For the 11th week of the Mother-Daughter Way, we are nurturing a blessed autonomy. In this photograph, my grandmother reads her memoir and shares her vision of more than 90 years on this planet. She was sure that the world outside of her small apartment would receive her words, and that they would live on. It was a lesson she showed me, and I love passing it on to you this week. She knew she was the author of her life story.
To nurture your blessed autonomy, this week’s body/mind focus is a walking meditation. Yes, go outside and take a walk — daily, for 5 minutes, or more. Observe the difference in the way you feel outside, alone, walking. Are your arms swinging at your side? What does the air feel like on your face? What do you smell? For the final two weeks of this journey, you are charged to pay attention to energetic balance throughout your body. Note the colors that appeal to you, the ways your body may wish to move, or be still. As you become more aware of what your body needs, and how good it feels to be self-contained, in balance, and present, you will also notice cravings for the solution when you are out of balance. In place of addictive or negative behaviors or thoughts, you have opened a door to healing practices and ideas. A body in balance seeks to remain in balance.
This week, consider yourself complete. You are whole, virtuous, full, enough, OK, ready, at ease. Now look around you and ask yourself if your environment supports this wonderfulness that is you. Designate an area or room as your sacred space to write your pages, and bless it with things that bring you joy and reinforce your sense of aliveness. Find a favorite photo, scarf, rock, candle, vase, or anything that lifts your spirit upon sight, smell, or touch. Perhaps you have a favorite CD or a small fountain that can create soothing sounds when you are in this space.
This week’s Exercise is to write and mail yourself a fan letter from your mother or daughter, in which you applaud you and all the wonderful ways you are. Write this from your center, your sense of gloriousness, and don’t hold back. Give yourself a standing ovation! If you have a hard time writing this down at first, just get up and walk around the room and tell yourself what you wish you could hear from others who know you well. This doesn’t have to be a long letter, but it must be at least a page of happiness. A page of glory. Dear YOU: I have been meaning, for some time, to tell you how much I appreciate you. Go into some detail about traits you admire, actions you are grateful for, fun memories you have of ways YOU pitched in and lightened up the load long ago, or recently. Admire away! Tell yourself how much you believe in YOU and how exciting it is to watch you do x (whatever project is on your heart). Now write the letter! When you’re finished, sign it from your mother or daughter, and put a stamp on it. OK. Now mail it to yourself.
May you feel complete and free this week, knowing that you are the author of your life story.
PS: Here’s a favorite photograph, circa 1920, of Margery at the outset of her life. My very first blog post was inspired by a visit to Long Island Sound in 2009, spurring a return in 2011, when Paul took my photo in Margery’s landscape.