Years ago a friend said to me: I jump from this and that when what I really want to know are the moments in between.
Indeed. I know all too well the sensation of being a frog, leaping from one lily pad to another. I am aware of skipping those liminal moments ... I am becoming aware of what it is I am avoiding by my compulsive busyness.
I am avoiding the discomfort of this moment of stillness and quiet. While I have craved such, to be in it is hugely disorienting. I am aware of the sound of the clothes tumbling in the dryer, the hum of the refrigerator, the steady rhythm of my dog breathing as he sleeps by my feet. I am aware of the glow of the kitchen light, harsh in contrast to the darkness outside. The false brightness emphasizing the gloominess of the weather and the dimness within me.
I am aware of the compulsion to be doing something. The other inhabitants of my home are out in the world and engaged in their tasks while I sit here ... doing what? Abiding? Waiting?
Paying attention. Trying to grab hold of what constantly slides through my fingers, aware of a shadow at the edges of my consciousness. I envy my dog his lack of anxiety over what he does or doesn't do. He simply is.
I am aware of my defensiveness regarding my day. The Husband comes home and in a spirit of genuine interest and curiosity asks me, "What did you do today?" I snidely reply "I sat around eating bon-bons." I am aware of feeling guilty if I cannot account for myself, my actions, my productivity. But I know too well that busyness and doing does not equal living nor does it make for a satisfying life.
I have joined with the participants in The Gift of Practice in experimenting with a new practice. I took the advice of David Whyte and am taking the step that scares me, the one I've resisted for much of my life. I am sitting every day and spending a minimum of 5 minutes watching my breath. I am not doing, striving, perfecting ... I am attempting to simply be. Sit. Breathe. Be.
In the process, I am watching the cloaks and hats and labels I've dressed myself in, peeling away one by one. The longer I sit, the more layers I discover. Perhaps one day I will come to the end and discover what I've been seeking my whole life: to truly know myself. Just me. Simple, plain, perfect in my imperfections. Sitting snugly, comfortably within myself.
If Life is a gift ... and truly, I believe it is such ... then each of us is a parcel of wonder, a treasure to be shared and enjoyed. I want to sit in that space in between the scattered wrapping paper, torn off bows, savoring the moment of receiving.
Time to turn off, stop typing and start being ...