We dance

And I can’t let go of the fight
Can’t get the tense out of my body
Can’t surrender to the rhythm that is my life

The battle that is within
is expressed
ungracefully.

I end up hurting my neck.

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Be here now: battles with the Daydreaming Mind

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It’s typical for me – when a transition is coming up – to live in the future.  I remember my last 5 months working in the non-profit sector was a bit of a struggle.  I knew I was leaving and a part of me left early.

Now hilariously – in the exact inverse situation – going back to the non-profit sector, and again the transition is 5 months away – and a part of me has already left.

How do I stay here?  How can I be grateful for what I have now?  Why do I glamorize the next step instead of seeing what the present has to offer?

Intellectually – I know that there are many components that I will miss – moving away from Yasodhara Ashram to a city.  I will miss living in nature.  I will miss the community here, the support that I have, the beautiful people.  I will miss the way I am able to contribute to this place.  The way I am able to dream and plan and innovate, to try to do things differently, to try to do things better.  I will miss the feeling of being a contributor to a community I deeply care for.

I am reminded of this today as I sit with someone who is leaving soon and listen to all that she’s learned being here, listening to all that the community has given her.   This is my work, to be a part of that, to help people enter in and find their own way in.

It’s only when day dreaming happens and the part of me that sees the limitations here comes out to play.  Then I feel lost like a leaf in the storm – subject to limitation with no choice.

But really I am more like a fish in a storm – there are some undeniable currents but as I encounter each one I have choice.  Will I swim against the current or go with it?  Or will I ferry across in search of the next stream?  My energy is limited but in every moment there is a choice.

So where do I want my energy to go?  And how can I direct the currents of my thoughts?

I know that I am where I need to be – that my work here is not yet finished.  Some of my projects are at the exciting beginning stage and need the 5 months to be played out.

And although there are challenges here there is also support. And it is my job to ask for that support instead of day dreaming about an ideal future that is somehow free from challenge.

Be here now – three simple words and yet an incredibly challenging task.  But as I learn to ask for help and embrace what I am faced with today – my world can open up and become beautiful now.

Mind

Jan 13, 2013 006

Often my mind goes wherever it likes, following the path of least resistance.  Flowing into old thought patterns before I notice and realize I have a choice.

English scholar and yogi Ernest Wood helped me to see this happening.  In Concentration: An Approach to Meditation, he writes,

…the need of mental training, or regular, orderly, purposeful exercise of the mind, is far greater than that of the body in most cases; for at our general stage of growth most [people]’s bodily activities are well-ordered and controlled , and the body is obedient to their will, but their minds are usually utterly disobedient, idle and luxurious.[1]

And I’m beginning to see how this manifests for me.

For the past couple of days I’ve felt slightly disconnected.  And today I finally realized I don’t need to beat myself up about it.  I’m able to see that beating myself up is flowing into the old thought pattern of not good enough, not smart enough, not efficient enough.

I’m realizing that I feel uncentered and that’s okay.  I am centered enough.

Utterly disobedient – until I choose to make a change.

And so I’m beginning to watch what happens in my mind.  To notice and to write.  To become the detective and put the clues together.  To realize when a negative pattern is happening and to shift away.  To exercise choice.

And there’s an amazing freedom that comes.  Realizing that when my mind is utterly disobedient it causes a lot of pain.  And then when I find ways to change the pattern the pain lifts.

So slowly.
One step at a time.
I am learning to change my mind.


[1] Wood, Ernest. Concentration: An Approach to Meditation. Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing House ,1949, p. 62.