The Mighty "&"
The mighty ampersand is what we call a glyph with a purpose. The ampersand - the & - is the symbol for the word "and". It’s been a part of history for years, really even before it came to be known as the ampersand. Like drawing a star, this sculptural looking symbol, is carefully designed with artistic curves from one end to the other with not many starting and stopping points when you put pen to paper. Yet there is an off ramp at one point to make the sentence you are writing, the thought you are thinking, the mind shift you are experiencing, to continue on and reform time & time again.
The "&" has quite the history. It dates all the way back to the ruins of Pompeii. From there the Romans began using it to make writing quicker by combining the two letters e and t together in the Latin language. "&" was even considered the 27th letter of the alphabet in English at one point in time. How it got its name is an interesting story in itself, which I’ll allow you the pleasure to look up when some free time presents itself.
In the evolution of the "&" it now is used to show collaboration within a sentence. Collaboration is such an important word, especially when we begin to analyze our thoughts and feelings that spiral within us as spiritual beings. We are never just one thing. We are an entire universe of contracting and expanding. We are millions of breaths and movements, internal and external thoughts and feelings that move and live within all the places and spaces of being-ness. We are a bellows that draws in new information. We are raw awareness. Each bit that flows through is digested and sometimes not. We are most beautifully complex and it's no surprise that with each passing moment, and each right of passage in this life, we feel all the things. We feel happy & sad & terrified & worried & excited &... so much more all at once. & let's not get started on all the questions that stir up within the mind... How did this happen? Why me? Why now? What now? What if...? What might this mean? In an instant we are the inhale, reborn, new light, a fresh start, a shedding of old skin and just like that we touch death, the dark, endings, the exhale... & somewhere in between there is stillness, silence, nothingness. A - U - M __!
To open to what is and to what is possible, we need our super-friend, the mighty ampersand. She works within the the dust of confusion to locate & open doors & windows along with the locks & chains & walls we might encounter. Adding on the "&" throws us a rope and connects us to the other side of a situation, giving us what is required to break barriers and pull us through form one side of a troubling or confusing time to a new view of freshness or clarity. You see we are designed with both roots & wings.
Here's a practice to touch freedom and to discover something new about your infinite capacity for the mighty "&". Get settled in your skin and become aware of an area of your life/ experience that needs a little extra love and attention (that thing that doesn't easily float away on one breath). Open your arms out wide and hold them there. Imagine the "&" in the middle of your chest... perhaps it keeps time with the beating of your heart. On one arm place the conflicting thoughts, the painful feelings and fears that you are having about this experience. See them without judgement. Offer them a place to rest. On the other arm, place the uplifted feelings, the opportunities born of this struggle, the realizations, growth and hope. Let them rest. Acknowledge your capacity to hold all of it, to experience and witness all of it at once! This is your magic. This is your superpower. Who we, unconditionally just might be the mighty ampersand itself.
All the love from our hearts to yours,
Heidi & Meg