In my past I have tended to be a very busy person. I thought having a long to do list somehow made me worthy. Having to run errands or go to this party or that lunch, made it even more true, right? Being busy, means you are important. The more you do, the more you prove right?
We’ve taken this idea of doing things into our hearts, our bones, and I think it’s making us weary and tired. I’m really not sure that’s what we need to be. I don’t think we necessarily need to live like this and I’m attempting to choose not to, but it’s taken some practice.
I met a guy who is now a good friend a year or so ago. He is a very busy dude, a resident, he works long, long hours, he’s constantly asked to be busy. He has to write orders, see patients, talk to parents, give presentations, he has to be ‘on,’ there is a lot going on in the land of learning to be a doctor. It’s a very hard job. Our relationship is dynamic and while we do talk about work, we talk about so much more. He introduced me to the idea of Taoism, which has led me into reading about Buddhism, which basically has changed everything. Before he introduced me to Taoism, he taught me how to just relax. How we could hang out and just be. He taught me that falling asleep in the sun on the couch might be the best thing ever. That books could be read. Coffee could be french pressed. Dinner plans could linger. Guitars could be picked up. Sunsets were to be admired. Conversations could go on for hours and so could the quiet contemplation of just being there.
You know the big picture? How when you’re in the midst of it, it’s hard to see? You see small pieces, you maybe attempt to piece it together, but mostly if you just keep going and trying eventually you start to see it? That is what is happening here. The picture of the past year. Somehow he was the conduit to teach me to be. To learn to trust life exactly where it was. That being anxious about things didn’t change them. That doing a lot of things, makes you miss out on a lot more. That having too many plans keeps you from life.
Sometimes I tell him these things. How much it’s changed me. How thankful I am. I’m still seeing it unfold and blossom and how much it is changing me. Somehow, his ease with that part of life has now started to become mine and I kind of tear up when I think about it. How grateful I am for someone who could show me ease and comfort, while still being ambitious and getting their work done. It was something I hadn’t quite been exposed to.
Without knowing it, I started to behave differently. I found out I wanted to stay at home. I found I wanted to just read books for hours, that I didn’t want to have plans, that I liked keeping it open. There were times it was incredibly uncomfortable, lonely moments where I had thought I could not stand my own company for one more minute. Those were the moments though. Those are the moments where you grow.
Those times where I headed to the beach solo, because I knew I had to see the ocean and I would also have to face the feeling of loneliness. I am not a buddhist and I could not say I’m a Taoist, but both religions teach you to notice where you are. Buddhism in particular teaches an idea called Metta. It’s basically loving kindness. When you practice Metta, the first person you practice with is yourself. So you say something like ‘may i feel safe. may i feel content. may i feel strong. may i live with ease.’ They also teach you to look at your own thoughts and accept them where they are. So if I feel intensely lonely and think it’s all my fault that I’m alone then instead of making up an excuse for it or trying to change it by making plans, you say ‘okay, so i feel lonely.’ You essentially notice how you feel. I swear just the mere act of acknowledging that ugly feeling gives you freedom from it.
There has been a lot of acknowledging this past year. A lot of naming feelings. It’s been uncomfortable. However, it’s also been more beautiful than I could ever explain with words. My heart overflows with gratitude for the changes that have happened in the past year or so. I look back now and I see the bigger picture. Had I not broken up with my ex, I might have never been privileged enough to be a part of this at this time. I see very, very clearly how trusting life, even when it hurts is always the best way. It has been so incredibly gracious and kind to me.
I am learning to respond with it too. Even in situations I don’t like, even when my feelings are hurt, instead of shutting down, I’m trying to see what I need to learn, how I might have an opportunity to change myself in the moment. Sometimes I’m learning, that I’m completely okay where I am and I don’t need to change anything. Sometimes I learn how to change my perspective, both of those things are miracles.
I am in love with my life right now. I cannot wait to see it unfold more. It is so beautiful. Each little tidbit that puts the puzzle together is beautiful. Each piece comes together. I have found the less busy I am, the easier it happens. The more I give myself time to lay in bed for a second and think about things, the easier it all comes. The more I say ‘oh that doesn’t have to happen today,’ the more space it creates to unfold with ease.
In yoga we do this pose called mountain pose. You lift your arms and your head to the sky. My mountain pose is currently filled with life, radiance, and thankfulness.
My prayer? Please help me to show up. To be in the present. To trust my intuition. and to patient and watch life unfold beautifully.