When you’ve tried harder, and still harder
And those illusory places you grasp for
The should be like this and the must get to there
Leave you dry and dying
A burnt out hot mess
Then maybe it’s time to try softer.
Gently finding yourself
In the it is like this and I am here now
Feeling the softening of your belly
Surrendering to this love that gravity has for you
Dancing from moment to moment
without forcing the bud
I’ve been contemplating “Try Softer” for some months now. I first found the term the book “Zen in the Martial Arts” by Joe Hyams and I’ll paraphrase here the parable he quotes and much resembles a similar story found in many Buddhist teachings:
“What do you wish to know?” the Teacher asks.
“How long until I reach enlightenment?”
“And if I try twice as hard?”
“How is it that each time I say I will try harder, you tell me that it will take longer?”
“The answer is clear. When the one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the Way.”
It also met me in the writings of Audre Lorde (“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”) drawing up strength and meeting places of power in the depths of our body’s wisdom, in the poetry of feeling that expresses as we move and dance from that place — the very opposite of the clamp down that requires us a hard lot of trying to maintain.
So the invitation with this dance is to gently drop any ideas of what your dance should look like. Soften into this moment, feeling and moving with everything that is moving through you, with no destination. Just keep moving at whatever pace your body needs in this moment — from glacially slow to the speed of light — and being with that movement, deeply listening to your body as it guides your dance.
With Love, Jolene