Monday, April 9, 2012


The word of the week is tapas. Ironically this was chosen a bit lazily, as it was on the back of the card with last week's word. Tapas is variously translated as fire, heat, burning enthusiasm. Something I have been lacking lately, so I decided it was the right word.

Well, not so much lacking as I have been overwhelmed, running from one thing to the next, constantly, not having enough time to simply sit and be. In some ways this flurry of activity is good, because it keeps me from thinking too much about those things that I can't change, or don't yet know how to change. But feeling tired and overwhelmed is not good.

And so in the midst of a week when I was supposed to be thinking about burning enthusiasm, I skipped those things that I supposedly feel the most enthusiasm for -- dance and yoga -- and sat at home weeding the peonies.

Which, as it turns out, is another thing for which I have burning enthusiasm.

What I've learned about tapas this week is that it's not just doing things with enthusiasm -- it's finding the things for which I have the most enthusiasm, and making sure I do those things as well as the things which I "have to do" (like work, and clean the bathroom -- both things that bring benefits that I want to experience, but not things I would define as "enjoyable").

That brings me back to a poem by David Whyte I first heard in a movement workshop at Kripalu. The poem ends

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

Remembering this every day, with every choice I make about how to spend my moments.

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