Within every one of my professional interactions – whether retreats, workshops, or individual conversations – there comes a time when someone asks exactly how they are supposed to get around the obstacles they encounter so regularly. The answer is always the same; the encouragement too: ‘Practice. And you have plenty of opportunities every day to practise.’
And so it transpired this weekend that the same one-year-old son who had allowed me to work on Monday by sleeping, also allowed me to work on Saturday whilst he struggled with the effects of his latest vaccination. Having barely recovered from a fever during the hottest days of the week, the injections induced a discomfort which disrupted everyone’s day (and two nights), but which equally provided an opportunity to practise.
There were a number of predominant feelings which arose over the course of the day. Tiredness, of course, but also frustration, helplessness, and some anger (short-lived but nonetheless influential). There were unhelpful thoughts, too, about the splintered night ahead and then another difficult day, plus some general overthinking about future sicknesses. In addition, after a successful and sociable week, Saturday had the sense of a comedown to it. All of these were areas in which to dance. By which, I mean practise consciously letting go.
We are not our thoughts; nor are we our feelings. We are neither in the future nor in the past. We are right here, now. Present. And far greater than the restrictive thoughts and feelings we experience. Infinitely greater. When we respond negatively to stimuli, it’s as though our infinite nature is pinched and held tightly; and that whatever has been grasped between the thumb and forefinger of fate is all there is. But if we can release its grip, and let everything go, we return to infinity.
That was the meditation for yesterday: let go. I was helped by the previous two posts which both emphasised the now-ness of life, and by recent reminders from Jack Kornfield and Mooji about the nature of the Self being beyond what we experience. Therefore, I am grateful for the chance to practise every day. Even when things don’t seem to be going well, it is merely an invitation to dance.