When I am on the elliptical for my workout I read the National Geographic. I grew up watching my Aunt Carol reading them & would often end up staring at her bookshelves, which were full of them. I was always so intrigued by the articles & the pictures. So, today I have my own subscription. I’m…a little behind…but we won’t worry about that! ;0) In the May 2019 issue I read about Exilien Cenat. “He is a bayakou, the Haitian term for laborers who empty Latrines.” I also read about Leonardo da Vinci’s “genius & brilliance.”
The author of the article about the bayakou, Andrea Bruce, had a VERY difficult time finding someone whom she could take a picture of for her story. In Haiti these individuals get rocks thrown at them despite how important their job is. It is considered a disgusting & shameful job, albeit vital to the health of their population. Often the bayakou hide what they do from their friends & family. After searching for months, she found Exilien Cenat. She writes, “He was eager for me to document his work because he rejects the idea that his profession is shameful. He is proud of what he does and wants to be respected.” Bruce goes on, “Exilien wanted people to see what he does. No one wants to be invisible.” Exilien Cenat wanted to be seen.
Leonardo da Vinci was a visionary & a seeker. He saw things that ordinary people didn’t or couldn’t. The article about da Vinci describes him & his work in sections: The Anatomist, The Scientist, The Engineer, The Inventor, The Muscian, & The Cartographer. And, of course, the artist. The Tuscan Italian landscape was his backyard as a child & Claudia Kalb, in her article about da Vinci, wrote about the geography of his childhood this way: “A patchwork of divergent terrains coming together to form a coherent whole, it reflects the connections Leonardo sought in nature: patterns that unify the cosmos.” Leonardo da Vinci seems to have really seen the details in the life & the people around him.
I think we flux between seeking & finding. Between wanting to be seen & wanting to be invisible. I have experienced the immense relief of being seen & loved anyway. Sometimes this is painfully fleeting as so much of the time I am busy “shoulding” on myself, rather than just allowing myself to be who & what I am in the moment. I have experienced the incredible joy that accompanies curiosity & questions…seeking to know more about the life unfolding around me. I think this desire to be seen & to see is fueled by our need for connection. And what I am learning is that I have to know myself to love myself. And I have to love myself in order to genuinely & authentically love others. And in the doing of that there is real connection.
Practicing: Child’s Pose
If you’re experiencing lower back pain. If you’re feeling exposed & over extended, this may be just what you need. Child’s Pose invites us to turn our focus inward on ourselves. Here the spine is in flexion (rounded forward), which can help alleviate the compression that may be causing discomfort. Come to your knees, shins, & tops of the ankles; relaxing the toes. Hinge in your hips bringing your forehead to the mat. Leave your arms generously bent on either side of your head or extend them towards the back of your mat so that your hands are near your feet. Watch for any tension in the neck. If the floor feels too far away from your forehead either put more space between the knees or bring an arm or blanket beneath the forehead or both. Allow yourself to be here for around 5 minutes.
There are SO many to choose from! …black beans, chickpeas, lentils (my personal favorite), kidney beans, edamame, split peas… The list goes on & on & on & on… :0) You get the idea. Michael Greger, MD teaches that one of the great things about beans is that they straddle the protein & vegetable groups. This is great because not only do they have loads of “protein, iron & zinc, as you might expect from other protein sources like meat, but legumes also contain nutrients that are concentrated in the vegetable kingdom, including fibre, folate, & potassium. You get the best of both worlds with beans, all the while enjoying foods that are naturally low in saturated fat & sodium & free of cholesterol.” Michael Greger, MD HOW NOT TO DIE
It’s been a life & I’ve got things to work through. Finding a therapist can be tricky, but it’s worth the hassle. Having an objective human that is professionally trained to help me sift through my reactions to life, the beliefs that do not serve me, & trauma/dysfunction from childhood is worth my time & money.
"It's like this now" - Random yoga teacher
"Pain exists to measure pleasure by." - Tibetan Proverb
"...Sorrow is a vital ingredient that shapes the heart & enriches it.
So endure sadness the best you can when its season comes.
That rain that can fall from your eye brings life to a field..." - Hafiz
May you live with ease & joy,
***When I let go of who I am, I become who I might be. Lao Tzu***