“There is a common misunderstanding among the human beings who have ever been born on earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable. You see this even in insects and animals and birds. All of us are the some. A much more interesting, kind and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our curiosity is bitter or sweet. To lead to a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is. If we are committed to comfort at any cost, as soon as we come up against the least edge of pain, we’re going to run; we’ll never know what’s beyond that particular barrier or wall or fearful thing.”
― Pema Chödrön
The last two months have been intense for me, on many levels. I have been surprised by the manifestation of certain situations, and how I have found myself in them. I feel thrilled and full of gratitude, while painfully aware of loss and impermanence. It is a strangely open place, or rather space; a threshold, a waiting, an edge that begs me to sit down and look out at the view. It is also an active place – in general I have been busy and full in the midst of it all.
I have been very much inside my head, inside my heart, yet I go about my work with enthusiasm; I find it pleasing to push through the introspection, to mindfully approach the tasks at hand. I enjoy the rhythm of walking into my office with all my books and laptop and coffee, hanging my scarf and coat on my wall hooks, bringing my lunch to the fridge and peaking into the other office’s to say, “Good morning!” I enjoy the team I work with so very much. I am incredibly lucky.
My mothering has a fatigued and bleary-eyed quality to it, due to the inner work taking so much energy these days, as well as the two grad courses I’m taking online, (and the divorce, and the full-time office job, etc). But the kids, despite being kids, are so beautifully open and appreciative, and our time together is ferociously precious to me.
Mentally and emotionally: my reading (particularly “Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path“) has my brain like at-capacity rubberbands nearly ready to give way. And Pema Chodron brings me to tears every night – stretching me emotionally in lovely and uncomfortable ways.
Physically, I have been upping my yoga practice this winter and feeling my body getting stronger and more balanced, becoming aware of each satisfyingly aching muscle. I have done a few random classes out of sheer curiosity (belly dancing, tango, etc) but I come back to a love of my yoga. (In addition, I am going to be in a 7-mile Gladiator Mud Run with my boss (love love love her!) in 6 weeks!)
To top it off, I recently set out to get my TEFL certification to open doors to teaching english in other countries in the future (reading “Tales of a Female Nomad” has my Sagittarius Moon yearning for life overseas again!)
This and truly so much more… I guess I will just end it here and get back to my homework. Until next time, friends…
“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently… It’s a lifetime’s journey to relate honestly to the immediacy of our experience…”
― Pema Chödrön
Holding Life Consciously – interesting interview with Arthur Zajonc, physicist and contemplative, author of Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry; When Knowing Becomes Love