Thursday, June 19, 2008

18: Recognition Admiration

"Here is a spiritual practice that will bring empowerment and creative expansion into your life. Make a list of a number of everyday routine activities that you perform frequently. Include activities that you may consider uninteresting, boring, tedious, irritating, or stressful. But don't include anything that you hate or detest doing. That's a case either for acceptance or for stopping what you do. The list may include traveling to and from work, buying groceries, doing your laundry, or anything that you find tedious or stressful in your daily work. Then, whenever you are engaged in those activities, let them be a vehicle for alertness. Be absolutely present in what you do and sense the alert, alive stillness within you in the background of the activity. You will soon find that what you do in such a state of heightened awareness, instead of being stressful, tedious, or irritating, is actually becoming enjoyable. To be more precise, what you are enjoying is not really the outward action but the inner dimension of consciousness that flows into the action. This is finding the joy of Being in what you are doing. If you feel your life lacks significance or is too stressful or tedious, it is because you haven't brought that dimension into your life yet. Being conscious in what you do has not yet become your main aim."
-- Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

There are several people in my life who are way ahead of me in this inner peace thing. For me, I have to read books, sign up for beginning yoga, wiggle around in my pajamas and hope I can fall asleep without any strange dreams tonight. Others have that natural calm, that kind viewpoint, the unruffled, untempered self, the one that will smile and shrug his or her shoulders and enjoy what life might bring.

There are two I feel compelled to point out to the world at large.

Eireann over at bara, a dear friend of mine from my undergraduate years, a fellow poet, and a fine human being. Last summer, her mother had a medical emergency that threatened the make-up of their family; they almost lost her. For many families, this might have evoked a Why me? response, a wailing and welling of negativity. But Eireann writes of love and luck, and every time I read that post, my heart shudders: this girl can feel and she's always had such a wonderful attitude about life.

Me, I get wrapped up in what people think of me. I panic, take small sniffling steps, mimic, fall back. Eireann is an innovator, a person who charges forth in life, who opens her arms up, whether it is sunny or not and embraces the YES of life. She is one hell of a human being.

The other is my husband. OK, so he knows how to push my buttons and sometimes he'll do it. Just after I quit smoking years and years ago, he would nudge me a little over the line and tell me he was just making sure I was serious about quitting. I stuck to it, but I wanted to bean him with my box of Nicoderm.

Despite all of this, he also has this similar attitude about things, things that frustrate me and get me all worked up like a dervish. Case in point: the other night, not so far in the distant past, I was talking to him about someone I know who I felt a bit competitive with. I would point out flaws, and we both knew I was just trying to boost my own ego, show that I am just as good. He said to me, "Molly, don't worry about it. Just worry about yourself."


Maybe that's all there really is. The right now and the how good it is.

Before I go, you know, getting back to laundry and dishes and all of that: Did you see the moon last night? Here are two lovely flickr captures of it: one and two.

I tried to take a Polaroid of the moon the other night. I've been staring at the sky through my living room window a lot: during the day, while reading on the sofa, seeing what kinds of cloud patterns there are, but also at night, which has been so clear lately, watching the way the moon has changed. So I dashed out with my new Polaroid and snapped, not knowing what would happen: the picture itself is crap, but the moment was magical. The light of the flash caught little pinpricks of something--stars? dust?--and they twinkled at me oh so briefly. It's those kinds of little moments, late at night, when no one is watching, that are entirely perfect.


Beautymist said...

thanks for a wonderful quote by Eckhart Tolle !

I like your new blog/new insight on life.


eireann said...

thanks for those words, molly.

Kristen Mintz said...

wow! I'm honored to be #2!!! I love this post, beautiful words! :)