Tis the Season
Tis the season.
I’ve been wondering about this season.
Tis the season—for what, exactly?
Are there secret elves on our rooftops, cranking up the excite-o-meter, getting us mere mortals even more frenzied than we already are?
Is life not enough right now, with truth blurring into lies and lies becoming truth, to keep us internally agitated and vibrating?
Are there secret elves conspiring, along with reality, to take us out before Santa’s sled lands?
If ever there were a time to reframe, to realign, to recommit to the internal experience, rather than to submit to the over-culture’s assumptive, expectation-ridden, marketing-driven interpretation of the holidays—this is the time!
Let’s take the holidays back.
Let’s claim them for ourselves.
Let’s look inside and find our values, our meaning, our understanding of the season, and live into them, from inside, out.
Let’s consider—what is this season for, for you?
To what do you choose to commit, in this auspicious time, as the light is squeezed from the day, as the returning light still hovers, just out of reach?
From inside, out—what do you choose?
I choose kindness.
I choose kindness, first to myself.
It is not comfortable, I am not comfortable, cozying up with my loneliness.
It is not comfortable, I am not comfortable, being a woman, an aging woman finding my way forward alone.
Speaking of assumptions and expectations, I thought I knew, even within the narrative of my somewhat radical life, what It would look like, “It” meaning my moment, my reality, my future.
Nope. I have no clue.
How I want to know!
How I want to put my life into some paradigm, some footprint, some format that makes sense of it, that pre-determines is evolution, it’s unfolding.
Nope. There is none.
I choose to be kind to my loneliness.
I choose to befriend my heartbreak.
I choose to be kind to myself.
Secondly, I choose to be kind to you.
When I begin to look around, scouting hungrily for the source of my discomfort, for the being whose mere presence and actions have caused my feelings, I am walking on oh, such thin ice.
It is too damn easy to make my moments to be about you; deflection is such a profound and effective smokescreen, that does not ultimately work.
I choose to be kind to you.
No matter what my mind might make up, no matter the juicy narrative I have created to explain You as The Source (quickly followed by, “If only you did ___, I would be comfortable.”) That is slippery!
Part of the problem.
Kindness to you.
No matter what.
As best I can.
And when I can’t, whenever I can’t, because that is inevitable, then self-kindness flows in.
And finally, I choose to bring kindness to us.
In the midst of the calamity of this moment, the deception, the lack of morality, the baseless evil of this moment, how can I begin to find a place for myself in which to inhabit?
Kindness is the doorway.
I don’t know that I can do it.
And I don’t know how to do it.
But I believe it is the only way–
I don’t know that I can be kind to the mean, the misogynist, the heartless, the vain—yet I imagine my pushing them away somehow prohibits me from seeing those parts in my self.
Rejecting them inevitably equals rejecting myself.
As best as I can, one breath at a time, I choose to bring kindness to us, all.
Okay, Aruni, all good ideas. Loving-kindness, to self, to other, to all.
How does one practice?
How in the blazes do we do this impossible, this leap of faith into the void of compassionate kindness?
Metta meditation is loving-kindness
We just practice.
Here is a track I recorded over a decade ago, for my guided meditation album. This track is called, “Cultivating Loving-Kindness.” Please join me in this ten-minute practice. And please, if it resonates with you, use it. Take it. Weave it into your day.
Cultivating Loving-Kindness http://bit.ly/2PfVNJn
May we honor the darkness,
Both outside and in.
May we lean toward the light
Of its return.