I’d like to get to the point where the average experience of being alive feels safe and pleasant, rather than anxiety provoking and heavy. Breathing, looking around, really seeing and feeling the truth that all is well, my peaceful life isn’t as far as my mind would have me believe.
Spirit: Time to get up and meditate. Mind: Nope. I wanna sleep in. Spirit: Time to get up and meditate. Mind (whining): But I wanna just be comfyyyyyyy. Spirit: Get up and meditate. Now. Body (silently) gets up, gets dressed, goes downstairs and meditates. Takeaway: Spirit always wins, thanks to discipline.
Your mind is always trying to fix things; don’t listen to it, it can’t see the whole picture. Your unconscious wounds are pushing you to numb out, because feeling feels unsafe; don’t numb out, we need you here, ALL of you. There’s another aspect of you, the space of awareness, bigger than your body, bigger than your mind or your wounds. It surrounds you; it holds you; it loves you and sees you always. Stay in that space. Just let yourself be held. You’ll feel and know that all truly is well.
Just when I thought all was lost, just when I felt defeated and it looked like all my efforts were in vain, Grace sweeps in and shows me that all is well, and to just keep going. When I’ve been looking through eyes that cannot see clearly, it’s time for a new way of seeing. I cannot anticipate the magic of my future looking through the lens of my past experiences. My conditioned mind screams in terror; it wants to know and understand and be in control. Grace says, “Shhhh, shhhhhh, just breathe. Get still.” When I listen to Grace, all is well. I should keep listening to Grace.
What question is burning in your heart, searing your mind, waking you up at night? Are you willing to feel the question with every fiber of your being? Are you willing to live with your yearning for an answer? Are you willing to sit with the uncertainty for as long as it takes, as many days, weeks, months, years (lifetimes) as it will take to live your way into the answer? This is the path of the heart-strong warrior. Are you willing to walk this path? I must warn you it doesn’t get easier. As your practice deepens so do the questions. At some point you’ll be holding the entire universe inside your heart asking yourself, What did I get myself into now? You’ll see that you are alone in this question with no safe place to run or hide and no one to keep you company, not even the wind.
I’m still working on simply accepting this moment. It may be a life long practice, because as I really pay attention to it, I notice that there is very little about this moment that is like anything I’ve ever experienced before. In fact, this moment is completely different from anything I’ve ever lived… and I realize that my mind that wants familiarity was just painting a picture of the routine over what I was living in reality, and calling forth routine perceptions and behaviors in response to the picture my mind has painted. Every second that ticks by is a miracle. Am I available to experience it? This moment is a huge gift. My children are changing, I am changing, the weather is changing, our circumstances are changing, everything is constantly in flux. Maybe I remove the blindfold and see that beyond the routine there is a fieild of infinite possibility. May I awaken to my true nature there.
Watching my mind to make sure I don’t allow the anxiety to take over. And I thought watching kids was hard! My mind takes more energy than a newborn infant, and worries me more than a teenager. It needs constant nourishment (at least newborns sometimes nap). At any moment it could grab the keys and drive off with no word about when it’s coming back home. I’m wondering at what point my mind will be mature enough that I won’t need to call a sitter when I want to leave it at home for a few hours so that I can have a break!
I’m curious about this tendency of my mind to fixate on negativity. I’m noticing the effects of my thinking on my body, my health, my perception. I have read and learned enough about the brain to understand we are hardwired to continually scan our environment for threats to our survival, and to see pretty much everything as a threat… it’s how our ancestors survived. But I am interested in much more than survival...much, much more. I want to thrive. I want to open fully into the light of awareness, to sing my life and dance my joy and love this place called The Universe. All of the work I’ve done, all the meditation, all the writing, the therapy, the Twelve Step Meetings, and still my mind stubbornly persists in seeing the world as a dangerous place. Oh my mind, will you ever relent?