Embrace the Fullness of Life in 5 Steps

Written by Monique Minahan

Two days after my second miscarriage I went to my regular yoga class. My wonderful teacher, without knowing what had happened, asked how I was.

I half sighed, half laughed, almost cried, and let out a big, "O k a y."

She looked at me carefully and responded with light in her eyes, "Life is full." It was sort of a question but more of a statement. I laughed and said, "YES. Life is FULL."

Her comment is what I had come for, although I didn’t know it. I’d showed up completely empty and she called my empty full. I didn't grasp it in that moment, but in the days and weeks that followed I sat with that concept and let it sink into all the spaces that felt empty and hopeless.

It was one of those truths I already knew but preferred to embrace when it was easy, when life actually felt full. And primarily full of "good" things. When things felt devastating I didn't have a bridge to cross the gap between empty and full.

It inspired me to build that bridge. Build my bridge from empty to full because I will need to cross it many times in this life.

This does not mean ignoring the emptiness, running away from it, filling it up with superficial happy thoughts, or numbing yourself to it. It means sitting with the discomfort, pain, fear, truth, emptiness, and seeing it. Seeing how you react and interact with it. Submitting to whatever particularly raw reality you are in and inhabiting your own experiences.

1. Surrender.

Surrender to the emptiness. Enter the solitude and look around the darkness until your eyes adjust.

"The dark holds unbounded potential. If you think about it, creation and the deepest transformations happen in the dark. Ideas form in the darkness within. We heal and restore while we sleep. Babies are conceived and grow within the nurturing darkness of the womb for nine months…" - Katrina Ariel

2. Open Your Eyes.

See what's in front of you. Look around you and find the beauty in every living thing, in every human interaction, in yourself. Most likely you have two legs, you have two eyes, you have a place to sleep, and you have a mouth to speak with. Reexamine and reignite the simple magic of being alive.

3. Slow Down.

Move slowly. Deliberately. Consciously. Slow enough so that you can see the detail in the smallest movement or object. A leaf, a grain of sand, a heartbeat, a crack in the sidewalk. Taste the flavors in your food. Find the richness in your life that has nothing to do with how much you do or have.

4. Stand Up.

Dig deep inside you and fan the flame of your being, of your life. It's in every one of us, even when it seems to be just dying embers. Choose where you want to go and commit. Wobble, fall, run, crawl, rest, but keep recentering to maintain your focus.

5. Reconnect.

To the parts of you still beating, breathing, living, dreaming, growing. No one, no thing, no situation can make you happy or fill you up except you. You must find your roots, follow them through the dark, nourishing soil and up into the sunshine, growing beyond your wildest dreams.

Life is full. Full of whatever we're dealing with at this moment. Whatever we are blessed to be struggling with, to be crying about, to be jumping for joy about. It's what makes up this fragile, brief, full life. To discard, discount, disown, disguise, disapprove of any of it is not an option. There is only the diving into it, the sitting with it, the wearing it, the inhaling it, the being with it, the embracing it. There is only the taking it into our open arms and letting it fill us up.

Embrace the fullness of life.

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