I fell in love with the locals, who smiled and encouraged me gracefully as I stumbled through my 5 measly words of Spanish. I fell in love with the town and its local artistry, craftsmanship, constant music and celebrating.

I came home feeling too blessed to stress. Except that's not what I felt. I though that's what I should have felt, I mean how could I complain after a week like that? How could I come home to my clean, safe Boulder life full of friends, family, dance and mountains and complain? How could I dare not simply be grateful and refreshed?

I came home heartbroken. I came home longing so deeply to live in Mexico, on the earth, close to the grass every single day. Aching to spend each day meditating, dancing and in full-on community. Deeply wanting to run away from crazy steel, glass, capitalism, speed, and busyness, wanting to run away from my life.

I cried. I cried a lot the first few days. I felt as if my heart was in a tug-of-war, happy to be home with my family and looking forward to seeing friends, and aching for living the dream and saying good-bye to it. Aching for the sense of freedom and belonging and sweetness I felt, and the deep deep nourishment of Mama Earth. 

Now I'm in a tender place of both and. I'm letting myself feel both and. Both the grace and gratitude of my lucky life and the grief and longing that are still very much alive. Both the privilege and unbelievably fortunate precious birth I have, and the pain of feeling separate from living somewhere that feels more like me. I'm feeling both and. My tendency is to shame or guilt myself for feeling anything but blessed, but my body has room to do both. To feel both. My body can hold longing and desire, along with contentment and joy. My movements and my dance can express my pain and wanting, and revel in what I have. With no judgment, no fixing. 

So I ask you, can your body hold both and? Can you let yourself have both?