One of my favorite songs growing up was Hands by Jewel.
As I child and teenager, I found the words of the chorus:
My hands are small, I know,
But they're not yours they are my own
But they're not yours they are my own
And I am never broken
centering and a grounding reminder that size and age do not define worth. Much can be contributed to the Earth, to the Universe truly by hands that are small in size, but great in love. I want to tell you about someone, my great grandfather. He was a farmer who worked his fields until he was 95 years old if my memory holds correct. The fruits of the Earth came to life under the care of his hands and labor. Pumpkins, raspberries, tomatoes, squash, green beans, corn, apples in the orchard and more… years of tilling the Earth, of working the grounds to grow fruits and vegetables, left his hands so callused that when he went to get fingerprinted for a gun license there were no fingerprints left to capture. I remember thinking that to be comparable to a superpower when I was young – having no fingerprints. We would joke that he could get away with robbing a bank seeing as how he had no fingerprints on record and could not actually be fingerprinted.
Now, you have to know Gramp to find this as amusing as we did. Even in the early 2000’s Gramp still sold his produce on the honor system – a simple wooden box nailed to a table stood outside near his home where the picked produce sat lined up and ready for purchase. Gramp trusted those in his community and felt no need to complicate a system that had worked for him throughout the years. He was a simple man in a way, never traveled much, enjoyed his routine, and worked hard. He was a man of great and deep love – so simple is not actually what he was at all. I will never forget his hands or his cheeks. His hands they fascinated me, no fingerprints, rough from the Earth, strong and comforting. Gramp’s hands symbolized (and still do symbolize) what great love looks and feels like to me. True, deep love is not without its wounds, it is wrapped up in layers, and it changes us, as working the Earth with love for years literally changed the structure of his skin. And then there were his cheeks, to me they felt rough like sand paper, but boy did Gramp love his hello and good bye kisses. I did too, but I did not love the way his sandpaper skin felt on my lips. It was rough, scratchy and carried the truth of his age. His age was not a reality I wanted to face, but it had to be faced when he passed on. Gramp is no longer here as a physical being, but his Soul is – I feel it, him, journeying with me, especially when I continue in the direction of love.
Take a moment… look at your hands, they are so powerful – through them, you can express love or pain to another. Through them, our hands, we can transfer energy and effect change. What story do you want your hands to be tell? Now, run your fingers along the palm of your hand. Feel the love that you are and can be for others. When I would listen to the words of Jewel, I would find great strength in the truth that my hands are just that – mine, My hands are small I know, but they’re not yours, they are my own, they are my tool through which I can express love, transfer energy and effect change. Jewel continues singing – And I am never broken … and I would feel that I could stand a bit taller, breathe a little easier. I certainly felt broken at times, as I know many others have, but I am not; you are not, broken. Now, place palm upon palm and bring your hands to your heart center, allowing your thumbs to gently rest on your heart center. Steady - the heart beats; in stillness you feel it move through your thumbs and into your hands. Tools of great love, your hands tell your beautiful story of strength and resilience, love and sorrow. Even in the space of pain, I find that I am whole and never broken. Some of my most cherished moments with others are spent in peaceful silence, hand in hand – so much being communicated without the need for words spoken – so much being felt, such tremendous, judgment free love and acceptance.
The song Hands begins with the words:
If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we're all ok
And not to worry because worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I will not be made useless
I won't be idled with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear
And now it is these words, I won’t be idled with despair … For light does the darkness most fear, that catch my attention and speak to my Soul. With my hands and the Love that I am – I am and can continue to be the light that does the darkness most fear. By choosing to be the deepest expression of love that I am for the world, and myself I too have a superpower (as do we all) residing within me that may be expressed through the work of my hands. These words come to life through my fingers moving over the keyboard, in classes I teach I am able to support a student through the asana practice with grounding touch and connected breath, a child may be comforted with a hug or a rub on the back, as can an adult. The work that the Universe calls us to do may come to be through loving presence and the use of our hands as tools by which to transmit the powerful love that we are.
Tuning into the chaos unfolding all over the world can be overwhelming and leave one feeling hopeless in the desire to effect change and stay connected to the truth that light does the darkness most fear. I know it can be for me at times. From the unrest in global politics, to the fires that are reducing neighborhoods in California to ash, to the hurricanes, floods, and wars that ravage on in other countries, to the slave trade that is still alive today, to our sisters and brothers living impoverished, without healthcare, in need of nourishment, love and a helping hand. It can certainly all come to feel like too much. But, I have to know what I believe to be truth. Love yourself, for you are love. Nourish your Soul and use the love that you are, as a driving force in your life, effecting the waters that surround you, sending waves of love out into your home, community, county, state, country, and the world. Together, we can create waves of love that darkness cannot permeate.
In Peace, Love and Light always, namaste.
A spiritual being on a physical journey, striving to make a positive impact on this world through my actions and loving intention. I believe that we are all capable of greatness, it is how we channel this great energy that matters... I choose to express it in the name of -- peace and love.