The Coffee Contemplations : Vol. IX – Open Hands

I’m guilty of clenching my fists.


Physically and emotionally, I sometimes squeeze tight fists around things I fear will fall apart; fall away. As if I can make myself strong enough to hold onto ideas and emotions that always fall through my fingers and leave dusty remnants on the webs of my hands – a dry reminder of what was. I only assume this is a human experience. What I’m here to talk about today is not a commentary on people in my life. It’s not a judgement of anything come to pass or an examination of something I assume is amiss. This is not a projection. It’s simply an observation of the experience of desire and bidding as it is. A look at opening up my hands. I’m sharing this because you might know something about it.

Since moving to the bay, I’ve been on fire. If you know me, you may have noticed. I’m making a new move everyday; hustling. The Daana Days, teaching class and private clients & lessons, other community events... it’s serious. Moving forward like a freight train, like some kind of warrior and while I do think that in a lot of ways, I’m exactly those two things, sometimes, it perpetuates a habit of moving so fast, I can’t keep up with my own chaos. I get submerged in a warm bath of doing and become forgetful, lost, and at times, sad in sensations of incomplete. What’s more, I get tired. I know how capable I am. I know I can do all these things. That I can make this happen or bring these ideas into action and reality, so I do. Generally speaking, they’re in support of others – to bring love and light into the lives of  those I meet. I do it because it’s my dharma. I do it because I do.

And then something happens and I’m reminded of the impermanence of all these things. When I start contemplating the safety of some kind of forever, I’m shown there is no such thing. The gift of waking up is seeing nothing is forever, the sadness in waking up is knowing nothing is forever. What’s hardest here is my tight tiny fists. Instead of expressing my grief and sharing my sadness at the loss of some possibility of love and some semblance of forever, I tighten my grip, pound my fists on the future, and muscle through. In this fight for softness, I’m becoming hardened. As if the harder I fight, the softer I could become. As if, by virtue of sheer strength, I could change it. In moments when I feel the weight of my own strength, I ask what I’m doing to keep support just out of reach. Why the impermanence has to be so evident, so frequent. I start asking for permission to slow down. To take a night off. I’m in search of someone to not see my weaknesses, but to see my strength worthy of support. To allow me to be soft and let me lean.

I don’t say “help me”.  I don’t say “take me with you”.

I say “I’ll Help”. I say “Come with me”.

When I stop, I recognize I have a desire is to find someone to take me along with them. To bid as hard as I do by telling me what to do. To live in a way I’d like to with someone who already is. To not have to get there alone. To lean in and have my bids met. To unclench my fists and stop fighting for my softness with hard pounding, but by just being soft.

Maybe you know about this feeling. About crescent moon indentations on the palms of your hands. Maybe you know about fighting hard to be soft.

If so, know you are not alone.

I see you.




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