“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.”
I’ve been making a lot of lemonade out of lemons lately: my mother fell down the stairs while visiting me and somehow wasn’t seriously injured, my daughter’s father’s heart is failing and it is heart breaking, my best friend injured her back and we had to cancel our first trip together in eight years. My other best friend’s father is dying and so now suddenly is her best friend of 30 years. The house we rented and are paying far too much for has bed bugs and carpet beetles (hence the painful and infection bites on my thighs and bottom) which means before we move at the end of next week everything and I mean every carpet, item of clothing, towel and bed sheet we own has to be run through the dryer on high and or sealed in plastic and baked in the sun regardless of the fact that I haven’t recovered enough strength yet to take a proper walk through my new neighborhood, or do our grocery shopping, let alone the laundry or vacuuming.
Much of this is painful and expensive and yet, life is beautiful. Not in a pollyanna-ish everything happens for a reason kind of way. Rather it is in an everything just IS way that includes the realization that what I make of its IS-ness is what determines my experience of it IS-ness way. Whatever the reason for these things- be they the stars, the planets, angry gods or just the chaotic and at times seemingly random nature of life-what matters is not so much that I know why they are happening but rather that I figure out what I can learn because of them.
“When you say “yes to the isness” of life, when you accept this moment as it is, you can feel a sense of spaciousness with you that is deeply peaceful”- Eckhart Tolle
It is so tempting to play the role of the victim-we all do it to some degree at times. However the truth is Life happens for us not to us! Because no matter how hard and awful things are or seem to be, when we are able to surrender and say ‘yes’ to the ‘isness of life, when we accept the moment, the situation, just as it is, we begin to access a sense ‘of spaciousness within’ that is peace. This is when and only when things can begin to change.
I remember hearing Tara Brach talk about the how the poet Rumi saw clearly the relationship between our wounds and our awakening. He counseled, “Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.” As a writer and poet, I relate to the use of suffering to create, to transform, and to inspire.
Having said this, I want to assure you I am not very different from you…. I too grapple with issues of self worth, doubt and fear. When I am in this place my thoughts say things like- it is too hard, it is not fair, that I am not strong enough or good enough. Or that things have been too hard for too long, and that I am can’t take it or manage anymore. The more overwhelmed I feel the more likely I am to listen to these ‘voices’ which of course makes it even harder to engage my senses and to make choices that truly nourish my senses and my soul, instead of feed my ego.
Sometimes I can snap it fairly quickly. Other times it may take a few days (or even weeks) of avoidance and escapist behavior before I realize that I am feeling even more empty than when I started. When I get to this point I know I need to stop abandoning myself and befriend myself again. This means prioritizing time each day to be quiet and touch base with my true nature which is Love, joy and peace….
One of the easiest and most effective ways I have found to turn things is to reboot my meditation practice by spending as little as 10 minutes each day in guided meditation practice. To this end I wanted to share with you lovelies two of my favorite sources:
The first, which begins today, 8/11/14, is offered by Depak Chopra and Oprah. Part of an ongoing series, this free 21 day course called Expanding your Happiness is rooted in the ancient Yogic Wisdom tradition. It’s easy. It’s free and even if you miss the first day or two you can still ‘catch up’. Register now and invite those you love to be happy with you!
The other, which is ongoing, is offered by the amazing Tara Brach, a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotion healing and spiritual awakening who is also a clinical psychologist and author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge @ Tarabrach.com, is a treasure chest of riches offering both long and short meditations as well as inspirational talks you can return to again and again.
One of the best places to start is with her “10 minute “Gateway to Presence” guided meditation. Listening to this extremely well crafted meditation works equally well morning, or evening. In the morning I often use it to set my focus and attention for the day ahead. And at the end of the day it is a great way to consciously relax and release the day’s stress from your body and mind before sleep.
I’d love to know about your experiences with either of these meditations so feel free to write me!!!