Letting your longings breathe

I’ve been longing to create a little garden paradise on the West-facing balcony where I’m currently living. I imagine an enchanted place where I could drink my morning coffee, write, think and create, while I soak in the potency of the San Gabriel mountains behind my house.

But I put it off, for many reasons…I was just about to leave on a trip. I was too tired to drag 40 lbs. of potting soil up the stairs of the garage and through the master bedroom. I don’t know how to create the beautiful space I want to create.

Months went by and my longings were left hanging. Un met. Buried deep in my heart and belly.

I’d look at the sparsely furnished balcony that held the promise of creativity, and then I’d feel a heaviness overtake me, so I’d shut the door, and shut down my longing in the process.

Excuses. Feeling I’m not capable or creative enough. Overwhelm. They can smother my longings in an instant. And the damage? Life starts to look gray, dull, mundane. Lacking in inspiration. Lonely. Quite the opposite of the beautiful garden space I wish to create.

The thing about longings is they hold a connection to our future. To how we wish for life to open up. And they don’t care about the excuses. They want to breathe and move.

You may long for creativity, adventure, connection, inspiration, sweetness, joy, love, ease. And all of this sounds wonderful, no? But when there’s not a clear and immediate path to lead you there, what happens then? I know what I do…I shut the door on what feels out of my reach and go to my To-do list.

But the longings are STILL there. We can’t fool our hearts. We want what we want.

So, are you willing  to open up your longings, and gave them the space to breathe and move? To take risks in order to  feel your heart fully, even if there’s no guarantee?

Your longings can be met in unexpected ways, and take many different shapes, when you give them space to breathe and move.

Yesterday, I finally did just that. The lack of inspiration had become too much for me. So I practiced longing, until what I wanted became stronger than the excuses. I then hopped in my car, zipped around to some local nurseries and Home Depot, and came back with a 10-inch bucket of succulents, an Indian blue pot to plant them in and a red and gold-flowered West Indian Lantana plant. All the colors in the outdoor carpet I’d bought a while back.

I started to create my enchanted space.

And this morning, I went out to my little balcony, smiled at the beauty, said hello to the mountains and began to write and create again.


PRACTICE: Moving your longings

  • For 10 minutes, write down what you long for. Don’t censor yourself, just write. Be wild, simple, shy, fierce, unreasonable, emotional. And continue to write.
  • After 10 minutes, put aside your writing. Notice if there are areas in your body that became stiff or contracted. Tighten them a bit more for 30 seconds. Then breathe and let go.
  • Continue the breathing and letting go, and begin to move (playlist below – first 4 songs are great for this). Move whatever wishes to move – your head, face, shoulders, back, fingers, toes. Move to gain space, breathe and energy. Move to become free.
  • Then give yourself time to remember what you long for, breathe and be.

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