I was feeling disappointed
for not handling a difficult situation
with more grace and skill…
Then a friend reminded me
This is a tough situation,
you’re not supposed to be graceful.
It’s messy…And that’s okay!
thankful for friends who remind me
that it’s okay to be human.
It’s okay to show up as myself.
It’s okay to make mistakes,
and even better to learn from them.
I breathe again,
renewing my commitment to relax
into this process
of just being me.
and all beings–
remember to forgive yourself
when you lose it,
when you blow it,
when you stumble,
when you trip,
when you make
a complete ass out of yourself.
we all make mistakes.
We are human.
Our blunders connect us,
and we can find the connection
precisely through that which
makes us human,
that which renders us imperfect.
We can laugh together,
we can become indignant together,
we can all fall down together,
and we can all get back up again.
Let us model self-forgiveness.
Those we care for
will trust us more
as we regain trust in ourselves.
Our children won’t make war
with one another
when they witness their parents
at peace with themselves.
being kind and patient
becomes increasingly difficult as the day wears on
and self-criticism becomes easier.
The importance of taking deep breaths is forgotten
and resentment remembered.
The positivity has flown out the window
and some monster lurks
shrieking right inside my brain.
The tired child within me
resists being responsible for so much
when all she wants is to rest.
giving you opportunities
to become a better, wiser,
more patient, more strong,
more loving, more courageous,
more responsible person,
since time immemorial…
The towns and countryside that the traveler sees through a train window do not slow down the train, nor does the train affect them. Neither disturbs the other. This is how you should see the thoughts that pass through your mind when you meditate.
–Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
This is thinking.
And then I breathe again.
I might be aware of my breath
for half of an inhalation
before another thought jumps in.
This is thinking.
And then I return my awareness
I allow my out breath
to dissolve out into space
and I allow my in-breath to arrive easily.
Maybe I can keep
my awareness on my breathing
for one or two complete cycles
and then my mind is off again
somewhere back in the past
or on a different continent altogether.
But I can sense there is something different now,
that some shift has taken place
since the first times I sat four years ago.
Now I’m not trying to get better at this.
Now I’m not trying to fix myself
or cajole or pummel my mind into submission.
This is thinking.
It’s so simple.
I don’t need to feel guilty or ashamed
for not being better than I am right now.
Finally, a place where I can be free
of my perfectionism
and my unconscious neuroses…
just sitting and breathing
and returning my attention to my breath
when my mind wanders.
I can relax into this moment.
This moment of breathing,
this moment of being human.
Every life experience
can give us what we need
and teach us what we need
But don’t get attached
to awakening a specific way.
Whenever we hold on
to our ideas of how life should be
we contract, we shrink,
we lose sight of the grandeur of existence.
Drop the ideas of right and wrong,
good and bad.
Chanting the first
fourteen yoga sutras
practicing, enjoying learning.
I decided to record myself chanting
so that my fellow teachers who are in my training
can practice and enjoy.
And then my recordings weren’t perfect–
far from it.
I would make one mistake and then delete the whole thing.
I did this for about two hours
and realizing I was exhausted,
I gave up.
But there is hope.
Tomorrow is another day.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll record a better version,
or I might have enough compassion for myself
to allow my recording to be imperfect.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll love myself a little more,
maybe I’ll allow myself to be human.