Awakening to this day, I realize this is the only day. Breathing in this moment, I realize this is the only moment. Oh glorious freedom! I don’t need to lament the past or fear the future, because past and future are constructs of my mind— all that exists is NOW, everything happens in this one beautiful moment. Let us breathe deeply, together, then— let us awaken together. Let us feel this freedom together, on this day, in this moment, breathing this one breath. Peace.
The inner critic creeps up and tries to interrupt the flow of peaceful thoughts that now stream through my mind quite regularly after years of meditation practice, prayer, determination, effort, discipline, will, twelve-step meetings, coaching, and therapy. I turn around and look at the critic. Oh. You again? Yeah. It’s me. You still suck. You’re terrible. Ah, my dear. Let me hold you. Let me rock you. Let me tell you how loved you are. Let me show you how, even after all this time, you are still enough.
Alright, so let’s say you’ve broken free of all of the constraints of your past, everyone’s ideas of who you should be, the accumulation of the world’s tension around being “right” and “wrong,” and any residual hesitation seeping out from your genetic or cultural or religious or societal inheritance. Let’s say that you’ve arrived in this moment aware of your complete, total, and utter freedom, to be, do, think and have anything your heart desires. Knowing that you are completely free and no one can hold you back, now what will you do?
Back home after being out of town with the kids for a few days, and I’m confronted with the reality of my disorganized house and the clutter of travel. I look back on the last few days and my mind immediately focuses on what I could’ve done better. I hope my kids have some happy memories from our time away. I hope my mind can cut me some slack and allow me to rest tonight. The kids are with their dad now, and I’ll have some blessed time to… RELAX BREATHE REST CONTEMPLATE RECEIVE and LOVE this moment. Whew. What a relief.
I want to get creative. I want to paint draw write dance sing knit sew cook do yoga. I look around my house. It’s cluttered, disorganized. I can’t create with my house like this, I tell myself. So I pick up. Dust. Vacuum. Put away. Organize. I look around my house again. It’s beautiful. Neat. Luminous. But now I’m so damn tired I no longer have the energy to create! Maybe I need to learn how to create regardless of the neatness of my space.
We might feel haunted but what needs to get done. We might feel driven to achieve success, and we might believe that we’ll be happy once we do. I am one of those people. I am also fortunate to have teachers, mentors, guides and wise ones show me a different way. When I feel haunted by the to do list, I can pause. When I think I need to be more successful, I can pause. The household chores don’t all have to get done at once. I don’t need to achieve overnight success. I don’t have to prove myself to the world. I can pause to enjoy where I am and who I am right now. What a relief!
Looking out through these eyes I sometimes forget that what others see is no less valid than what appears true to me. When I get still and look within I envision a universe where all truths can coexist respectfully leaving space for what is true for you and what is true for me.
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.
Ok. Brace yourselves. I’m almost all the way moved in. Just one or two more CARLOADS. I mean…how did I accumulate all this stuff? People are telling me Just be patient. You just moved in. Unpacking takes time. And I’m thinking I have way too much stuff. I hoping that my letting go muscle will get stronger and stronger as I go through this. I took one carload to Goodwill today… toys, shoes, baby clothes, rugs, shower curtains, towels… and a beautiful (expensive) bedspread that we got as a wedding present… I looked at it last night and thought, I couldn’t possibly take a new lover into my bed with this thing on it. (I mean, I’ve been celibate for 2.5 years, but maybe someday there will be a lover in my midst…) And so this bedspread had to go. I keep holding a vision of myself in a better place and I look at these objects and ask if I want to take them with me into my future. If it doesn’t fit with my future vision, I let it go. I didn’t realize that I had been working so hard my whole entire life to arrive in this moment with enough strength to simply let go.
Back and forth and back and forth between the two worlds. And slowly what was before is transferred over to what is now. If I keep taking this stuff with me wherever I go, I’ll keep having the same experiences over and over and over. I’m ready for something different, but I need to learn to let go. I can hear the shaming voice, the one who blames me, who tells me I never get anything right. And then I need to just sit and breathe and remember, I can’t get this wrong. No matter what happens, life will hold me. Can I surrender into this infinite embrace, and just allow what is to be?