1. Truth: The way to get more time is to pay attention. This won’t be news to some. I am sure it is ancient wisdom, something so many others figured out long ago, but it just came to me this morning. We took a different section of trail on our walk, Dexter wanting to go right next to the river instead of up higher. Even though that span is about the same length as our regular route, I noticed how much longer it seemed like it took us to get to the bridge. And then I realized why–normally when we walk, the same path as we do every day and have hundreds of times, I don’t really pay attention. I am spacing off, day dreaming, planning, complaining, prewriting, and I hardly notice my feet moving. But changing the route woke me up, I was connected to where I was and what we were doing, what was happening…and time stretched and expanded. When you are mindful, in the moment and present, you experience the truth, the full measure of every moment.
2. Truth: Three deep breaths reveals the truth of things. Yoga, meditation, writing, and long walks with my dogs–all of my practices do the same. It’s during these specific activities (except for the occasional mindless walking as described above) that I connect with reality, that my mind and body are in the same place, at the same time. Sometimes when I take three deep breaths, I relax and feel lighter, and other times, I start to cry; always, it reveals what is waiting, just below the surface, for me to notice. Learning to stay with it has been so difficult, yet so important. It is in those moments I am alive, awake and open. What else is there?
3. Truth: I don’t need to become something else, because I am already. Again, this is ancient wisdom, not news to many, but I am only now wrapping my head around the idea that what I am meant to be is already there, only needing to be acknowledged and exposed, embodied and manifested rather than collected or earned. I don’t need to change, to improve, to be different. Jonathan Fields wrote a blog post about this the other day, and I keep reading and rereading it. He says “the process of coming alive isn’t about becoming, it’s about uncovering” and
[W]ho you’re meant to be has always been there… the Work lies in reclaiming the ability to see it. In chipping away all the stuff that gets caked on as you go through life. The wounds, the limitations born of the desire to be accepted at any cost, the heartbreak-fueled shrinking away. The psychic grit that comes to form a barrier so opaque as to obscure not only your ability to see, but be who you are.
And, Marianne Williamson says “Now, in this moment, you are who you have always been and will always be. All spiritual practice — forgiveness, meditation and prayer — is for the purpose of training the mind to see through the illusions of a world that would convince you otherwise.”
One wish: That we can all slow down, sink in, show up, stay and connect with reality, with who we are and with what is. Life is beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible–may we keep our hearts open.