The theme this month in the Open Heart Project Sangha is simplicity. The first element of that is to relax — not collapse or give up, but to soften and rest, allow whatever might arise. The second element is three fold: simplify your calendar, simplify your environment, and simplify your mental activity. In terms of that last one, the instruction is to drop the story you are telling yourself about what is happening, drop the story about how you feel, and drop your agenda about how things should go. Just be with what is as it arises, stay open to it, and allow it to dissolve as it goes. This is all really good advice, wisdom that is of course complicated by the current state of things. I sway between hope and fear, knowing that neither one is really workable, neither one is a soft place to land.
I’m trying to keep things simple. At the same time, I’m trying to do more than before. It’s all of value, and this is where I get stuck — if everything I am planning or want is good or even necessary, how do I simplify? What do I clear out? Today it comes up for me this way — I’m trying to take better care of my body this year, part of which requires moving it more. So I move more, but then I’m so tired I also have to rest more, and it takes double the time I expected, and other stuff doesn’t get done. I also want to know more, help more in this “after the election” season, in “the next four years,” so I sign up and volunteer and agree to so much more than I can find the time and energy for. And the only way to access the necessary wisdom to know what to do next, what to let go, where to simplify? Stay still, don’t rush, relax, wait, be patient.