Since summer, I’ve been overwhelmed. Moving through life as a single mother, stabilizing my financial landscape after a treacherous decade leading my family through nine moves, a divorce and brain surgery, all the while feeling brilliant ideas stream through me like a waterfall during a storm…
Intensity, to put it mildly.
Too many things to do. Too much, too much, too much. Overwhelm. I ask, How can I escape this battle happening inside of me…
I wonder where simplicity lives. My body reminds me that days are better when we start off with a hike.
Morning comes. I hike up steep hills, letting my thighs revel in the blood that moves through them, letting my eyes be massaged by the grace of morning light on rolling hills.
I feel relieved, then the storm comes again. I empathize with suicide. It’s not for me in this life, yet I feel like I get it. This human thing is literally insane. And it’s not just the war in Israel and Palestine--
It’s the war inside each one of us, including me and you.
So again, I hike. I watch the fog lay God’s breath along the curves of Mama’s body. I see serenity. I keep climbing. My heart rate stabilizes. I feel calmer.
I see other people walking up the hills and I imagine they are doing the same work. Feeling overwhelmed, wondering where peace really lives.
A flock of small birds lands to rest atop an untrimmed oak tree. They seem to have answers. They rest. They choose peace. Not tomorrow, not overseas, but here in this moment. The only one there is.
Oops. It hits me for the 10,000th time. I forgot that Now is the only moment.
I forgot that the only place I can be is here, and I can only do one thing at a time.
I remember the sticker on my bicycle that I’ve had for 20 years: Begin within.
I remember wise ones saying, “Peace begins within.”
This morning, a friend called from Vermont and shared about how her meditation practice is reminding her that the way she does anything is the way she does everything — that every single choice she makes has a ripple effect into the vastness of everything.
And so as I climb this hill, admiring fog, I remind myself that peace begins with me.
If I don’t want war overseas, I need to calm the war within.
May these words invite you to join me.
P. S. I’m taking a leap! After all, we live in an economy.
“Great writing is valuable and deserves to be rewarded with money,” wrote Substack.
Not everyone enjoys my writing; all art is for some, not for all. Many of you have shared gorgeous words about how my writing serves you. Thank you.
Last week, I turned up the volume in response to the passion streaming through me. Every single day, I get pierced as a “channel for Love” with writing titles and topics that want to be shared as gestures of Love for humanity.
To support myself, I am now inviting readers to become paid subscribers — $8/month, $80/year or, you can join as a Founding Member of this “launch” moment, and pitch in more to help me leap from solid ground.
I’ll continue to share all my writing every month with all subscribers. Being a paid subscriber helps to encourage me and support me, my children and my vision for a Love-based world.
For today, that’s a wrap — in a fog-kissed, gluten free tortilla, of course.
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, was born with a divine pen in her pelvis. She is a lifelong letter writer, a thought leader in Love, and she writes memoirs. This blog is devoted to her greatest passion: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.