Remembering to ground in my gifts

I want to learn to take up space — not space fought for in constriction, rooted in a fear of being invisible, ignored, not worthy of love. I want to learn to take up space that arises out of confidence and faith in my own song, a space that is expansive and immediate, grounded in the present moment, alive. Where I trust that who I am is enough.

Who I am is enough. How many times must I write these words before they settle in my body, cast off the demons of insufficiency, comparison, inferiority? Is it possible to arrive fully in my body, to arrive home to myself at a moment that is enough?

I unfurl slowly, like the flower that only blooms at night and tenses at the slightest touch, waiting for signs that I am safe, that I am welcome to enter my own body and speak. Sometimes I need to pause and take a breath to return home. It is a fragile process, this unfurling, the smallest hint of derision or memory of shame and I choose to say nothing at all. I choose invisibility over the dark and vulnerable places where people might see me to be unworthy, speak over me, move on. I am comforted and triggered by my own silences.

Dear one, let us venture into the darkness. What is it here that you’re most afraid of? I bring nothing of value, I have an empty basket. I have no place here. I’ll open my mouth and the words that come out are dis-embodied, meaningless, out of context. And then people will laugh and dismiss me. And I will end up alone, perceived by others as without value.

I kneel down to meet the child carrying the empty basket, standing alone in the circle. Dear one, would you like some help finding your gifts? They nod. We go to the fields, harvesting fresh broccoli, leeks with their bulbs still intact, purple turnips, even a small golden pumpkin. The vegetables fill the basket and then some, so we sit in the grass munching on fresh broccoli and celebrating the harvest that we tended all year.

Dear one, maybe we just need to venture to the fields in springtime more often. Finding the gifts that have the capacity to nourish you and others. Maybe the smell of the ocean wind will remind you of the many, many other harvests over the years — your strength and resolve in Palestine, your persistence learning to code, the ease with which you step into healing space, your fire and energy. Maybe it will allow you to release, just a little bit, the comparing mind that often imagines an empty basket.

Please remember that you don’t have to speak in every meeting to be valuable. And you don’t have to stay silent out of fear of saying the wrong thing. It is okay to ask questions, it is okay not to know, it is okay to need time and space to process before speaking. It is okay to ask for an agenda or heads up so you can be prepared. It is okay to get nervous before public speaking and to need ample space to digest new information. It is okay to be as you are.

Your basket is full and abundant, dear one. Keep reminding yourself of your gifts. Make delicious soup. Welcome spices and offerings from new friends too.

Red and yellow chard for harvest at Green Gulch Farm, spring 2018