I listened to an interview with Mary Oliver from 2015. Krista Tippet asked about the poem, “Wild Geese,” which resonated with the world and perhaps saved lives. Oliver wryly responded that it was an exercise in end-stopped lines. That exercise motivated her poem. Hence, something big and grand came from a technique practice.
I recall an exercise from a meditation teacher. She asked yes-or-no questions about identities. Are you a daughter? Are you a teacher? Are you a Democrat/Republican? Internally, if I scream “yes” or “no,” then I’m holding too tightly (or resisting just as tightly). Her invitation was to move toward “I don’t know.”
I have a new relationship with the grocery store. Woodman’s is now a place to intentionally practice; to be aware, mindful, and kind. If you’re unfamiliar with Woodman’s, it’s a huge supermarket with towering, crammed aisles and little open space. Navigating a cart isn’t easy. This situation used to annoy me, but now I enter Woodman’s prepared to slow down.