A post by instructor Jenilee Sneed

BirdWings by Rumi
Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you’re bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
if it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting 
and expanding,
The two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings.​

That is one of my favorite poems. I think it has so much truth in it. You and your life are always changing and when you are lost in darkness, know there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. We often learn the most about ourselves and grow the most when we are in periods of change and instability. Also, the ability to shift and change often comes about more quickly when you are able to stay present with what is happening.

​It is often our natural tendency to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Some take this so far as to completely numb out during times of difficulty. However, if you are numb or disconnected it becomes incredibly difficult to move into a new state of being. It also can get to the point where you no longer feel anything at all- good or bad. You may miss opportunities or fail to see things that you can do in order to change your situation. Instead if you can accept your situation for what is it and stay present to all of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, no matter how painful, then you can learn much and in the end move into a better state of being than would have been otherwise possible.

​Sometimes the pain you are experiencing may be so deep and you may feel so stuck that you cannot find the shift on your own. Instead of running from the experience, at that point, reach out to others for support. It is much easier to find your way out of darkness with a guide whether that's a trusted friend, a spiritual or community leader, or a professional. 

Change is the one certainty we have in life. ​There will be good days and bad days. There will be days when all your dreams seem to be coming true and days when it seems like your hopes are completely dashed. You owe it to yourself to be able to experience all the days of your life, to live fully and completely. In order to fully savor the days of joy you must also be able to feel your days of grief. They are all a part of life, would you rather be living or avoiding?

More on Jenilee at: jenileesneed.com

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