Welcome to the 99.
The 99 is a journey made up of individual steps…. Like steps on a pilgrimage into you.
Each episode takes 9 minutes and is designed to give you something to think about, to feel, or to do. You can take just one step, or join me for as much of the journey as you’d like.
The 99 is inspired by religion and philosophy and science, but is not just any one of those.
It might feel to you like a chance to take refuge from a hectic world. It might feel like a nudge into something deeper.
Either way – or both – this is 9 minutes just for you.
To get started, let’s take a minute to fully arrive. Here. Now.
Will you breathe with me for 2 breaths? From way down in your belly, inhale for a count of 4, hold, then exhale for 7 ready?
Inhale 2 3 4
Hold 2 3
Exhale 2 3 4 5 6 7
Today our theme is the all-knowingnature we each have within us.
In his book, Of Water and the Spirit, Malidoma Some is telling the story of his coming of age initiation among the Dagara people of Burkina Faso in West Africa. Malidoma feels young and ignorant – he feels like he is not enough – and he is caught up in trying too hard to fix his shortcomings.
He’s looking and asking and listening for what everyone else says he should do, and not paying enough attention to the wisdom he already has.
His friend and mentor finds him struggling and offers this advice.
“You are not as young as you think you are. In you I see an elder, weighed down by the energy of his ancestors, and knowing that, Fate is asking him to live as one who remembers. You cannot be who you truly are until you can put what you remember into action in your life.”
Who ARE you?
Not who do you WISHyou were.
Not who does your partner want you to be.
Have you ever met someone who seems wiser than their years? Have you ever had a gut feeling about a situation or a person that turned out to be correct?
That is a piece of the all-knowing that you carry with you.
Just like Malidoma Somé was being taught, sometimes the secrets to finding meaning aren’t found outside of you – in books or from others. Sometimes the knowing that you crave is found where you least expect.
Inside of you.
Like the sunglasses you’ve been looking for and find right on top of your head, what if the answers you need, you already have?
That’s where we are called to the work of remembering.
Sure, we can find help with that work. You might remember while you’re out in nature, feeling awe in the presence of mountains or trees or the wide-open sky. Maybe you remember every time you look in the eyes of your beloved or walk into a house of worship, or spend time with people who really GET YOU.
You know why it feels so good to be around those people? Because they help us REMEMBER who we are – like a sort of mirror.
What makes you feel fed?
What makes you feel exhausted?
Encouraged versus discouraged?
Those might be indicators- gentle reminders to remember…. Who are you? Why are you here? What is your calling in this life? Are you spending your precious time in alignment with that calling? Or fighting against it?
Your body knows. At some level inside you… you know everything you need to know. Sometimes, the key is remembering.
I offer you this gentle challenge.
To let yourself remember, spend some time checking in with yourself.
Close your eyes.
Feel your feet on the floor – wiggle your toes and notice how you’re feeling.
Hot? Cold? energized? Exhausted?
tap into what your body is telling you and just listen to it for a minute.
Until we meet again, I offer you this kindness.
May you know that you are enough. Whatever you’ve been told, you were born for a reason. Part of that reason is that you have a gift to give away that nobody else can give. No one can offer the exact gift that you can.
May you spend time remembering how to share your gift if you know what it is.
If you are always focused outward on the world and people around you, may you slow down and focus some attention inward, toward where your gift might lie hidden – or forgotten.
If you are always focused inward and feel lost, May you open your eyes to those around you, or the broad sky or water or mountains in nature that might serve as a mirror to show you a new perspective.
May you allow yourself to remember.
May you think or meditate or pray – whatever feels right – about the all-knowing being that you are.
May you wake up to what you already know.
Your gift, and that cannot become a gift until it is shared.
Let’s end our time by taking 2 breaths together once again.
We’ll breathe in for 7, hold for 3, exhale for 4.
Inhale 2 3 4 5 6 7
Hold 2 3
Exhale 2 3 4
Inhale 2 3 4 5 6 7
Hold 2 3
Exhale 2 3 4
I’ll leave you with this quote from Hillel:
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
And if I am only for myself, what am I?
And if not now, when?
Now go out into the world in peace and have courage
Hold on to what is good.
Return to no person evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted
Support the weak.
Help the suffering.
Honor all beings – including yourself.