Day of Rest

decsunriseThis picture is from two years and one day ago. Back before we’d even met Ringo, and before I’d started yoga teacher training. In those specific ways, it seems like it was a long time ago, but I still remember exactly how beautiful it was that morning, how lucky I felt to see it, to be out walking with Eric and Sam.

I haven’t been able to get as much done as I’d intended to recently. I had big plans to post responses to various reflective challenges, keep up with all the good content sent my way through the programs I signed up for, catch up on a class I’m in, prepare some content for the ecourse I’m creating, read and take part in a book group, buy and wrap and ship a few extra gifts for the Pine Ridge Holiday Project, get all the shopping and wrapping and shipping done for the gifts for my own family, do some baking, move everything back into the bathroom, give the house a good clean, write a few letters and send a few packages unrelated to the holidays, work on something to share at my retreat next weekend, catch up on some reading and laundry, and maybe even take a few naps…

Sigh. I put so much pressure on myself to keep going, keep doing, and the to-do list is so long. What has changed is that the realization that it’s unrealistic, unsustainable, comes so much sooner, and I’m able to adjust, lower the bar, be gentle with myself. That’s mostly what I’ve been doing instead of all the things.

This morning I was listening to one of the meditations from Rachel Cole’s Savor. It was about silence and truth. In it Rachel was talking about spiritual practice and what it was, what it meant. She said that spiritual practice isn’t about seeking happiness, but rather it’s about seeking and being with the truth. In the meditation, she invited us to allow ourselves to open and be receptive of whatever might be true for us, allowing in whatever truth might be trying to offer us.

Right after, I listened to this week’s Open Heart Project meditation from Susan Piver, which reminded me of a blog post she wrote last week, What you are doing right now is the path. In it, she suggests that the householder or layperson’s path is “the path of diving headfirst into ordinary life and taking it and all its details—money, sex, buying a house, hanging out in bars, making a career, figuring out what to wear, raising children, and so on—as the path itself.” This makes so much sense to me. I have long felt the lines blurring between practice (on the page, on my yoga mat, on my meditation cushion, on the other end of a leash) and everything else.

I wasn’t going to pick another word to guide my year, not because I didn’t see value in the practice but because one just wasn’t finding me. But this morning, I’m considering choosing “path.” There’s something about that concept, what I know about it, that feels like it has the capacity to provide clarity, help me to make better choices, allow me to focus on what truly matters, provide the way to seek and be with the truth.

 

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