Tag Archives: serenity

Relax Already

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This is the third time
I’ve attempted to write this poem.
It just isn’t coming out
as I expected.
I guess this means I’m human,
and I guess it means I’m alive.
Just wondering
when I can ever be satisfied
with myself as I am,
life as it is;
just wondering
when I can drop
the bs perfectionism bit,
and just relax already.

Giving Up Control

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I’ve tried to be in control
for most of my life
and where has it gotten me?
Anxious, resentful,
disappointed, fearful,
competitive,
just negative.
It doesn’t work,
buying into this illusion of control.
So why don’t I try something else?
What if I could simply surrender?
What if I could free up
the inner resources necessary
to really BE in this world
with my whole heart and mind?
What if I could take in
the beauty of this life
and feel gratitude welling up in my heart,
regardless of the weather
or where I live
or with whom I’m spending my time
or what kind of job I have
or clothes I’m wearing
or car I’m driving?
When all of the layers of illusion drop away
I am left with this Self, pure and simple.
This Self knows that there is nothing to control
in the outer world,
nothing that can be given or taken away.
It sits quietly, witnessing the all,
smiling, flowing into this infinite space
of being.

Trusting What Is

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When I stop for a moment–
just one little moment–
and I take a deep breath,
I wonder what I was running from
And why my mind was clouded with so much thinking.

If I take a good look at my thoughts
I discover that I often attempt to control outcomes
and many of my efforts are devoted
to creating a future that fits with my vision of how things should be.

This way of acting creates suffering.
When I want it to be cooler out
and it’s 96 degrees and humid,
I feel irritated because of the discomfort.

When I want it to be warmer
and we’re stuck in a polar vortex,
bundled head to toe in multiple layers–
I curse the winter and wish it could be summer again.

What would life be like if I could trust what is?
What would this moment be like if I loved it completely?
How would I interact with everyone around me–
my husband, my children–
if I accepted them exactly as they are?

How would I feel about myself
if I could focus on this being in me,
instead of all the things that I perceive as faults?

Sitting in meditation brings me closer
to this place of knowing, of loving,
of trusting what is.

May I carry the wisdom of my deep self with me
when I rise from my cushion to be in this world.

Things I Cannot Change

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I’ve been thinking about the serenity prayer from AA a lot today:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

I cannot change the fact that I’m still sick, that I had to run out of the room while my students were in shavasana this morning, so that I could have my coughing fit without disturbing their relaxation.

I couldn’t change the mood my children were in today, I couldn’t make my daughter take a nap, or ask my son to stop fussing, so that I could have a much-needed rest.

I couldn’t change the pain in the right side of my neck, that radiates into my ear, my jaw, my head.  It has been like this for twelve hours now.  I cannot change this.

I couldn’t change my husband’s reaction to my forgetting to turn the ringer of my phone back on after I taught my yoga class.  He worried when he couldn’t reach me; he tried multiple times during the day. I couldn’t change his worry, or his annoyance with me later when I explained that the kids were loud, I was working on a project, and I simply forgot that the phone was on silent mode.

I brought my son to Patient First tonight, because he was crying and crying and wouldn’t fall asleep at his normal bedtime. He has conjunctivitis, just like his sister, and now he has a cough.  I wanted to be seen for the pain in the right side of my face and neck.  While there, waiting for the doctor, I couldn’t change my son’s behavior. Almost two, and very tired, he didn’t understand why objects were being stuck in his ears, his nose, his mouth.  Why he was made to sit still while someone looked into his eyes.  He cried loudly and struggled valiantly.  I couldn’t change this.  I tried to explain to him that we were trying to help.  He didn’t seem to understand.

So many things I cannot change.  Do I accept them?  I am trying.  It is hard to accept pain, frustration, disappointment.  But the alternative is resisting them, and this only makes it more painful, more frustrating, more disappointing.  I will endeavor to accept the things I cannot change.

What can I change?  My reaction to reality. My thoughts about what I am experiencing right now.  I can choose my words. I can slow down and really think before I speak. I can change the depth and frequency of my breath. I can take the medicine I was prescribed for my pain and hope it helps. I can hold my son and soothe him to the best of my abilities.  I can be here now, and love what is, love who I am, regardless.  At least I can try.

Do I have the wisdom to know the difference between the things I cannot change and the things I can change?  I think I do.  But the real question is, do I access that wisdom and apply it?  And what are my blocks to seeing the truth and living it now?

I lost my temper with my daughter at nap time today.  I screamed at her to stay in bed, I slammed my bedroom door.  I was in pain, exhausted, and just wanting rest.  She was hopping out of bed, running around her room, and defiantly waving a box of kleenex at me after I asked her multiple times to put it down, to lie down, to go to sleep.

I lost it today, and then immediately regretted my loss of control as I watched my daughter’s face crumple, and she began to cry.  I never want to lose my temper again, but it will probably happen many more times before I die.  There is something in my reactivity that renders me powerless.  I feel disheartened, impotent.  I don’t see how I could fix or change this, and I feel doubtful that anything I do will make a difference.  I can’t change this wild monster in me.  But I can look to a power greater than myself and ask for help.

Please help, higher power.  I am tired and I want to be a good person. I want to change.