Monday, November 4, 2013

Neutral Expressions

Natural Expression
     The last couple of months have been an experiment in living life at a slower pace. No longer having the desire to be everywhere at the same time. Every moment feels blessedly important, regardless of what is happening or not happening.

The mid-western autumn is as beautiful as I can ever remember it being. The trees are full and bursting with color, sometimes showing even more impressively when the backdrop of the sky is gray. The temperature fluctuates from day to day, along with my emotional reactions to the upcoming change of season.

On the colder days, you can almost see people moving into more contemplative states of being. Expressions on people's faces are becoming more neutral. Mannerly greetings on the street are being replaced with respectful silence. On the slightly warmer days, effortless grins return with the sun.

This time of year asks for our flexibility and acceptance of others, as we all adjust to change. The social expectation of smiling all the time seems to close for the season, giving our facial muscles a deserved break. I noticed this for myself on halloween, while wearing a mask for a few hours. I was struck by how relaxed my face felt behind the mask. Maybe the quieter seasons show us how to take a break from our own show.

Living in a challenging climate, there are no expectations of perfect weather, or perpetual sunshine. The phrase "it's all good," is understood as myth, probably invented by those afraid of the dark. Truth reveals that life is dynamic, changing, bright, empty, thunderous, bitter, colorful, foggy, clear, and so much more. Letting go of limiting concepts, ideas, and expectations of how things should look, we become as graceful as the twirling leaves.