How to Empty

How to Empty January 15, 2024

This is how it happens. Everything runs smoothly till suddenly the body, like a car, overheats. It coughs and creaks. It won’t start in the rain. For me, my stomach was unable to process all I swallowed, and one day it stopped working like a backed-up sink. One too many bites and the pain was unbearable. After a week of tests, I was at the store picking up cottage cheese when I realized I had to keep living. I put on James Taylor. As he sang, I started to cry. Under the song, my heart was widening. When I got home, you called and I broke down. Though now I understand I was emptying myself of all that didn’t matter. We start out wanting everything, never imagining how much everything weighs. Then we can’t swallow things that eat at our gut. We call this integrity. Then one by one, we’re forced to put things down in order to go on. Like a bird dropping food three times its size in order to fly.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a recent circumstance when things began to run roughly. What did you need to put down in order to smoothing things out? What did you learn from this?

This is from my book, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky.

Happy New Year! Mark will be guiding some special journeys in 2024 and we’re glad to share all the links here as a reminder:

Falling Down and Getting Up, a Mastery Week at the Modern Elder Academy in Baja, Mexico, Feb 5-10, 2024 

The Gift of Deepening and the Radiance in All Things, a weeklong retreat on a river cruise in France hosted by Global Journeys, May 18-24, 2024.

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone: The Power of Friendship, a Mastery Week at the Modern Elder Academy in Santa Fe, Mexico, Sept 16-21, 2024.  

Saying Yes to Life: The One Life We’re Given, a weeklong retreat in Costa Rica, hosted by Global Journeys, Dec 8-14, 2024.

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