And now for a more personal post...
My friends started the Baby Picture Project in an attempt to help us all reconnect with our true and original selves--the one we uncover in Feldenkrais when we learn to sense and feel ourselves more intimately and peel back the layers of our masks. By acknowledging this Self and sharing it with the world, we begin to live with a little more authenticity and vulnerability.
So here is my baby picture. I feel vulnerable sharing this photo with you and it brings up such deep emotion in me that I was brought to tears.
I've chosen this photo of my dad and me because of the primacy of our relationship. He was my primary caregiver as a child, making that one of the first, most intimate, and most influential of my childhood relationships. That relationship, then, is where I first learned love--where unconditional love was first shared with me.
My father is holding me in his arms and looking at me in a way that says, "You're perfect exactly how you are. Everything you do and everything you are is amazing." I see in my own face a wide-eyed wonder, fully accepting of his love and his wholehearted faith in me.
That kind of love is transformative and life-giving, and the ability to fully receive love is one of the profound gifts of childhood innocence. Love of that kind is fundamental to human growth and learning. To be rooted in that kind of unconditional acceptance and adoration allows for infinite potential--room to play, explore, be curious, and learn. And from that love that exists between two people grows an ever-present cosmic Love that permeates throughout everything and connects all life.
It is that wide-eyed, trusting wonder and curiosity, grounded in Love and being held by the Universe exactly as I am, that fuels my life. My life-purpose is rooted in Love and reaching toward the infinite of human potential. And my dad still looks at me in that same way. So I express my immense gratitude to my father and sense within myself my trusting innocence and vulnerability and my innate curiosity and wonder.
For more on love, read "A Discourse on Love" by Ann Kreilkamp.