The Skin I’m In

Sometimes I think I’m too thin-skinned for this world. 

That was the thought I had, as I washed the last of the dinner dishes. It wasn’t particularly tied into anything. No single incident or interaction had derailed my footing or rattled my resilience.

That’s just like me, to think something so dramatic. 

That was my next thought, after the first one, followed by the inevitable question of meaning, and then, after that, a response — we are now talking an official ping-pong match — dismissing meaning as overrated and nonexistent.

Seriously, people. It’s like that in there sometimes.

Lo and behold, I found myself — after quite the hiatus — on my old green yoga mat on the living room floor. And I don’t mean practicing yoga in any kind of asana sense. I mean child’s pose, the immediacy of breath that surrender invites, a few very gentle stretches (isn’t it silly that you’re doing this in jeans?), and something I can only call savasana-ish.

The latter lasted until Aviva called me into her room to help her pick out new bras, but amazingly, just that few minutes of of checking out — can you believe I called this checking out and not checking in? — and I felt restored enough to face life again.

Not that there was any reason per se, not to face it earlier. If I experienced anything today, it was this: Sun on face. Body on mat. My business, your business, God’s business. All of these simple but easy-to-forget things that bring me home.

Oh, and this. Yes, this brings me home. Sitting to write for a few minutes before bed.

“Create before you consume,” suggests Marie Forleo. Otherwise, as she points out, you will spend half the morning comparing yourself , the afternoon in meetings, and before you know it, a whole day will have gone by. Very true.

I think something similar is worth remembering before bed, not to create but to touch down with some kind of quiet. The fridge humming. A bowl of cereal to my left, with just enough milk in the bowl to slurp before rinsing it out, turning off the overhead light, brushing my teeth, and climbing into bed with my honey.

This afternoon, I asked Mani if I’d ever be clear of the internal sludge that life stirs up.

It feels like I’m removing it by the spoonful sometimes. I was whining.

It is possible, she responded.

It is possible, I repeated to myself, after we hung up.

And in the meantime, which is all I’ve got, I’m going to start coming home more often, to this place, this quiet night moment, and those creative morning ones, without the noise of anything but the volleys I can ignore rather than referee.

Then all that’s left is room to really feel and acknowledge whatever’s actually going on, space to listen for my own wisdom rather than flailing about as if I haven’t got any, and, if I’m lucky, a bounce in my step enough to propel me to whatever’s waiting in the wings.

It’s not about being too thin-skinned or needing to toughen up. It’s about not abandoning myself, and yes — loving the skin I’m already in.

Image ::  SAVASANA: The Art of Conscious Dying by Jeannie E. Javelosa

4 thoughts on “The Skin I’m In

  1. Lindsey Mead (@lemead) says:

    Yes. I don’t know what to say other than yes. I feel this way often. The sludge, life with too thin skin, the overwhelm, the rapid way I can come back to what matters, sometimes through unexpected ways/means (the picking out of bras). I’m so grateful to have your words out here in the ether, where they so often make me feel less alone, and accompanied in a real way. xox

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Sorensen says:

    Jena, once again you do that magic and miraculous thing of bringing me back–back to what matters, back to questions, back to the beauty despite not knowing, back to myself. I am circling around things that feel in the same orbit you describe, trying to find my way through the sludge, wanting to sink into thin-skinnedness. I love your intention to come back home, to creativity in the morning and evening, and I love the lilting words you use that nestle into me, both familiar and yet also with the gasp of ‘oh! yes!’. Thank you thank you. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person


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