Saturday, May 14, 2011

The adventure continues



There were a couple of things that I heard at the retreat that really spoke to me. One was about being in service to our lives. Suddenly meditation and rest and exercise and eating well weren't about being "good," but really about how to skillfully live my life to best serve it. Taking "good" out of the equation was very powerful for me. If I look at my life as something I'm in service to, then it makes sense for me to be in the best shape I can be in so I can do that well. That's practical good common sense. I also like how this perspective means that life isn't just something that's happening to me, but that I'm in relationship with it, that I can bring something to it.

The other thing I heard, which is related, was about how we're really not in control of our lives and that if we think we are it causes our whole nervous system to clench up. Yeah, it sure does. I think it was David Whyte who exposed me to the idea that our lives are not what we want them to be, nor are they what the world wants them to be, but rather that they're somewhere in between. I think our culture likes to pretend that we're in control, but if we're really honest I think this other view is much more truthful.

Living from these two truths has been very helpful for me. I've been sensitive to when my nervous system clenches up and allowing myself to relax into not being in control, while at the same time being creative with how I can best serve the situation. Most of the time this has meant trying to give it a lot of space, slowing down, and tuning in. And the lovely thing is that I have a lot of opportunities to practice, to start over:)

A couple of books that I've really enjoyed lately are Expecting Adam by Martha Beck and wonderful Sharon Salzberg's Real Happiness. Such good and gentle company on the journey.