Thursday, October 15, 2020

It's Like This Right Now

I returned from my workout on a beautiful fall morning and sat on my back steps for a few minutes to meditate. My breathing was still fast from having exercised. I found myself saying the words to my Zoom meditation which was planned for an hour later. I said, "my breathing is like this right now." My feeling was slightly anxious because my kids had braces put on and tightened the day before. They were both uncomfortable and one was particularly grouchy about it because she didn't sleep. The energy in the house was rocky. I took a breath and very neutrally said, "my feelings are like this right now," followed by, "and my kids are like this right now." The fresh, fall air felt good on my skin and I said, "the sensation is like this right now." No fight. No fixing. No expectation that anything should be other than it is. What a relief.

So much of the time we fight what is. It's not the kind of fight that accomplishes anything. It's more like a resistance to what's here and it ends up causing us more suffering. It pervades our body with tension, with the effort of armoring up and closing off. We can do it with simple things like not liking that's a rainy day or larger things like losing a job. We can even do it around things that aren't happening to us, but to those around us. But thankfully, there is another way. How different it feels when we can let go of the fight or resistance and be present to what is here! Remembering that all things change is what allows us to do that. It's not always going to be this way. The leaves are falling now; they won't always be. It's like this right now. (If a part of you resists this idea by saying, "but some things we need to resist like racial injustice, abuse, a threat to democracy," whatever it might be...know that this isn't about not taking action, but it is about being real and present to what is here right now. To really feel and experience without layering on more than what is here. The next right action will come, but not out of pushing away what is here now).

I invite you to try it on for a day. Whatever arises, simply take a breath and observe with equanimity, "it's just like this right now." Find that space to notice without judging and without adding more onto what's there (like saying it's cooler today, that means it's going to be cold soon). Simply let yourself be with what is and notice how it feels different. Life is just like this right now. Please let me know if this simple mantra brings some ease. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Power of Trying Something On

This weekend, we went to the mall to pick up the jeans my daughter ordered that I thought were being delivered. I am learning that nothing operates quite the same way these days, so I am practicing going with the flow. Since I was there, I figured I might as well look in a department store to find pajamas. My attempt to purchase some online reminded me that while online shopping is great, some things you need to try on. Searching the racks in Macy's for pj's that don't look like I am trying to be 25 years old or that make me look 80 years old, I found a couple to try and then discovered that the fitting room was closed. Sigh. Going with the flow. We need fitting rooms. We need to try things on. And not just clothes...

The power of trying on a thought, an action, or visualizing something going well is no small thing. Athletes and performers, of all types, know this power well. I remember auditioning for a dance company that I so desperately wanted to get in. It was my dream for years and I finally had my chance. The movement fit me like a glove and so I went on that first day and for whatever reason, I couldn't learn the movement phrase the choreographer created. I just wasn't picking it up. Years of training with him and his dancers and suddenly I felt like a fish out of water. Somehow, I didn't get cut and they invited me back for the 2nd day. I remember sitting on the subway, on the way to the studio the next day, closing my eyes and taking myself through the phrase, feeling myself do all the parts smoothly. That day went great. I had it down. This is the power of trying something on and we can all do it for all kinds of things.

In my groups and workshops over the past two weeks we delved into setting ourselves up for the fall. What I loved was hearing participants share how they wanted to enter the season. I asked them to imagine how they wanted to meet the fall, how they wanted to be in themselves, with what kind of energy did they want to approach their everyday lives. The answers were inspiring to hear. They included wanting to be flexible, in the moment/savoring, feeling confident or having courage, feeling light/palyful, being steady, being quiet, accepting, being more real. I then asked them to try it on in their bodies, to visualize themselves moving through the day with that specific energy.

I know if I imagine myself meeting my daily moments with an energy that is slower and goes with the flow (the words that came to me), I have a greater chance of doing it that way...or at least somewhat. Every time I imagine myself with that intention, I am strengthening that part of me. And, because I can imagine it and really sense what it would be like in my body, that means I already know how to do it. It is already possible. It's in me. So what is possible in you this fall? How do you want to meet it? Can you take a moment to try it on? Bring forth what you want to bring forth. Your fitting room is not closed.