Then Black Friday arrived. We had had freezing rain the night before and I was stuck at home. I couldn't even walk Moose, the sidewalks were that treacherous. Okay, maybe I exaggerate a smidgen but it was also cold and windy and I was not venturing forth. I sat huddled before the fireplace, reading my really good book (Corrag by Susan Fletcher; part of the reading list for Reclaiming the Wise Woman) which had me far away from my present reality. I got up to get some tea when I remembered my intended practive-cum-project.
Fuck it. That was my immediate reaction. I was right on the edge of releasing it when I realized a committed daily practice was exactly what I needed lest I slip into a mighty crevasse of seasonal ennui, fatigue, and/or overwhelm. So I began that day at the end of the day, but I began none-the-less. (To see these posts, you can visit my InnerGlow page HERE and scroll backwards to view previous posts.)
I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I always am ... it is not so much the what of practice but the commitment to show up and participate at some level with the practice that reaps rewards beyond anything I could have predicted or envisioned.
A couple of days ago, I was listening to a very inspiring talk where the speaker was sharing how she starts every day in a "meeting" with her spiritual CEO. In other words, starting out with mindfulness, reflection, and connection with what one holds vital or essential. She talked about writing down her the three things she wants to create that day, which is really just clarifying one's intentions or motivation for energy and actions.
There was this moment of "YES!" and then a crashing down as I looked around me to see the clutter of a day yet to really happen (in my mind) ... me still in my robe and slippers ... the clock ticking ... and an all-too-familiar feeling of "I've missed it again!" I know myself and I know If I reach noon and I have not immersed myself in my work (by which I mean that which excites, engages, challenges and expands me) then the window of opportunity has passed. For that day. I don't give up, but I know anything I embark upon in the afternoon will require a great deal more effort on my part both energetically and mentally. It just is.
Still, I caught myself about to descend into some nasty self-talk ... you know, The Story about what I ought to have done and how miserable or useless a creature I really am ...
"It seems I've lived as though there were two of me. Right where I stand is me as I am. Opposite me is another me, one I've never met. She is quite wonderful, charming, and accomplished. She sits longer, for instance, every day, and eats much less. She says and does nothing she regrets. She went to the exercise class I skipped; she didn't even glance at the dessert menu. She has all the potential I have misspent: youth, for instance, time, patience, and kindness. All the while that we have traveled side by side, she has taken a different road, one I've never seen. I am taunted by her perfection."
- Karen Maezen Miller, Paradise In Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden
Thankfully, I remembered the above passage and I recognized I could simply Begin Right Now with my day, choosing what was possible for me in this moment. I looked outside and realized run would help me shift into clarity and alignment. I came home from my run (after seeing a Kestrel - Kestrel teaches speed and action of thoughts must be done with a balance mind and heart along with patience to act at the opportune time) and made myself a green smoothie even though that Perfect Me was screaming about the lack of fresh fruit in the house and the almond milk that was not-quite fresh (but still fine). And it tasted great and I felt great.
So each day I try my best and I honor that what I can do is what I can do. The only one looking over my shoulder, second guessing me is that mythic creature, the Perfect Me. And honestly, she is a tad boring, predictable and not very inspiring to be around. So I pat her on her tidy head and offer her a few oohs and ahs for her impossible schemes before returning to my real world clutter and chaos which always holds out so many interesting surprises, insights and opportunities.
Just thriving where I grow ...