Is it Possible that the World is Only Asking this One Thing of You?

by | Jun 5, 2022 | Anxiety, Highly Sensitive Person | 26 comments

At the intersection of global pain, midlife, children not so little anymore, work and marriage and friendship in more flow than blockage (for which I’m endlessly grateful), I find myself drawn more to slowness, to spaciousness, to real life and local connections, to less teaching and more sharing, to less words and more silence – and even more space between words. Less prose, more poetry, more song.

I scroll through Instagram, which is becoming more like Tik-Tok, and within seconds my soul shrivels and all I hear is static. I walk more in quiet and less with something in my ear, which also allows for spontaneous meetings with neighbors and a few moments of real life connection. I sit in the garden, sometimes gardening, sometimes just sitting, trusting in the enoughness of being without having to do. Inspired by Carina Lyall’s podcast called Becoming  Nature and her interview with Rachel Corby on Plant Whispering, I take time to get to know these plants. Pea’s nature is quite different from kale and chard. How have I never known this…? How much we have forgotten…

I sit at the creek as often as possible, knowing that she needs me as much as I need her. She needs my song, my witnessing, my gratitude, my awe. The silent conversations I have with squirrels are often the highlight of my day. Sometimes I wonder as I watch them scamper along tree branches, “When is the last time someone sang to you?”

In our mad rush to climb and achieve and produce and generate, we have forgotten how to sing our song. It’s so simple, but the song and dance that are uniquely yours may be one of the things that saves this world. Not the grand song that millions of faceless people follow. The private one. The one that exists between you and the immediate world that shares your sidewalks and grass and the birds and trees you can see outside your windows.

My journal entries are more spacious as well; less about process and more about witness. The pages carry dreams, prayers, gratitude, art, and poetry. As such, what I’d like to share here this week is a simple poem that I wrote a few days ago. It’s a moment in time, a moment of slowness, of connection, of music, of gratitude, of purpose – again, not in the grand sense of “life purpose” that has become emblazoned laced with guilt into our psyches, but the pared-down simple, quiet purpose of tending to our gifts.

Perhaps the poem will spark something in you – some awareness of your goodness and that the simplicity that being fully you is all the world asks. I’d love to hear anything that arrives in the comments.

One more note: the line where I talk about the Omer reading is expanded upon in this week’s podcast Gathering Gold podcast episode on World Pain.

***

Audio version:

 

A video that my son, Asher, made:

Picking Oregano – Medium

 

In the Middle of Picking Oregano

In the middle of picking oregano

Grass beckons me to lie down

and when I do

she enfolds me as if she’s made of foam,

rising to meet each bend and curve

to receive this human form.

Piano melodies drift through open windows

as our son learns a new song,

notes like water cascading through the

stories of our lives.

And the gratitude for this one moment –

a bed of green below,

an endless blue dome above,

a bouquet of oregano in my left hand,

the sun burnishing beyond skin,

cat sidling close –

envelops me

like music

like warm spring breeze

like prayer.

The lines from yesterday’s Omer reading that Moon sister shared come back:

We must only do what we are called to do,

the things we do well,

the origin of passion.

Our only task is to tend to these domains,

not the whole world

not the places that arise from should and do not belong to me.

Water the garden of our gifts and

bring these into our aching world.

That is all.

And it is enough.

May 30th, 2022

** Music Credit: Where the Heart Is by Dan Phillipson **

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26 Comments

  1. Your thoughts remind me today, a little bit, of God calling Israel out of Egypt to celebrate Him, to be free, and to rest in Him. I’ve been reflecting on that recently. This invitation to celebration and rest. It’s still very important to us.

    Reply
  2. Wow this is quite possibly one of my favorite entries you’ve ever written. My soul needed this today. Thank you so much for sharing your gift 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you, Keri. I’m so glad it landed in a warm spot in your soul. 💕

      Reply
  3. Wow. This is beautiful Sheryl, and I can feel the stillness & spaciousness that you are referring to, coming through in your writing.
    Your words have given me a new understanding of poetry’s purpose.
    Thank you x

    Reply
    • I’m so happy to hear that, Claire – especially that you have a new understanding of poetry’s purpose! 🥰

      Reply
  4. This landed so beautifully on my heart today. Thank you. I didn’t realize how much I needed to read this. ❤️

    Reply
  5. The poem is beautiful and I have saved part of it to reflect on. I do have a quick question: I have intense feelings/reactions, through reading your blog and your book I am stepping into a deeper realm of myself. My question though is this: can we experience intrusive thoughts to “happy” feelings? I ask because I get this intense feeling quiet often and for a long time I thought it was a painful feeling, but through some work and meeting myself with compassion instead of dread when I get this feeling, I think I’m realizing I didn’t know what the feeling was at all and it is quiet possible the feeling is not painful but good and that I just don’t know how to accept that because I’ve never really experienced it so I’ve mislabeled the feeling as painful. I hope this makes sense!
    I am also on the notification list for your relationship anxiety course in September!

    Reply
    • Yes that all makes sense. Most people have a hard time accepting positive feelings, and they often feel unfamiliar and so get mislabeled as “bad” in some way. It’s great that you’re recognizing this and can now bring a different awareness to the goodness. See you in September :).

      Reply
  6. ‘…being fully you is all the world asks for.” My whole body sighed with relief at the thought that maybe, just maybe I can help the world by just embracing myself fully and sharing my passions and gifts. Your poem was so beautiful , thank you for sharing. Your blog posts and Gathering Gold podcasts are pure balms for my soul!

    Reply
    • YES, Mary. I truly believe that embracing ourselves fully and sharing our gifts is all we’re meant to do. It is a lot, and it is enough. I’m so glad the posts and podcast are balms!

      Reply
  7. Indeed. It is enough 💚

    Reply
  8. I agree with others — this is something I didn’t know I needed. Just now I woke up in the middle of my sleep, hungry, and ate an early breakfast and read/listened to this. It feels easing — even just the knowing that I’m not alone in the pain of the world causing me to wonder deeply if I’m doing enough. Thank you 🥰

    Reply
  9. Wow, your words are so touching, so full of light, sensitivity and realism. I feel so much the same as you express. More spaciousness, stillness, awareness of the world around me. I truly felt joy reading it. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Savina. I’m taking in your words, and sending back gratitude. x

      Reply
  10. Just tears :’)

    x

    Reply
  11. Thank you. <3

    Reply
  12. I juste love how everything you offer just speak directly to one’s soul. Your offerings and your writting are so nourishing. Thank you from France!

    Reply
  13. This is what I needed to read today.
    I’m drowning under my “what ifs….” (anxieties and fears)
    and my “I should haves….” (regrets and self-criticisms)
    and my “not good enoughs…” (self-harming thoughts)
    and my “I ought to be doings…” (self-imposed duties),

    instead of “thanks”
    and “here”
    and “now”
    and “joy”.

    All the plurals instead of the singular.

    Thanks, Sheryl.
    It’s so simple. We just needed the reminder.

    Reply
    • Yes so simple and so hard at the same time. Thank you for your words.

      Reply

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