As I focus on the glimmers of the sun making their way through the fluffy clouds, I hear you whisper, “I’m always here for you. I’m always here.”
And you are.
You help me notice the beauty in nature
and the pain
I can see the beauty in the pain of my grief, because you remind me
How big my love is
You allow me to relish the warmth and kisses of the sun and acknowledge mother earth’s unconditional kindness in this moment.
Just this moment is what you offer
Presence and attention.
The gift of attunement.
Practicing being non-judgmental
My steps on the ground
I feel grounded and supported by the earth cradling my feet
And in the difficult and painful moments
You help me notice sensations in the dark
My throat closing in because
Of something unsaid
Something dying to be said and honored
And I hold.
I hold these emotions and sensations
With the tenderness and attention they deserve
Sometimes they tell me what needs importance
Sometimes they revisit experiences of the past
Sometimes they are a call to action
Asking, begging to wake up, speak up and act
You give me time and space to gently cradle them with love
Like how I hold a scared baby kitten who is lost from its mama
Or like the embracing of a child who needs the comforting
“Sana, sana colita de rana” the tender Spanish “There, there”
Acknowledging the presence of the pain in safety
And when I make my coffee, you help me observe
The scent that transports me to a time and space
Where my people harvested coffee and boiled the water
on outdoor clay stoves
simply noticing the fragrance and taste slows down
the morning rush
and my taste says
I love canela (cinnamon) in my coffee
And I know
The taste of café de olla is in my taste buds and DNA
Then another piece of my story floats to my heart on a giant leaf that slowly passes through the stream
I come from a long line of people who were able to find joy and presence
Even when faced with adversity, oppression, extreme poverty, violence and war
Being present in these little moments, glimmers of joy
is how you helped them get through it.
It’s how my tias and tios, primos and hermanos (aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings) prayed for better days.
It’s how when they danced, they danced with their entire body and heart
Fully present and enjoying every bit of it
It’s how they connected to their spirituality, faith, wisdom and joy.
It’s how they thrived in their resourcefulness and creativity.
It’s how my mother focused on the deliciousness of the meal
After being demeaned at work
Until one day, they spoke up for themselves and built fences around them to protect what was theirs. Their peace.
It’s how I hold my heart in stillness when it aches when another black or brown body is murdered
It’s how I breathe in and out of my belly when I notice the heat in my face, the shake in my hands, the punch in the gut when I’m not being treated with dignity.
We’ve all gotten through so much with these simple ways of noticing
Mindfulness, you help me notice
That my beloved body needs to first be tended to
So that I can reach the wise counsel within me
And keep going. Noticing pain and joy in the same moment.
Speaking up even when I’m afraid.
And that gentle whisper, “I’m always here for you”
Is my voice. My wisdom. My intuition.
Here, now and forever.