The Joy of Softening

Kim Buchwald
3 min readJan 23, 2022
Photo by Ivy Son from Pexels

I think it’s safe to say I am tired, that we are tired. Tired of COVID, tired of unrest, tired of the immensity of things outside of our control that no individual can alone amend, let alone begin to unravel. Where we are at this point in history speaks both to a collective need to hope and fight and an individual need to root back down into ourselves and what matters, so that we can still find the beauty in a world that continues to be on fire.

To that end, it’s now more than ever, I feel the need to live in my body, to soften into the life that is mine to be lived, however ordinary. It’s a privilege and a gift to be able to touch the texture of a new day, of my day, even if that day is filled with things like to-do lists and dishes.

I heard it said: there is magic in the mundane.That which through conscious awareness fills my day with a slow and steady purpose, or sensation, or love is more a part of my life than the grand adventure. It’s like the consistent hum of years together versus the novelty of first falling in love. Both are important. Both are impactful. Only one spans the majority of the time we have–here.

What am I doing here? How am I showing up here? We are born curious to the immensity of the mundane around us. Children see God more readily than we do. The magic that lies in the small things, the unimportant. The trivial exists as the background of our day, offering us a space to rest into and to play with. As adults we forget how to see it. We misremember. We worship false idols. The news and obligation become the measure of our days–but what about the sunrise?

John O’ Donahue writes in Anam Cara: “Familiarity enables us to tame, control and ultimately forget the mystery.” The mystery is all around us. The practice is to remember how to experience it.

When I soften into the coffee cup, or the roasted vegetables or the dishes, I am softening into the mystery and miracle of being alive. I am in my body, in this moment that asks of me nothing more of me than to show up day after day to what still exists as beautiful.

We are tired. I am tired, but I am learning to sink into that tiredness. I am learning to lean on and into the necessary need to soften into the small moments of what is immensely ordinary. I do this so I can find the rest I need. So I can prioritize what is important to me individually and to make space within my body and mind and spirit to fight for what is important collectively too.

What I take for granted or don’t even notice can capture my attention, can merit my care, can marry my soul to the arduous act of living. It’s not easy. It’s not the end, but I know it has to be the start.

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Kim Buchwald

Writing about the relationship we hold with ourselves. Founder of @theartofgoodenough a platform dedicated to wellness rooted in love and presence.