On coming home

The title of this blog largely explains my hiatus from posting anything: I finally broke the chain and unbecame an academic. At least officially. This undoing has created quite a bit of instability in my life--financially, job-wise, and relationally. Yet when I can muster the patience and compassion to listen inwardly, I know I am coming home. Thank god for external resources that foster such listening.

Tara Brach immediately comes to mind as my central sanity safe guarder. In fact, I have listened three times to her recent talk, "Presence and Empowerment," because it so poignantly captures the consistent suffering that results when we try to control everything. She also offers guidance on how to let go.

This teaching also introduced me to the poetry of Kaveri (whom I think is family practitioner Kaveri Patel) and her powerful reframing of anxiety. Despite my numerous and varied Google searches, I could not find Kaveri's poem that Tara read. Given the profound effect this woman's words had on me during the past week, I decided to transcribe and post the poem here. May her words be useful to somebody else out there and a better researcher than I give this poet her proper due.

I have been searching for a place to call home. A place where I could always feel safe, no matter what weather system was moving through the landscape outside.

For years I have tried to find the right anecdote to anxiety, to protect myself from the future, or heal from past regret.

I am both humbled and amused at the place I return to again and again when I am lost and looking for home.

The present moment.

I can drop all the story lines to what could be or what might have been, who I should be or should have been.

Sometimes it is not so easy. Still I find some peace with the following phrase, said with utmost kindness and care to the anxiety:

Thank you for trying to help me; I am safe here now.

I remember the human brain and how it is wired for danger, stress, and negative experiences. I know the anxiety is only trying to help.