“remember. just as you cannot fight the darkness, so you cannot fight unconsciousness.”
– eckhart tolle
i just spent sixteen days
“par a moi-meme”
it has been an experience of a lifetime.
this city is one of humanity’s rare treasures,
a man-made wonder of the world.
even the mundane here is beautiful.
everything is old.
older than any of us.
it feels sacred,
there is a direct connection
in every bit of architecture
(and every cobblestone)
to those who lived
and loved, and ruled, and wondered,
hundreds of years
before we were even
i think because of this
it is easier to get in touch
with mortality here
and in doing so,
to one another.
i sat inside a tea shop called laduree
in the rive gauche yesterday
and watched people
walk past the window.
with sweet and bitter tenderness,
how temporary we are.
that while all of the buildings that surrounded us
existed one hundred years ago,
these human bodies
and while the buildings will still exist
one hundred years from now,
these human bodies
and so this fleeting moment that i am on the earth
became a shared experience,
and in this vulnerable way,
i felt connected to everyone else.
none of us
none of us
none of us
will outlive paris.
the sun was shining
on all of the moving people in the street.
bodies, fragile, containing brilliance.
moving. toward what?
purpose, i supposed.
but then i didn’t know for sure,
and so i asked for the check.
in the past two weeks i have lingered at
place des vosges
jardin du luxembourg
musee des lettres et manuscrits
shakespeare & co
canal st martin
l’il de saint louis
la tour eiffel
(and so many other parisian streets, yoga studios, cafes & shops)
the true beauty of this time, though, has been the space.
space to practice,
i have thought
about this project
(moving into light)
i have thought about the millions of women and men
who have experienced abuse and violence,
and how powerful their stories are.
and i realized that
there is something
than our stories.
yes, there is. there absolutely is.
what is it?
it is our presence.
cultivating the ability to be here, now, in our bodies, with our feelings, with our mind,
and then sharing our presence with one another
is more powerful
than any story
will ever be.
have you ever been around a person who is really present, clean and clear? have you noticed how this quality feels contagious? how just by being in the same room you begin to feel lighter, better, and more in touch with your true self?
we all have the ability to inspire each other,
and enlighten each other,
in this way.
by practicing presence, ourselves, we help light the whole world!
one of my goals for this project is to inspire change
(even a little)
so that ultimately
we can find the end
to abusive behavior and violence
in our world,
in this lifetime.
i don’t even really know what that will look like,
but i believe we can do it.
i mean otherwise,
what the heck
*are* we doing?
it’s huge. i know.
what i am hoping for,
what we are all hoping for really,
and i kind of suspect that this kind of change can only happen
with seven billion individual enlightenments.
here’s the thing:
we can't shock seven billion people into awareness
with trauma stories,
no matter how true and powerful they are.
oh, don’t get me wrong.
i think our stories are important need to be told, and heard.
i mightily applaud and deeply bow to all of the
women and men who so courageously share their stories with the world.
they are necessary, brave, informative catalysts.
at the same time,
i don’t think everyone needs
to go public with their trauma story
in order to experience
healing and transformation,
and in order
to help inspire change.
one (trustworthy) set of ears
can be enough to propel us on our path toward light.
my big question is not so much "what are all the stories?"
but more, "what do we do next?"
and i don’t really know the answer.
today i leave paris and go to london,
where i have a date with a brave and eloquent writer
who also experienced and survived an abusive relationship,
and is now finding her way forward, moving into light.
i feel excited
and a little nervous in a good way
to meet her,
and hopefully share
i mean, all we can really do is show up and bring our light. right?
we change the world.
not by fighting our darkness. but by sharing our light.
merci beaucoup, paris!