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Self-Care Minder

Exploring Womanhood > Mind, Body & Soul > Self-Care Minder

Everyday Possibility of Choosing
by Jennifer Louden

I am taking a nap because the demons of "you aren't this" and "you aren't that" are slapping me around, tiring me out. Lying in a patch of April sunshine, grace visits. I feel myself lightening. Hope washes over me, buoyant and startling as the black tulips blooming in my garden. I think, "Everyday can be like this. I can choose this."

"I wish every day could be a Power Day," says a participant in Coming Out of Hiding, (a 12-week teleclass I just finished co-leading with Suzanne Falter-Barns). "I don't see why I can't talk this way, feel this way, stand up for myself this way, everyday."

Easter Sunday
Church. The vicar, Bill, a dad at my daughter's school, appeals to us to make Easter ordinary. "I don't mean I want to lose what is sacred about Easter but why can't every day be an Easter?" A little boy in the front row pipes up, "What about Christmas? And my birthday?" Bill declares we will have rounds: Easter, Christmas, birthday. Easter, Christmas, birthday. Each day a celebration of the best and most sacred. Each day and each person we meet along the way, lit up with possibility, lightness, joy.

My grumpy self threatens to stand up in the very crowded church and shout, "Oh right Bill. Have you ever had PMS? What sends YOU to the hidden stash of Hershey's kisses? What do you do with doubt, despair, worry? And by the way, Christmas usually makes me a bitchy whining wreck."

For a moment, I almost heed this voice. Then I turn the page and there is Wendell Berry poem "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" in the church program. It is one of my favorite poems. Here are a few favorite lines lifted from the poem.

So friends, everyday do something
that won't compute.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than
Practice resurrection.

Of course. Of course. Tears pool behind my closed eyes and I'm thankful it is time for silent prayers. I am sitting on a folding chair in a small church on a small island in the middle of an inland sea tucked in the west corner of a large land mass and the meaning of Easter is settling on me like goose down: choose hope. Choose to allow the angel in white, the lightening of white, to roll away the heavy boulder of (Dad's precarious health, bad writing week, extra five pounds, money worries) life and free myself from the tomb of my own making. And you know what? The angel in white rolls that rock away when we do something that does not compute. When, no matter how afraid, we put our heart out to someone. When no matter how tired, we peer around for the sacred in the moment. When no matter how sure, we take time to ask another question, to see things from someone else's perspective. When no matter how twitchy with grief, we unfurl.

I sit on my folding chair and the everyday possibility of choosing Easter, Christmas, birthday, power day, grace day, spins me into air.

Jennifer LoudenJennifer Louden is a best-selling author of The Woman's Comfort Book, The Comfort Queen's Guide to Life and three other titles. You can visit her popular website at ComfortQueen.com where over 600 articles about self-care, an interactive Inner Organizer, and a wonderful CQ store await you. Jennifer also works with a few clients at a time as a life coach.

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