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Moving Towards Yourself

Before the pandemic, I had the privilege of spending time with Amma Karunamayi, an Indian saint who is revered as an incarnation of the Divine Mother. I went out to see her on a Friday afternoon when she was offering blessings. I sat in the chapel and listened as one her attendants explained how to approach her and gave us notecards on which to write a blessing request.

Amma sat on a big chair adorned with silk cloth and flower garlands. When the time arrived, I got in line, and waited. Soon, I was ushered up before her. I handed her my card, bowed my head, folded my hands into a gesture of prayer, and leaned in close. At that moment, I was overcome with emotion and began to weep quietly. Amma put her hand on my hair and stroked my head for some time. I felt, “I am so sorry”–I was sorry for getting myself so tied up inside; I was sorry for straying so far from myself sometimes; I was sorry for how that energy in me shows up in the world as aggression. As I stayed with Amma, I felt the waves of emotion shift; I felt my legs and the rest of my body and soon I looked up, received back my blessing card and some prasad and made my way back to my seat.

I sat for some time in the back row, weeping intermittently. I felt very tender towards myself, like I was holding a little child. This inner adjustment put me back in touch with something fundamental that, until that moment, I had not realized I had forgotten. This is how it is sometimes—we get caught up in our daily activities, and move far from ourselves without realizing as much. We get going too fast—we work too hard—we get aggressive and negative—we don’t take sufficient time to reconnect with ourselves. This disconnect has ramifications for those around us; we are less present, sharper than we want to be, hurried.  The day before this event I had met a deadline that I had worked hard towards for several weeks.

How is your work/life balance these days? Are you prioritizing the time it takes to care for yourself?

What are the signs in your life that you are moving away from yourself—away from center—and tied up in excessive busyness?

What simple act could you take today to move towards yourself in a meaningful way?

Sending Love your Way, Shannon


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