Sunday, November 11, 2012

Could You Unzip Me All The Way?

I seem to be doing a lot of yearning these days. Yearning for a change, a dog, a trip, more sun, some snow, a different home, a shake up with work…just plain yearning. And as I notice I am on the brink of calling a real estate agent, quitting my job, diving into a passionate but  possibly unwise adventure I also notice that it is all connected with a growing understanding of just how short life really is.

I look at pictures from my twenties and think, gosh I was pretty, how come I didn’t know it back then. Then I flash forward 20 years from now and imagine myself hobbling along, still eccentric but wrinkled and bent and thinking back to this present moment, perhaps looking at a picture of myself as I look now and thinking, gee I sure had a vital energy and spirit back then.

Why the appreciation for the present moment seems so fleeting at this time I cannot truly say.
I saw a bald eagle yesterday and for a moment my heart soared with it over Lost Lagoon. That was in the present. My niece broke her tibia playing soccer and is in a cast from hip to toe. I got lost in the present, painting stripes of red, purple, and blue interspersed with polka dots set against a backdrop of sunshine yellow. For a moment we were lost in the art of obliterating white. It made us both happy.

And yet before and after, I drift, dreaming dreams that are not yet here or letting pictures of the past come to mind triggered by the crisp air and sugary smells that are infiltrating cafes getting ready for Christmas. I can’t say I am struggling with all this, I am just noticing. But it is irksome at times, like a knot in a fine silver necklace that I can’t unravel. At times I want to resort to using my teeth but I refrain.

I do know that the biggest challenges are often the greatest opportunities for growth and it would almost be easier if this was some big drama so I could deal with it. But it’s niggley, not big at all and somehow that makes it all the more difficult to be well with.

And so the universe brought me an interview last week with author Polly Campbell who wrote a book called Imperfect Spirituality. In it she continually reminds us that self criticism thwarts motivation. Self compassion boosts happiness, optimism, curiosity, conscientiousness and motivation. I asked her to take our listeners through a practice that she felt was important in this life long journey of awakening and self acceptance. She said instead of closing your eyes to meditate to notice while you are busy at living, exactly what is happening. To verbalize out loud to yourself the present action immediately drops you into your body and into the present moment.  

For instance, I am typing on a keyboard watching the words appear on the screen They are filled with spelling mistakes. I am taking a deep breath and pushing my hair behind my left ear. It feels soft. 

Or if you are washing the dishes just name what you are doing. I am putting soap in the water. It feels warm as I put my right hand into the suds etc. I have tried this driving and walking down the street, bringing into consciousness wherever my eyes land. It is deceptively simple yet remarkably effective. Try it yourself.

Once I am back in the present I think drifting is not so bad. It’s only my judgment of it that generates unease. Can I accept this swirly void I keep finding myself falling into and be alright with it?

In Polly’s book she calls this space The Fertile Void which is a lovely reframe and implies that there is something being birthed in this process. If the emptiness is fertile then possibility lives in that sense of nothing.  

Instead of viewing my drifting mind as escape I can embrace it as free form possibility.

Yes I can rest in that. 

Branded by nothing,

Authentically Yours,




1 comment:

  1. Lovely writing my friend. Was just thinking of you the other day when I was getting dressed. I was wondering how all these years you manage to look so good and dress so hip. You are still gorgeous - never stopped being so. xolovely