Saying YES to life28 Mar 2019, Posted by Non classé in
Spring arrived last week with a full moon, and here in SW France clear blue sky and warm sunshine – days and days of it. Last year it was the opposite with seemingly endless days of grey sky and rain. Whatever the weather we know it will eventually change – for better or worse. Impermanence is life’s only constant.
My daily walk in the woods with Gordon the dog brings a new joy each time. A different flower blossoming, a richer odour, a larger palette of colour, more leaves unfurling – the changes are continuous but each one can be appreciated if I take the time to pay attention. Noticing simple everyday pleasures is one of the easiest ways to become happier and more content with life.
I like to celebrate the changing seasons with the equinoxes and solstices by meditating for world peace with a group of friends – along with many thousands of others around the globe. Afterwards we share a meal and often do a fire ceremony in the garden. It has become a special occasion that I really look forward to. This year I happened to be working away from home and wasn’t sure what time I’d be back so decided not to organise anything at my house. Then a new friend invited me to a Spring Equinox celebration in her tepee which I really wanted to attend. Unfortunately, I found out that I needed to stay the night where I was working so would miss it.
At first, I felt quite cross about having to stay the night, and also very disappointed about missing the equinox celebration. I felt myself getting tense, wanting things to be different than they actually were. My whole being (mind/body/emotions) saying NO! Just noticing what was going on allowed me to remember that I had chosen to take this job, I can meditate wherever I am, and that missing an event is not the end of the world. I brought my attention to my surroundings and reminded myself of all the things that I’m grateful for. I felt the tension releasing as my whole self found a way of saying YES!
Later that day a colleague took me to the nearby medieval hill top village of Puycelsi which I had never visited before. As I admired the beautiful view and strolled through the cobbled streets I had to consciously bring myself back, again and again, when my mind kept wandering to the event that I was missing. In the end I had a really enjoyable time, but I have experienced many occasions in my life when letting go of what I wanted to happen, rather than accepting the present reality of the situation, has been too difficult. In the words of one of my favourite yoga teachers (Judith Hanson Lasater) “How human of me!”
I am not a saint/yogi/enlightened being – but I do have the tools to live a happy and contented life. Mindfulness helps me to recognise straight away when my attention drifts and my thoughts become fixated on past events that no longer exist and cannot be changed, or future scenarios which don’t exist and might never happen. Noticing the accompanying physical and emotional tension reminds me to consciously redirect my attention to where I want to be – right here right now. Finding a way to meet each moment with a YES – by acknowledging and accepting what is happening, allows me to more fully engage with life.