Just the other day I realized I rarely recognize opportunity as it is unfolding. Not rushing to label opportunity and put it in its box is a lifelong pattern and a beneficial one at that. It may be that not labeling any moment is what allows us to be most mindful and, thus, most present in our lives.
Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.
The mere act of being invigorates us whether the energy we are feeling is familiar or seems a spark, strange and unknown. Regardless, the energy of each moment is unique, unattached, not ever having presented in quite the same way. All we have to do is let go of preconceived notions. That is the nature of being.
In the past few weeks I have had a lot of practice with just being. Although I have been more overwhelmed than not, I discovered an underlying energy I was sure I no longer had, a gift bright and shiny but an awakening as well as a remembering. Simultaneously, the energy I am experiencing is new and old so it is not surprising that I lurched a bit, trying to rely on past experience when all I had to do was just be and not be anything.
Regular readers of this blog know I have benefited from a diet of whole foods as well as a regular yoga and meditation practice. Regarding the diet, I am entering my fourth year of low sugar, low starch, lots of leafy, green vegetables and gluten-free grains; for the last year and a half, I have meditated at least six days a week and usually daily; I am approaching the six month mark of a regular yoga practice, which is all but daily.
I am now realizing a steady energy from this combination of diet, meditation, and yoga. However wonderful it is, there is even more. A professional opportunity is within my grasp, one I could not have imagined.
Amazingly, rather than greeting the opportunity mindfully—just being who I am–I relied on well-worn behaviors of the person I was. I fell into old patterns and not surprisingly, I started feeling physically and emotionally drained yet it was not a full lupus or Sjogren’s flare-up. Not at all.
It was as if I did not trust the person I am now. I knew I was being given more than a chance to contribute substantially to improving lives of animals; I was being given a chance to be a member of a professional team again.
Rather than being invigorated, I held opportunity at bay. I was so afraid of failing and at the same time I was so sure of succeeding. Then, I “recognized what was going on” as Pema Chödrön would say:
When we are distracted by a strong emotion, do we remember that it is part of our path? Can we feel the emotion and breathe it into our hearts for ourselves and everyone else?… And when we can’t practice when distracted but know that we can’t, we are still training well. Never underestimate the power of
compassionately recognizing what’s going on.
It is early days in adding this professional world to my online writing life but that I am able to venture into that world is one of the greatest opportunities of my later life. And yes, autumn—my favorite season—overflows with gratitude for this unknown, emerging life. Such is the mere act of being.
9 thoughts on “Recognizing What is Going On is a Mere Act of Being”
Oh, do trust the person you are now! The person who, by the way, can recognize mindfully when it is she may be falling into ‘old behaviors.’
Oh, those old behaviors! Am happy to report that recognition is more immediate these days but every once in a while, there is a surprise. Thanks for the support, Ann!
Very nice and inspiring blog, Huber! Thanks for following “Known is a drop, Unknown is an Ocean”. 🙂
Even more positive than usual this week Karen! I am glad you have a new opportunity – it is usually stimulating (if anxiety inducing temporarily at least) to try something new so I hope it works out, as you do seem to be in a good place at the moment. I know how anxiety often has physical effects and it is tricky to keep these in check. best wishes for the season! Diana
Thanks, Diana! So far, this “opportunity” is requiring much more than I anticipated yet I am meeting the day to day of it, which is extraordinary in its own right. We will see what it may mean. I hope this season has offered you moments of joyful reflection regarding days past.
Repetitions and disciplines form the daily framework of life–to your list I would add walking the neighborhood and writing in a journal–but opportunity–that thing outside the ordinary sometimes goes unrecognized as we practice the repeated acts that keep us calm and sane.
I always enjoy your weekly thoughts, Karen.
And I enjoy yours, Adrian. By year’s end, I hope to once again walk Waverly every day.
Wishing you well. Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂
A much belated thank you, Deb. Always good to see you here.