I’ve sat at my computer and stared at the screen several times over the past few months waiting for that moment when my mind is clear, my heart is open and the words flow out to reflect a deeper truth or lesson in life that I feel has value in sharing or contemplating with you.
Nothing has flowed lately. My writing has felt rushed and stressed, sometimes with a tinge of an agenda or something that hasn’t fully taken root. So I delete the working piece and continue to wait because I know that something will come again that is sincere and genuine.
This fall has been generous to someone who loves walking in the woods. These beautiful days have been an invitation to soak in the bright blue sky and sunlight streaming through the bare branches and falling leaves.
With those walks come quiet hours reflecting and noticing what reveals itself without distractions, conversations, agendas or expectations.
Every walk reveals a calling to all that is stirring, not resolved or doesn’t have an answer. Some of these thoughts need more time, patience and space:
– My dear friend and beloved spiritual teacher who has aggressive stages of cancer.
– Fractured relationships that feels like a constant heartache.
– Questions of where our country is headed given our political environment.
– Contemplation of the neglect and overconsumption that is destroying our earth. What role am I playing? How are my decisions impacting the many people living around the globe and future generations?
And in those same walks there are blessings that spontaneously arise in the gaps of heartache and contemplation:
– The joy in responding to my daughter’s curiosity to explain what words mean like “refugee” and “Somalians”.
– The humble appreciation of the meaning and intention of my work.
– Recognition of the choices my family has because in this moment there is security.
On another walk today in the woods what was clear is that there are only fleeting moments when all the ducks are in a row. Waiting for them to all align puts an unfair expectation on life.
Life is about paradoxes, contradictions and polarities. Ease and suffering. Blessings and loss. Calm and fear. Love and anger. Joy and sadness.
One does not mean life is or is not working for us. It means that an engaged and contemplative life asks us to be with all that is present in the moment. Not just what we prefer and makes us comfortable. But to also be with and include what is uncomfortable. The questions that don’t have an answer. The heartbreak that we don’t know if will ever be fully healed. The lives that aren’t guaranteed a timeline.
This year, as in years past, I set an intention personally and professionally that guides my choices, decisions and perspective. It seems appropriate that the word that arose underneath the blue sky is surrender.
Surrender—“The courage to allow life to unfold without expectations of what we think it should or hope it to be. To trust the intrinsic qualities of our being as our ground.”