The jacaranda trees are in bloom, the landscape sprinkled with its almost indescribable purplish blue flower. It's one of the most beautiful sights in Los Angeles this time of year.
I saw several on a recent walk.
I stole a few moments underneath one of them, lying on the grass as discarded petals cascaded down on me. It felt a bit clandestine because I was lying on someone's front lawn. But, I didn't care.
It was delicious and cool and the sweet aroma took me back to another time.
My body sank into the ground and I was completely present with that tree. It was a reminder of how nurturing and grounding nature is. It gave me a glimpse into the invisible matrix that connects everything and everyone since the beginning of time, across nations and through our ancestral lives.
With Memorial Day upon us, when we remember and honor those who have passed before us, it conjures memories of those and their histories, victories and tragedies, rights and wrongs, acceptances and denials, and how they intertwine with our own senses of self. At times, it's their voices we hear in times of triumph, strife or decision. How many times do you wonder about what another would say or think before doing something?
I thought about this while under that tree, in that instant when I was sublimely myself. No deadlines, no internal or external expectations, no judgments, no rules.
It got me thinking about making another meaning of Memorial Day, and every day for that matter.
With, truly, the most important person to honor and remember is yourself. Remembering who you really are, at your core. Not who someone expected, or told, you to be. Not who society or the environment in which you were raised told you to be. Not the someone whom you admire or wish to emulate.
Hmmm. So, who does that leave? You strip away all of those expectations and you're left with one of the eternal questions.
Who am I? Or more to the point, who is the real me?
A few thoughts to ponder:
When do you feel most present? What are you engaging in? What are you feeling in that moment? Not what are you thinking, what are you feeling?
When you hear the voices in your own head, get quiet. Take a few moments, without judgment, to identify the voices. Sometimes the voices will be masked in fear, self-criticism and ego. They make you feel bad, and out of your body. Or following them won't feel authentic, like it's not really you. The one that is truly yours and yours alone will smack of wisdom, truth and courage.
Your own voice, your God voice, is weighted with the intentions of your highest good. That voice makes you feel grounded and present. Still and exuberant at the same time. Limitless.
I'm not saying that we don't learn from another's experiences and wisdom. We absolutely do. But, it's when we don't eventually listen to our own wisdom, from our heart, when formulating our lives that we lose our authenticity, our true self.
Remembering who you are is also honoring the parts of you that have healed, memories that you've reconciled and lessons you have learned. Shed those skins so that you can continue to advance toward true self. And, watch as they continue to occur. Tiny little deaths every day.
If you pay attention, you can feel the constant endings and beginnings.
At the end of the day, leading with your heart and allowing your heart to guide you will take you back to who you are. Every time.
How are you going to remember and honor the real you today?