WHO WE ARE
Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already. The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s the ground, that’s what we study, that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.
Did you take in that bit? "It's about befriending who we are already." I suspect you and I are similar in this regard. It is difficult enough trying to find moments with which to meditate and when you "assume the position" (as if that's an option for me, Ha!) your practical and pesky left brained portion intrudes in the moment with grocery lists and an image of you trying on a bikini back in 1982! That helps doesn't it? So the next step is to allow the thoughts, acknowledge the thoughts and let the thoughts slip away to bring us back to mindfulness. So we embrace the intrusions, we let go of the image that does not serve us of the peaceful, serene bohemian looking entity in flowing gown with a glowing countenance. Instead we throw our arms out and grasp hold of US. You, ME! The lint covered and cookie crumbed and haven't combed our hair yet you. Just as you are. Just as you are. Just as you are. You are perfect in this moment just as you are.
And thank you for noticing that we have addressed this very concept on more than one occasion. It just happens to be the key to so many other locked doors that we are presented with in this time and this space. I have a few suggestions from my world of ongoing distraction and an uncanny knack for having to get there by another route. Meditation takes place in any number of wonderful ways in amazing places that you, yourself can design. I find myself in mindfulness while performing household tasks. Think about it. When you water the plants, empty the dishwasher, fold the laundry, these repetitive activities are truly a wonderful setting for meditation. And not just because you are usually alone doing them because your loved ones are hiding so they won't be enlisted in the household chore cause! It may be that while performing these tasks your mind wanders to your longer list of "must-do" or maybe you quietly worry about the things you wished you would not have said in the manner in which you said it. Grab these times and bring yourself to YOU. Clear your thoughts while your hands are busy. I happen to believe that mindfulness may be easier for many of us if our hands are busy. Sewing, painting, needlework, gardening and the aforementioned household tasks may be the perfect backdrop for you to become reacquainted with you.
Keep it very simple in a gentle way. The next time you are matching up the socks, place in your mind's eye a vision of you at a dining room table set beautifully. You look stunning in an outfit that you have chosen. You are at the table by yourself and are perfectly content with this. You are served a beautiful meal. Your favorite meal. WHAT? YOU DON'T REMEMBER WHAT YOUR FAVORITE MEAL IS? Me either. O.k. so we will start there. Quietly place on your plate while you hunt for your beloved spouse's sport sock twin the protein for your meal. It may surprise you to encounter a bit of resistance even with this assignment. Keep breathing. If need be, go right to dessert! It is all about baby steps here. You can do it.
This process will benefit many of you for a specific reason. Most of us are better at providing comfort and wisdom and the listening ear than we are at providing self care. As you may have noticed by now...at some juncture that process begins to take its toll and resentments creep in even if you know intellectually that no one in your family or circle of friends have asked you to give up YOU for them. The one way street of sending the energy out without an even exchange of it coming back to you benefits no one. At all. Whatsoever. Ever.
So as the beautifully enlightened Pema Chodron shares in her quote at the top of this piece befriend who you are already. If you are a bit mired in only doing for others? I understand and here is the best part. If you befriend who you are, as you are right in this moment you will be less judgmental of yourself. You will begin to embrace the light within you. If you embrace the light within you it will open the door to feel less judgment towards others. If you feel less judgment towards others your day will improve dramatically as the cranky factor will decrease dramatically.
And then? You will begin to see perfect strangers in their multi-colored hue of perfection. Love of self increases love of everything and everyone.
The Universe needs you just as you are sending out your brand of perfection.
And so it is.