The Circles We Draw Ourselves Into

 ( Stephanie Moors Photography )

(Stephanie Moors Photography)

By Mandy Reid

"I live my life in widening circles." -[Rilke]

At birth, we're given a circle.

It's simple.

Innocent, maybe.

But small.

We draw our circles, over and over again, because it's what fits the circumference of the girth of our understanding of life, and love, and religion, and sex, and humanity.

It is what we understand; tangible, material.

Then one day, a conversation, a question, an experience, a trauma breaks the circle; offends what we know.

Truth always offends our righteous indignation.

But, if we are wise, we let the darkness in; the feelings of discomfort, bewilderment and unknowing.

We widen our circle until it heals.

The widening evolutionism of the fibers of our soul invites everyone in until humanity is a little more whole.

If you're standing on the threshold of a circle breaking; everything you know whiplashing you into uncertainty: do not panic.

Do not panic.

Divine Love is as close as your breath; flooding your lungs with light.

You may feel like your drowning, but you're diving into something so expansive, so deep, so subversive that you will learn how to evolutionize and breathe under water. 


What The Hell Do You Want Out of Your Life?

By Mandy Reid

"I think I am going to take the winter off of my work." Silence held the air between my declaration of exasperation and defeat. My husband, wisely treading lightly around a woman undone, "are you sure that's best?"

No. It's not best. 

In times in the past, I've always considered myself a visionary: never lacking direction or determination. But recently, after a turn of events; a really big creative victory, and a really large fail, I was feeling road weary. My vision seemed to have blinders on, and all I really wanted to do was sleep. 


Maybe sleep for the winter and bypass all the shitty seasonal depression.

But not create. Not dream. Not desire.

Defeat is seductive. It laces its soft fingers around your already tired soul, and beckons you to normalcy; everyday life is busy enough- there is no time to be awake and dream.

There are carpool lanes, and kids homework projects due, and grocery shopping, and the impending holidays approaching with all that Christmas shopping. Oh, and hell- what about these Elections? My anxiety is way too high to dream right now. 

Yes, normalcy. So I can sleep.

My yoga practice should be called my "awakening practice." Yoga has this tendency to squeeze through the cracks and crannies I've neglected to seal up and seal off.  It drips through as I burn through asana and land gratefully in a final resting Savasana. 

This particular Savasana, though, the music was beckoning the rhythms of my heartbeat:

What do you want?

Divine Love saturating my breath; as close as my nose, filling my lungs.

What do you want? 

Savasana never lasts long enough. I could have used a few more minutes to process; to determine exactly why I felt such defeat and such longing to wake up. But, there were instructions to gently wiggle my fingers and toes, bring my attention back to my body, and roll to one side. 

Gently sitting up, I knew one thing; maybe not certainty, but for sure I knew something was probing my heart:


We are a superstitious people, aren't we? We are always looking for signs, and searching for directions. But sometimes, Divine Love just whispers:

What do you want? Now go ask for that.

So, I stood up. I stepped off my mat, and rolled it up. I knew what I wanted, but was to afraid to ask for it; afraid it would be the wrong direction, or that it would exhaust me, or maybe I would be misunderstood. 

Yet, this is the beauty of rolling up your mat and going and asking for what you want. It's a touch of Divine Love, that gives you just enough courage to head towards what is magnetizing your spirit; what your heart is afraid to stay awake for and desire.

Maybe this should be a daily mantra:

What the hell do I want out of my life?

Glennon Doyle Melton talks about doing the next precise thing, not necessarily the next "right" thing. Precise can be a guidepost when we are worried about what is right or wrong. For me, the next precise thing was to ask for what I wanted, followed by opening my computer and setting a timer to allow the words to pour out. 

The next precise thing will be for me to push "publish" on this post; sending it out into The Universe on a historical election day, when nothing is for sure, and we are all waiting with baited breath for the next precise thing to do. Then, I will get in my car and drive to a parent/teacher conference and as I am discussing grades, something deep and primal will be beating deep inside my spirit once again. 

What the hell do you want out of your life?

What do you want?

What can you do right now?