September 2020
The Wild Geese
I remember vividly the first time I heard Mary Oliver’s words. I was on the ground, seated, sorting through papers. Had I not been seated I am sure that I would have fallen to my knees. Her words cut through me like a knife. I was not alone in my listening, yet could not make eye contact with the other person. Such was the shame that arose. I was stunned, felt exposed, wanted to hide away.

At some point I remember melting into the words of her poem, as well as David Whyte’s soliloquy. The shame assuaged, embarrassment waned. There I allowed myself to be held. 

What solace words can bring.
 I felt it in that moment.
We receive messages – ‘be a good girl’ ‘be a good boy’ –
without really knowing what that means.  
Unattended to, these messages, becoming core wounds. They trigger us to feel we have to walk on our knees through the desert for a hundred miles just to be deemed good in the eyes of the world, or possibly one specific person. When we hold the belief of not being enough, having to be good and feeling bad, we place unattainable expectations on ourself. This begins to guide how we live, how we inhabit the world. Defined by outside sources, this lack of sense of self leads us to experience the world left wanting. There is simply not enough, we are not enough. We give away our power, lose our voice, hide our gifts, sabotage our success. The manifestation of this wound is endless, its hold on us ravenous. We succumb to the consistent patterns that pull at us. We forget our place in the family of things. That forgetting creates an unstable foundation. We try to hold steady, but the precarious ground gives way, like sand sifting beneath our feet. 

The truth is the fight to ‘be good’ in the world is one that many of us grapple with, working hard, trying to will our way out of the prison of our limiting beliefs. The subtleties of our woundedness can throw us off balance in a matter of moments. No matter how much we achieve, we are continually falling short having to prove our place again and again. No matter how many people tell us they love us, we doubt that love. No matter how much we have, it is never enough to fill the emptiness inside. The insatiable desire creates a world that feels unsafe, a world that is threatening. The barrenness of the desert is felt heavy in our hearts. 

No matter whose voice brought these messages into our world, they remain held in our cells. To hear something new, words that rip apart the fallacies held as truth, can be completely liberating, can lead us to a path of healing. Words such as: We are in this together. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, there is hope. Words such as: Your pain is my pain. I too have suffered, felt lost, judged myself, experienced a sense of lack of self. Words such as:  I too yearn for love. I too desire connection. Words that remind us, no matter how distant we are from Self, there is a path home, a joining back into the family of things, a remembrance of our own voice. That revelation becomes paramount for our healing. The message of hope, of connection, of being enough, melts the heaviness in our heart, solidifies the ground of our belonging.
The journey home begins there. A consistent, diligent practice to remember who we truly are. A patience to stay on the path of our healing, to remember we do not have to be good. There as new messages arise, our mistakes become less flagrant, compassion for our wholeness grows, our sense of self begins to come from within. Our woundedness slowly takes a new shape. A shape where we feel, know and experience ourselves as enough. 
We moved into our new home in the Spring. In the middle of COVID. Imagine my delight to receive the gift of the wild geese at Mudita's door. Mom, dad, three babies – gathering, glancing, exploring around our new space, our new home! To get to watch them grow, to observe the familia brought me much joy! The geese caring for the young, keeping them safe, leading, guiding, reminding them daily, you are enough. Reminding me daily, I am enough.  
I heard this was an anomaly. That in all the years past, the geese had not had their babies here. I am taking it as a sign! A blessing beyond blessings, their beauty and power here to inspire us. 

I looked for them every day, at my own arrival at the studio door. If they were not there, there were markings that they had been! I would arrive with my fears, my questioning sense of ‘am I good enough’, my COVID despair.
Their arrival, their sound, high in the clean blue air, would bring solace to my soul. Sensing their presence would support me to open the door with a sense of courage rather than a heaviness, with wonder and awe toward all the possibilities before us. 

Though the geese have moved on, their essence remains. 
They leave us with a foundational reminder that we are not alone.
We find ourselves now welcoming Fall! Two seasons past. Entering into a time of balance, a season of magic, of abundance, of daily surrender. 

The invitation here is to enter this season with the foundational reminder of the Wild Geese,

to come as you are, let the soft animal of your body lead you home. To know that you do not have to be good, you already are enough. To take your place among the family of things,
and again and again,
to be JOY!  

Carrie Coppola | Mudita - Be Joy Yoga | 801.699.3627 | bejoyyoga.com