I was sitting in meditation earlier today and it occurred to me that the self of my future won’t suffer from my current problems, because I will have outgrown them. But then I realized, I’ll have new problems. I wondered what my new problems will be when I’ve outgrown my current ones. And then I realized I’m looking forward to the different problems I’ll have when I’ve outgrown my current ones. Well…time to start growing faster! Time to start growing better! Time to start growing more intentionally, and productively and strategically and— wait, what? I can’t control how I grow? I guess I’ll just take a deep breath, and rest in gratitude for what is here now.
After all this time practicing presence, all this work appreciating possibility, all this meditation on realizing my potential, I recognize that I’m just as attached to my carefully crated reality as everyone else. When faced with the loss of everything familiar, I can’t help but panic, mourn, grieve. It’s humbling to admit after saying so many times I wanted my life to change that now all I am I doing is craving the routine.
Some part of me keeps waiting for the magic wand to be waved or some swtich to be flipped or some magical incantation uttered… and then suddenly My whole life is fixed… But I’ve been around long enough to know that life doesn’t work like this. Which is a good thing, come to think of it, because how many times have I been grateful for unanswered prayers?
Something beautiful is happening… I think it might be resilience? Stamina? Endurance? Wisdom gained from experience? But as I found myself caught in my monthly darkness today, instead of falling all the way down into the dark hole of depression and believing my life was never good and never will be good I remembered that this was a temporary darkness, and all I had to do was ride it out. I prayed. I breathed. I reassured the little girl in me who was never allowed to feel sad or angry that I saw her and loved her. It didn’t change the mood. it was still awful and dark and sad, but some part of me knew this was temporary. What can I call this? Empowerment? Evolution? Grace? That has a nice ring to it. I think I’ll call it grace.
I really don’t care about the brand of clothes you wear… I want to know what makes your heart ache and which actions you take to honor your own healing. The specific work you do doesn’t interest me as much as the mindset you bring to what you’re doing. Can you work with joy and gratitude? Can you do what needs to be done to show up as the best version of yourself, can you still get up, even if you feel like giving up? I don’t care how much you can bench press— what do you do when life puts the pressure on you? Can you breathe and expand into the challenge, knowing that adversity makes you strong? I want to see your true strength, how you respond to the inevitable challenges that life offers you to wake you up to your ultimate truth: You were born for more, much, much more.
Always in the process of becoming, always in flux, life is movement, not stagnation… so why do we yearn for safety, stability, routine? Our minds are hardwired for familiarity, comfort and ease, but our greatest potential and truest growth exist just outside of the comfort bubble. Transcending the constraints of the life we knew will feel, by definition, uncomfortable, as we leave the safety of our bubble and venture into possibility. Ask yourself who you’d rather be as you lie on your deathbed about to take your last breath: A person who took the familiar path or A person who lived an extraordinary life. The choice, dear one, is yours.
When we’ve committed to a path of transcendence, moving beyond old, outworn patterns, and stepping into a more authentic expression of our greater potential, we can expect that from time to time that things will get hard. Things will go wrong. Things will get icky and sticky. It’s Life’s way of asking Do you really mean it? On days like this, instead of trying to be a superhero, trying to be great, even trying to be good, We can just try to put one foot in front of the other. Sometimes, when we’re stuck in a swamp of old, useless thoughts or behaviors one step is really good progress.
When it all can change so quickly, when it all can be swept away without warning, what exactly can we count on? When we know that life is full of challenges, unpredictable ups and downs, sudden turns in the road and no guarantees for our happiness and success, what can we really look forward to? I’m starting to understand how our life philosophy matters, how if we can expect and embrace challenge we place ourselves in the driver’s seat… Our mindset matters. If we can make up our minds to view every life event as an opportunity, a chance to change, grow and evolve, we will have no shortage of peak moments. Today is the best day of my life. Today is the day of my amazing good fortune; no matter what happens I choose to make this so.