Time – Fixed or Fluid?

It’s Monday again. So I’m told. As I watch our pair of young brother kittens wrestling on the rug I wonder whether it really matters. They don’t seem to notice. Is their life worth any less as a result? Are we any better than they because we know so much? I’m taken back to a thought I jotted in my notebook from the road – did dinosaurs have weekends? It sounds ridiculous, and perhaps it is, but it points out our collective obsession with time. We learn very young to name the days, counting out minutes and hours, plotting months in blocks. Does this in any way add value to our lives? I don’t know. I’m not insinuating that it doesn’t, I’m actually asking.

Obviously a day is a noticeable event. The sun comes up and it goes down. Similarly, a year is one full journey around the Sun. The cycle of the seasons is not to be brushed aside. But what I am getting at is our ‘knowing’ of these frames and the possibility that this apparent certainty might be blinding us to something we wouldn’t want to miss.

There seem to be a lot of people pulled into these frames and dragged through time as if they had some great obligation to it, as though they were indebted to time itself. As kids we didn’t take any of this nonsense seriously. It was all imposed upon us. Now, again, I am not claiming there is anything wrong with our awareness of time’s passage, but I sense that taking it so seriously can hamper our lives. Living happens right now. This is effortless. No frame or scale is required. There is no other arena for life than this very moment.

This sort of talk is perhaps becoming clichéd these days but it does not diminish its truth. Taking time too seriously actually limits our lives. It limits our happiness by cramping our availability for the magic of the present. If we are constantly trying to reach the next moment, anticipating the future with either excitement or anxiety, or caught up in the past, looking back with fondness or regret, we are ignoring what is actually real. Living like this, the truth of the present moment is being hidden by the illusion of time.

What do we actually know about time, and in particular, these cycles? If we are totally honest with ourselves we have to admit that we take it on faith. We look at our past experience and assume it will continue as it has. Sun up, sun down, repeat. But there is no guarantee. We also invest a lot of faith in information given to us from outside. Have we done any personal research into these matters or do we simply accept what is given us? Just because everyone else has bought into the same story doesn’t make it real. Are these cycles static? What if our years are even incrementally (almost imperceptibly) growing longer? What if these ‘hard and fast’ frames are actually fluid? What are we sure of then?

I don’t want this to come off as otherworldly or anything. I admit to playing a bit of devil’s advocate here, but only to get us thinking about what we really know to be true. If each of us investigates our experience of life in complete honesty we will come to see the same truth – and it only exists right now. Time is purely conceptual no matter what sort of collective momentum it has gathered in our culture. All I am suggesting is that perhaps our so-called certainty of it is actually blocking us from our infinite potential.

Right now the sun has begun pouring through my window and I would like to stop writing so I can simply sit back and enjoy it. I don’t know that this post says much but I felt like keeping up with my Monday momentum. Is that a paradox? Honouring the same calendar I was challenging? Maybe. I don’t mind. I began writing somewhat begrudgingly at first, to be honest – mostly due to the sense of duty to time – but it eventually came tumbling out as I felt myself simply expressing feelings and thoughts, totally free of time. Funny how that works. Maybe striking a balance is the ideal? And remembering that we can never arrive at it…

Infinity&Time

Mundane Monday

This Monday will be a quick one. I sense it will roll off the cuff and be what it is. No looking back. That sounds like an interesting exercise. What if I agree now not to edit a single word of today’s post? I have done a few of those, though with minor tweaks here or there. And I have posted many of the opposite sort. But right now I feel like letting it all hang out, hang loose.

I’m a Godfather now. Yesterday little James was baptized, along with his twin sister, Josie. It was a great day. Their Mom, my friend Michelle, shared the sermon from the pulpit, and it all felt very fitting. They are undoubtedly very cute babies and they are fortunate to be surrounded by so much love. It made me reflect on my own childhood, and all the love that I had the benefit of bathing in as I was raised. Yesterday was also my Dad’s 63rd birthday, and we had a nice dinner out with the family, minus brother Stephen, who is still out in Montreal. I will head back there tomorrow.

I plan to dive back into work on my book, revising and editing the occasionally overwhelming mass of words I have gathered. But the story inside it all is so pure and simple. I can feel it. I can see it at times. And I think that is pretty much like all of our lives – simplicity at the centre, wrapped up in clutter and occasional drama. We often oscillate between the extremes. I know I have.

But that’s all just a story, too. The real source is quite silent, so it seems here and now. It amazes me how much music and bright colour issues forth from such a deafening emptiness. On Saturday night I went with a dear friend to take in the Mississauga Symphony. I had won tickets from the radio, having called in one morning last week. There was a young Russian soloist on violin who transported me with his incredible expression of emotion.

I got interrupted during that last sentence. There was a knock at the door. It was my uncle from the condo next door. He was checking that Grandma would get some lunch. So I am warming up the oven and I will put in a gluten-free pizza for she and I to enjoy. It was plain cheese, so I put some tomato slices and fresh basil leaves on top. That’s what’s going on. For the moment.

No great aspiration to say anything particularly ‘special’ today. Just laying out what is going on around me. I feel pretty calm at the centre of it all. In recent weeks I have been feeling a great deal of energy coursing through my body, at times with incredible intensity. And when it is flowing free of any intention on my part it is very peaceful.

But that’s neither here nor there. Maybe it is everywhere. It could be both. As far as I understand that’s all there is here – energy flowing. It rises and falls, vibrating at varying frequencies, taking various shapes, and we are watching it all pass by, occasionally identifying with and investing in shapes and names that are empty vessels. This fleeting nature is rather beautiful. It can be very freeing. Nothing in life need be so heavy. We can let it all fall as it will.

It’s wonderful to watch. The leaves descending. I see out of the window from my parents’ 18th floor condo and look at all of the lovely colours of these autumn trees. Even on this grey day. Even in the midst of what could otherwise be called a ‘Mundane Monday’, there is such peace and beauty. Everything is full of light. We need not see it to know so. We need not know so to feel it. We need not feel it for it to be. We are already here, calm and centred, seeing the play of life dance by. It’s pretty special – this gift of life. There’s nothing we need ‘to do’ to make it all work. Allowing it to be is not an action.

The oven is warm enough to receive the pizza now. It will be transformed by the time it slides out. But I am in no hurry. I think I will go play some music with my cousin today. That feels about right.

I hope you all have a lovely Monday, mundane or otherwise. Maybe take some time to stop editing everything you do and say and think. That said, I look forward to continuing editing my book when I get back to Montreal….unlike this piece, which I have not touched. It is a river of words representative of the feelings and thoughts as they flowed over the past hour or so.

Mmmmm…pizza.

Pizza

:)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cornucopia

It is Thanksgiving Monday here in Canada, and indeed I have much to be thankful for. I feel right in saying that we all have much to be thankful for. Even those of us who may not seem (on the surface) to have a lot to be thankful for still have this incredible gift of life through which to dream and create, learn and grow, digest and express. Despite what many would consider difficult circumstances, I feel that every life provides a balance of it’s own. Nobody’s centre is any better than anyone else’s. I won’t get into speculation here about past or future lives or notions of karma and reincarnation, because I simply do not know, but if we are completely honest with ourselves, I think we all must admit that we simply don’t know. This goes either way. It leaves open the possibility of a balance beyond our sight and far beyond our comprehension. Again, if we are honest with ourselves, we can see that most of our ideas of balance and justice are context specific, rarely spilling outside of the frame of a single lifetime. This is a frame we have created, because we simply cannot speak with certainty of anything beyond either side, whether so-called beginnings or endings.

If we imagine affluence to provide security from sickness or sadness, we are sorely mistaken, and maybe crazy. Why would we think people without material wealth are ‘worse off’? What right have we to push the ‘supremacy’ of our way of life on others we consider less-fortunate? This often happens alongside charitable intentions, sharing our abundance while supposing people from less-affluent societies are lacking something. This subtle assumption piggy-backs on our donations and has the power to infect an otherwise happy group of people with the idea that they are missing out on something. As I traveled through the highlands of Bolivia, I saw people living simple lives without much. They had a bit of land to work (whether they owned it or not), simple, traditional (often colourful) clothes, and family by their sides. As I passed by these scenes on various buses, I almost always saw wide smiles and shining eyes. They didn’t seem to me to be lacking anything. It didn’t feel like an iPad would have added much to their lives.

But we can still be grateful for our abundance without feeling guilty or obliged to give it all away. Of course it is healthy to share what we have, but perhaps the simple gift of our real presence is enough for others. Maybe just being an open ear and open heart is all anyone really needs of us. No matter what we may be thinking, or how we may be feeling, if we can be available to those around us, we may find ourselves serving in a deeper way than we had previously imagined possible.

I have been blessed with incredible abundance in my life, and it has been clear especially over the last few days. I have been home with my parents, appreciating their full fridge and cupboards. I look around and see lovely furniture and appliances in their condo. I just now came down from the pool, jacuzzi and sauna (which I use frequently when I visit home). I have access to vehicles and more luxuries than many ever experience. While I am grateful for all of this, I also see that none of it really matters. It is only the love speaking within and through it all which means anything. It is all an extension of love from my parents to provide for us, and for one another. This is all that is actually happening here.

This is the same the world over. No matter what relative comforts or pleasures we may have, only the love has any real value. I am confident of this. My Mother has been reminding me my whole life that “to whom much is given much will be required.” This is simply balance. My Dad said that “life is the great equalizer”. I feel these statements to be deeply true. Neil Young sang that “you get what you bring.” It’s the same story. It is clear to me that only the love we give and receive really matters, regardless of what shape it may take. So as we look around at this time of Thanksgiving and allow ourselves to feel gratitude for all we are blessed with, I hope that we come to see that it is not actually for any of the things around us, and not even the wonderful experiences we may enjoy, but that this gratitude is simply singing the song of the endless movement of love. As we give thanks for this we see our abundance multiply. So I encourage you all to pause and feel whatever gratitude you are able to. Let it overtake you. Practice this often and it will never turn you wrong.

Thanks for reading.

…and Happy Thanksgiving!

:)

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

Rodney Falls

I woke up yesterday morning with a rather silly song lyric spinning through my mind, repeating over and over. “Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.” That’s right. TLC. Who would have guessed?

I couldn’t account for it. I haven’t listened to that song in a long time. I don’t think I ever actively tried to listen to it (though I did just look it up on Youtube to double-check that I had recalled the correct lyrics). It seemed to be everywhere when it came out in 1995. It was all over the TV and radio. My older brother listened to it enough at home that it must have become embedded somewhere in my consciousness. But as it hit me yesterday morning, stirring from a deep Sunday sleep-in, I sensed there may actually be a valuable message tucked into it.

Laying there in bed about to start my morning yoga routine, it occurred to me that perhaps the song was suggesting we take life at its own natural pace. It seemed to be telling me that there was no need to force anything. We can simply let it all flow. The song even suggests that there may be a price to pay for jumping to extremes. Already living with this general ‘go with the flow’ philosophy, I nonetheless welcomed the morning reminder. As the lyrics continued to pop up during my yoga practice, the message continued hitting home.

Ultimately, what I saw it pointing toward was balance. I had just fasted for another couple of days and though I try to observe the importance of easing back into eating after fasts, sometimes my first bite back makes me want to gorge on something. I often joke about it with my roommates, my bouncing between feasting and fasting (although my snacking tends to be relatively innocuous – rice cakes and carrots dipped in hummus, or mixed nuts and raisins). Either way, taking it slowly seems to be the wise way.

After my yoga and meditation, I checked my email and Facebook and soon found myself clicking open a number of tabs and reading various articles. As I read about some of the ‘chaos’ happening around the planet at present, I noticed my stomach tensing up. How could I avoid the waterfalls in the midst of all this? In our noisy and fast-paced world, tuning in to the calmer waters can be pretty tricky. I decided to switch gears and began watching a bunch of Bob Ross clips on Youtube. I watched him paint a calm pond and a few happy little trees, bathing in the patience of his endlessly soothing voice. What a sweet soul he is, I said to myself. He reminded me that we can choose what to focus on. If you don’t know him, or even if it’s been a while, I highly recommend checking him out.

I then met a friend for an autumn walk up the mountain at the heart of Montreal. I felt the good of the woods reaching into me and settling my soul even more. The sweet peace of the open air and colourful fall leaves put me at ease. It reminded me at times of my six-day summer hike in Killarney Provincial Park. Much like I had then, I was enjoying the simplicity of nature and casual companionship. I was doing my best to stay out of the way and let it all flow.

Later in the evening, my brother and I met with our parents in the Old Port, arriving just ahead of them to the hotel where they are staying the next couple of nights with our dear Austrian friend, Edda. As I made my way through the meal, declining offers of alcohol and sweets, I felt myself honouring the calm waters, no longer chasing the waterfalls of a sugar rush as I would have done in the past, or the buzz of a beer. Though I have no particular problem with either of these substances, I feel it is important to keep our relationship with them in check. I know what they do to my body and mind, and I don’t tend to tangle with them anymore.

We met with our parents again today for a nice lunch near my brother’s restaurant and I suggested afterwards that they go for a walk up the mountain, taking it nice and slow, enjoying the great view of the city. Back at my brother’s restaurant I thought about sitting to write a while, knowing I wanted to compose my Monday blog post. As I was hanging about the kitchen, my cousin asked me if I wanted to join him for a walk. He has been off of cigarettes for two weeks now (I have been a big supporter in the cause) and, going with the flow, I thought it would be nice to hang with him for a while. We strolled down to HMV and I watched the busy city bounce around us as we passed, trying to keep some of my attention on the calm in my core. Don’t go chasing waterfalls…I reminded myself.

When we got back to Burritoville (my brother and cousin’s restaurant), I asked my friend Gabe what I should write about for my blog today. He paused a moment and told me to write about “the central attraction of the Pacific Northwest”. That seemed strange and vague, though par for the course for Gabe. I came home and had a quick peek online, imagining big trees to be a central draw to the region, and nature in general. Waterfalls popped up as a main attraction and seemed perfectly fitting. I’ve been rattling away for about an hour or so now. So here we are.

I have not edited a thing. This has just tumbled out of me as you see it. No surprise, I guess. In the course of my research on the song, I discovered that Paul McCartney released a song of the same name fifteen years before TLC, with very similar lyrics. Whoever sang it first doesn’t seem to matter much – it remains a message worth repeating – don’t go chasing waterfalls, folks. Just relax. Take it easy. Trust life. Have a great week.

:)

Take It Easy

De-cluttering Our ‘TO DO’ Lists: Honouring Responsibility Over Obligation

Image

WHAT TO DO?

What do you have to do today? Really. Look it over. Whether you have an actual list in front of you or just a stack of tasks gathered in your mind, have a good look at it. Ask yourself; is all of this necessary? Is any of it necessary? Who says so? Even if that voice in your head barks back ‘I say so!’, inquire. Who is that voice? Is it really you? Or might it just be a collection of expectations and obligations that a life of conditioning has imprinted upon you? This may be a frightening thought, that some entity other than ourselves is driving our minds. But this ‘conditioning’ need not be seen as intentionally oppressive, as if some evil perpetrator were sitting in a wingback chair, laughing, hands held together in a pyramid, fingers dancing back and forth while we silly mortals fall prey to some grand evil scheme.

SEEING THROUGH OUR CONDITIONING

Conditioning has just happened. This is simply how life has developed so far. It’s a part of our growth. And not all conditioning is bad. But when we are blind to it, it drives us. It fills up our ‘to do’ lists with endless things that we feel we must do. The extent to which we can see this conditioning at work is the extent to which we can become free of it. After all, it is in the nature of a mistake to disappear once we discover it. And then we can watch our ‘to do’ lists thin out significantly. They may go blank altogether. And they may remain that way for a while – empty. And that’s ok. After running a marathon, whether finishing first or last, it’s reasonable to take a moment to gather our breath, maybe have a sip of water and walk it off. Similarly, when we wake up to see we’ve been running in circles for most of our lives, we are permitted to take a bit of a breather, to walk it off. We may feel aimless for a while. (We’ll certainly appear it!) This is ok, too. Gradually, we can begin introducing new items to our ‘to do’ lists, when we feel up to it, and especially when we feel inspired to act from a place of conviction – a place of deep truth. We are no longer merely following commands, but seeing action arise from our natural impulse for love. We do what we want to do, what we love to do. We can begin developing ‘to do’ lists with intention. It’s our inattention that has kept us spinning in hamster wheels for so long. It’s time to rise and shine.

CLARIFYING OUR UNDERSTANDING

What I am talking about is a subtle but vital distinction which can revolutionize our lives. This is the fine line between obligation and responsibility. But what’s the difference? How do we discern which is which? Sometimes it’s a razor’s edge. And it’s more often not even about what we do, but how we do it. Are we doing something because we have to or because we want to? It is not always so simple, though this can be a good place to begin our inquiry. Fortunately, for fuzzier matters, a bit of patient reflection can help us understand which voice we should be honouring.

So what is obligation? Well, to feel obliged to do something seems to imply some sense of pressure, some external force, whether from the expectations of our family, our work, or society at large. These are tasks we would seldom take upon ourselves to perform. But responsibility is literally the ability to respond. Response-ability.  It’s all right there. This is an uprising of our truest self, a deep moral sense of right action, appropriate to the moment. And it always comes from within, expressing itself in a completely unique way through each of us. Still, it can be difficult to strain through the many voices chattering inside of us to figure out where each voice is coming from, where they would have us go and what they would have us do.

TRIMMING DOWN OUR BIG ‘TO DO’s

This is where thinning out our ‘to do’ lists can be so helpful. It’s a two-way street. It may feel a bit scary, at first, and maybe even a little crazy, but by stripping away our excess ‘busy-ness’ – if only for a few days, allowing ourselves to breathe and relax – we can begin to see what is truly important in our lives. It will emerge all on its own. And we can learn to prioritize more wisely. As we do this, we may hear old voices rising up inside, telling us we are letting people down, or letting ourselves down. But if we can weather this storm, perhaps we can stop worrying about ‘let downs’ and learn to let up and let go. Maybe we’ll realize that what we want is not what we need, and what we need is not what we want. Facing this can be disorienting. But if we can exercise a bit of bravery – just enough to take a small step out of our comfortable routines, letting go of our ‘to do’ lists for a while – perhaps we can become more of who we truly are, surrendering the rest, and ending up a greater help to ourselves and others, growing and serving in ways far beyond what we had ever imagined possible.

TAKE A CHANCE – RELAX

Why not try letting go? Maybe all you have to lose is all you need to lose to be truly free. Take a deep breath in and let go of everything else. Exhale and feel the release spreading through your entire body. This is our natural state. Inner peace is our effortless inheritance. There is nothing it asks us ‘to do’ but let it in. So be still. Go deep. And ask yourself, what do I really have to do today?

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Turning The Corner

Equinox

Seasons are shifting. You may have noticed. The equinox is upon is. It is happening today – in about four hours (10:30 PM EDT). Today the sun shines directly over the equator and both day and night are equal length – twin windows of sunshine and moonlight. This turning point happens twice a year – once in March and once in September – falling directly between the solstices. The equinoxes are points of balance between the extremes of light and dark. I often stop to note these shifts and take time to appreciate the great cycle of life forever in motion. I see these moments as opportunities to check in with the quiet still-point which registers these passing phases (as if I needed more excuses for reflection.) As much as I would like to be perfectly still and observe life in effortless balance, I still find myself somewhat caught in the swing of the seasons, trying to piggy-back on its momentum to some deeper plane.

I cannot count the amount of times I have tried to ‘turn the corner’. I have been doing it for years – for as long as I can recall, really. Perhaps not all the way back into early childhood, though I cannot rule it out. My parents may be able to speak to that. I suspect that, to some extent, it is common for all of us to do this. Our recurring urge to ‘turn the corner’ arises as a desire to reset, to start again. OK. Here we go. Clean the slate. This time for real. One more shot. This perpetual impulse to ‘start fresh’ feels closely related to perfectionism (at least that’s how it feels to me). There seems to be some part of us that resists moving forward unless every step behind us has fallen faultlessly, sitting at least somewhat resolved in our rear-view mirrors.

I am hit with this feeling more often than I might like, despite trusting that every step forward is supportive. Even now, only a couple of paragraphs into writing, I have already stopped several times to consider tweaking this word or that bit of punctuation, apparently unable to carry on before feeling ‘satisfied’. I tweaked that last sentence even while discussing the very act, and then again after the fact, several times now – and this one too! This analytical impulse seems to be rooted in the desire for everything to work out ‘just so’, falling into its right place. While I have always appreciated tidiness and symmetry, at times it can become a bit compulsive. I can recall as far back as age six or seven (or whenever our family got Tetris on GameBoy), continually pausing and restarting the game after even the slightest ‘error’ (as judged by the young perfectionist-in-the-making). I wanted to set everything up just right and could not fathom one block being out of place. The same behaviour carried on through Super Mario, Golden Eye and various other games I played, pausing and restarting when any element of the level or my performance displeased me. I wanted to turn the corner and start fresh. It was a pattern that spread into parts of my life far beyond video games.  (Full disclosure – I spent about an hour playing Tetris today – for the first time in years – just at the thought of it…until I turned the corner and got back to my writing.)

Later in life, this urge asserted itself in the form of frequently committing myself to rather lofty ideals (followed just as frequently by defeats). Long before working toward any of these ideals ever occurred to me, I often got carried away visualizing my incredible (and obviously destined) success, unconsciously investing expectation in particular outcomes. As events unfolded in different directions, I would experience deadening let-down when my dreams fell to pieces. Repeating this pattern over and over exhausted me and eventually led to deepening depression and apathy, my strong idealistic streak being increasingly undermined by a lack of faith in my ability to accomplish anything important. I seemed incapable of dreaming small, and more and more incapable of chasing any dreams at all.

And yet some part of me kept emerging to ‘make a change’, to ‘set things right’. Whether it was my birthday, half-birthday, New Year’s Eve, Lent, March Break, or the third Thursday of June, I looked for any old excuse to start anew, to turn a corner. I wanted to break away from the past and really get the ball rolling once and for all. Though I had dug myself into a bit of a hole, this undying urge to ‘turn the corner’ eventually saw me make significant progress toward freedom and inner peace. I began letting go of clutter, inside and out, and found that the rough road behind me had been paving its way to peace all the way.

The key seems to be quick forgiveness, starting with ourselves. After owning up to our past shortcomings and letting go of judgement, we can see our paths resolve themselves in the rear-view mirror of our minds. Once we accept this inner forgiveness, we can effortlessly and playfully recommit to the loftiest ideals possible, knowing we may well fall off the pony a million more times, continuing to forgive and persist nonetheless. Indeed in any worthy venture, patience and persistence seem to be guiding lights.

Understanding that life is a process, accepting that we are all on journeys of learning and growth, we find a willingness to make mistakes, and a greater faculty for ‘turning the corner’ and ‘getting back on the horse’. Although I seem to need regular reminders, somehow I keep on trucking. On some level we all do, but struggling with our lulls can actually entangle us even more. I have learned this the hard way, and try not to fuss too much when good grooves take sudden turns.

Most recently, after riding the wave of a two-week juice fast into the new school year, kick-starting my writing routine after some summer fun, my lofty dreams of discipline and work fell flat. I tried to right the ship but it ran ashore. September has largely slipped away with little work done. Last week I hardly wrote at all. I slept in most days. I could feel the seasons shifting, and it made me feel heavy. A cold ran through our home and we all had the sniffles, some of us even worse. But I did my best not to wrestle with any of it, taking it in stride and trying as best I could. (Or giving up and watching a movie with a tub of hummus and a sleeve of rice cakes). Now two days into a fast, I am ‘turning a corner’ yet again, renewing my commitment to my morning regimen and riding the momentum of the equinox into a new season! The equinox is hours away and a new moon is upon us tomorrow – it feels like a truly great moment to turn the corner. Join me!  Ride the wave of the seasons!

Seasons

Honesty

honesty

Honesty is the best policy. We have all heard it many times before – and it seems a reasonable code to honour. But how often do we really live it from the depth of our hearts? I guess I can start by sharing that I don’t really know what to say today. Yet here I sit writing – for its own sake, I suppose. I have been in the habit of publishing a post every Monday for a while now, and I wish to keep my rhythm rolling. It is a routine more for myself than anyone else.

Even as I intend my writing to be an act of service, I am aware that relatively few people are reading these words. Perhaps my service is starting out simply – I don’t know. Either way, I try not to get caught up in chasing some vision of the future. I feel I can best serve others through complete honesty and unconditional acceptance of this moment as it is. As grateful as I am for every person reading these posts (THANK YOU!), I have to admit that just getting myself into the habit of outward self-expression is a large motivating factor. I feel it is a healthy habit, aside from what I might actually be saying.

Someone recently asked me (in reference to my blog) if I minded ‘hollering into a vacuum.’ I didn’t know how to respond. I wondered for a moment if we are all doing just that, on some level – hollering into a vacuum. At least we’re doing it together, I thought. But does it really matter if we get any notice for our work? For the most part, I don’t seem to mind doing my work without getting any attention or recognition. I am grateful to express myself. And if someone tells me that my post meant something to them, it is a feather in my cap, icing on the cake.

So when I came to face the blank page today, wondering what I wanted to holler out into this particular vacuum, I found myself looking over some old notes on balance. ‘A return to balance is inevitable. A departure from balance is impossible.’ I thought about re-working my notes into something for today’s post, but had to admit that I no longer feel the same way I felt when I wrote it. Not exactly, anyhow. And I also admitted that a part of me wanted to recycle my old writing just to get the ball rolling, just to have something on the page. That didn’t feel like a very honest motivation for self-expression. So I let it go.

As I slipped off to sleep last night I thought about how I was feeling (that being uncomfortably stuffed with hummus and mixed nuts), and I wanted to strip down any remnant layers of pretence and protection to be as open and honest as possible. I had been dreaming, the day before, of constructing a post that would inspire people and maybe relieve some suffering, but as I tossed and turned last night, mildly disappointed with myself, I didn’t feel worthy of standing on any soapbox and saying much of anything. I slept poorly and skipped my 5 AM alarm.  When I finally awoke at 8:30, I didn’t give guilt any room to roam. After a surprisingly strong yoga session and a very quiet and calming meditation, I arose to write.

Honestly, I have no idea what’s going on. I’m only just journeying through the mystery as we all are. These days, my certainties seem to crumble as quickly as they are built. I can’t say I mind. Even though well-intentioned, I recognize that I sometimes slip into some sort of ‘preachy’ tone in my writing. Though I want to share words of truth, nuggets of wisdom, seeds of peace, freedom and love – all born of my own experience – I don’t feel I have the right to tell anyone how to find anything in their own lives. I know there is something deep within us which we all share, but my saying so, and my desire to show people where ‘to find it’ may not mean much to anyone but me. At best, I can just speak my heart, whatever it seems to be saying at any given moment, and trust that to be sufficient in itself. Whatever it may spark in others is simply not up to me.

And in the spirit of total honesty, right now as I sit here and write, my body responding to our home growing colder with the seasons’ shifting, a bit of sunshine has made its way to my window and I am going to lie down on a sheepskin on the floor and just enjoy the warmth of the light for a while. I don’t want to waste this precious sunlight, abundant though it is. As the colder seasons approach, I am suddenly moved to take full advantage of every ray of light reaching through my window. I’ll return to my composition shortly. :)

peace

Hours have passed. I have combed through the above text now and dusted it up only slightly, and the sun has faded from the window. A thin ceiling of cloud now passes by, little blips of blue showing signs of the open space beyond. I am feeling fairly easy. I have not had the most motivated Monday, but I am at peace, and that seems good enough for me. I hope that, on some level, this simple slice of honest peace is serving the wider world.  See you next week.