We’re on the Road
If you are practicing mindfulness, you can be sure of one thing. (Are you ready? This is slightly depressing.) You will notice all the ways that you are not mindful! This means that your practice is actually working.
I insist that you go back and read that paragraph again. Breathe into it. Only one simple conclusion can be drawn from all of this, which has been an ongoing theme these past weeks; life is ridiculous!
Wouldn’t you think, once committed to a practice, we would see and celebrate the “successes”, the lovely and harmonious results of our hard-earned commitment? Nope—we see all sides of successes. We see the authenticity of practice, which is the gift of remembering along with the gift of forgetting. Forgetting is the greatest and most profound success of all—to notice the lapses without judgment. This literally is the doorway to change. It just doesn’t always feel that way.
I believe we are wired (I surely am), that once committed, we believe our lives should be filled with a whole lot of “om shanti’s”, bliss and grace and freedom from struggle. I believe we are wired to believe that, once committed, we lock in the “remembering” (I got it! I’m doing it! I’m mindful—or, fill in the blank—I’m not eating sugar—I’m getting to yoga class—whatever it is for you.)
Nope. I don’t think so.
We remember. We forget. And is in the forgetting, that the most profound door to practice opens—to simply begin again, in the words of Jack Kornfeld.
To simply begin again.
I’ve had some leakage this week. Literal leakage. Housing leakage. Water dripping. Ceiling soggy. Floor slippery. Sheetrock buckling. My intention has been to trust the process, to know this is not a life-threatening disease, this leakage experience/opportunity. This will get fixed, this is getting fixed, I will not sleep on a park bench, etc. And most of the time, I can relax into that trust. Except when I can’t. And then, I get frightened and jumpy and anxious and it feels like I am leaking. It literally feels as if I will die from my personal leaking.
Trusting life is my core practice. I do not want to live in the fear and anxiety of my earlier years, in which there were plenty of moments when my own beliefs and behavior blocked me from grace and support. And yet, as I look with neutrality at my sober life, clearly, in every single moment, there is a flow of positive life energy, no matter what is happening. Aruni is not in charge. Evidence-based data from my life tells me that I am safe, that this situation will resolve, that all is indeed well in the Land of Leakage.
Things will work out—they always have.
I am choosing, with you all as my witnesses, to Trust the Leaking. I am committing to feel my anxiety about it, to breathe into my fear of it, and to have a fantastic life NO MATTER WHAT.
A fantastic day.
A fantastic moment.
Practice changes the brain, the body, and behavior. I choose to take action, to make appropriate leakage decisions, and yet, to have a fantastic moment, nevertheless. It is not worth the cost of my serenity or my enjoyment; it is not worth the cost of diminishing the joy I have been given.
Here is my prayer for us, today:
To embrace our humanity.
To bestow upon ourselves full permission to be human.
To lean in the direction we choose to live, rooted in radical acceptance of ourselves.
To enjoy this almost Indian summer day, no matter what we are given.
To practice being right here, right now, with life as it is.
To practice being right here, right now, with ourselves as we are!
And to seal our prayer, here are the blessings of George Harrison. I’ve been playing My Sweet Lord over and over—how I love this song!—and it really softens my heart. Check it out.