do not choose the lesser life

do you hear me.

do you hear me.

choose the life that is yours.

the life that is seducing your lungs.

that is dripping down your chin.

~Nayyirah Waheed

 

Each year I pick a theme to guide my practice and be my lighthouse.  Usually I find imagery, poems, prose and art to help install my theme into my heart, brain and body for the months to come.  I keep it close to my chest and check on it often, noticing how it comes alive in my practice.  More often than not it comes to me by way of insight from a friend, but sometimes I just trip over it. Several things collided to congeal into a theme for 2017.

Presence.  I want to taste the year.

Here’s why:

I gave my baby boy Otis his first taste of pineapple a few weeks ago.  I dearly love pineapple, and I craved it often while pregnant with him.  Almost as soon as I leaned down and offered him the sweet fruit, I looked away and checked my Facebook feed.  Probably 30 seconds went by, and I looked back at him and his eyes were glowing and sweet juice was running down his chin.  He was elated!  And I almost missed his first pineapple.  It was in the moments following that my theme emerged.  I want this year to have 100% presence, to taste my way through the year, and I don’t want to miss a thing.

Actually, a dear friend gave me this theme a few years back, but I was sifting through a heartbreak and it seemed like the equivalent of buying a diamond ring while homeless and cold.  This is a year of feeling the details instead of inventing the wheel.  I have spent the last few years carving out a home, family, career and foundation.  I have had big work and giant shifts that have resulted in a life that feels like a collection of treasures.   But so often I have spent my time collecting the life, things, people and career I want, that I have forgotten to taste the flavors of my collection.

Here’s the how to my theme.  Mostly, it involves putting away my electronics (especially my phone) unless I am consciously using it to look something up or engage.  I am committed to stop mindless scrolling and empty clicking, which I do more often than I like to admit. I want to enjoy my moments and be inside of them instead of plotting how to document and post them.

I want to spend the year looking people in the eye, being exactly where I am, and taking deep breaths inside the day instead of filling the holes with the next thing.  Whether it is Otis and pineapple, a girlfriend’s story across the table from me, or a long hot bath, I will not miss the details, textures and tastes this year.  Please, those of you who know me, hold me accountable. It’s the year of the pineapple. Stay awake and on the road.