I am most content in Nature, be it mountains or fields, in these places I have a sense of connection, of suchness that eludes me in trappings of concrete and steel. When I am able to spend even brief moments in the bounty of the earth, I am reborn, refreshed and deeply content.
I recently stumbled across the writings of Wendell Berry, a man of “suchness” and I think this quote from his essay “A Native Hill” captures the essence of the lightness and depth one feel’s amidst Nature’s verdant realms.
“And so I go to the woods. As I go in under the trees, dependably, almost at once, and by nothing I do, things fall into place. I enter an order that does not exist outside, in the human spaces. I feel my life take its place among the lives-the trees, the annual plants, the animals and birds, the living of all these and the dead-that go and have gone to make the life of the earth. “I am less important than I thought, the human race is less important than I thought. I rejoice in that. My mind loses its urgings, senses its nature and is free.” ~Wendell Berry, A Native Hill
In stillness, the truth slowly revels itself. We begin to understand the preciseness of the Universe. Out of chaos arises beautiful order; a magical dance of dark/light, pleasure/pain, bliss/suffering, life and death; anew in each eternal moment. 𝘕𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦
There is ★𝙈 𝘼 𝙂 𝙄 𝘾 ★ in the ordinary. Being present in the moment- 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘸 -is where spontaneous joy arises. ☆ Meditation can help us become comfortable with stillness. It gives us practice being in the moment. ☆ Over time we begin to notice that every part of our day can become our practice. We can mindfully make our beds, prepare our food, read to our children. ☆ We begin to live in the now, no longer dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. ☆ We live in the ★𝙈 𝘼 𝙂 𝙄 𝘾 ★ of now. ☾ ☾ ☾ Now to be completely honest while in the middle of writing this, I had to stop to clean up dog puke. It doesn’t get much more ordinary than that!🤣 But if we learn to laugh in these moments -when we can see the absurdity of life in all its splendor AND in all it’s hardships- we realize it is all 𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗬.
That’s the whole point of mindfulness- discovering the magic in every moment of your life- whether cleaning up dog puke or falling in love, there’s always magic to be found.
How many of us rush through what we have to “do” because it is boring or tedious or we just do not feel like doing it? We are leading unmindful lives, allowing moments to rush by in a flurry of frustration and angst always thinking the next thing will be better, more entertaining, more rewarding.
When we go through our days unengaged with the present moment we have a tendency to forget our days, conversations and moments. We are so caught up in thoughts and to-do lists that “doing” becomes frustration. So we need to learn how to flow through our days in a state of being, a state of awareness.
Being comes from our authentic self; our deepest inner knowingness. It is effortless, flowing, dynamic, honest. Most of us have experienced moments of awareness, true focus and immersion into what it is we are doing. Those states of flow, when the background chatter is reduced to non-existent, we become one with our task. I experience these stretched out moments of awareness when reading, painting, or drawing. Notice these are all creative endeavors. We are inherently creative beings, which is why a flow state is so natural in artists, writers and musicians.
Through practice we can begin to experience this moments of flow, of pure being more frequently. We can align ourselves with the Universe and live in harmony.
In addition to mindfulness practice/training we also need to look deeply at our motivation and intention. We need to understand the WHY of our actions. When we participate in practices that encourage mindlessness it is usually for escape. We try to escape stress and unpleasantness whether from our work, families or our own minds. Incessant scrolling on social media or imbibing substances recklessly are both examples of escapist behaviors. Escape is doing. Gentle awareness is being.
We must learn to sit with our toxic and unpleasant emotions when they arise. The next time you get frustrated doing the dishes or taking out the garbage, ask yourself “Why?”. What about performing a task (that must be preformed) is frustrating? Does your frustration actually relate to the task, or is there something deeper that gets triggered when performing certain tasks?
When we can take a moment to pause and look at the cause for the frustration, we begin to peal back the layers until we reach our central motivations. For example let’s say I get frustrated every time I take the garbage out. I recognize my frustration and pause to consider why. Perhaps I have repeatedly asked my son to take the garbage out, then I’m frustrated with his negligence. This could be evidence of a deeper issue, perhaps my son is lazy and this is one more example; yet I choose to ignore the connections to avoid confrontation. Magically we have arrive back at me. If I have problem with confrontation then I am most likely frustrated with myself for not dealing with the situations; instead blame-shifting first to my son, then to the garbage.
(My son would probably give me a look if he read this as he take out the garbage 98% of the time.)
A lot of the time our frustration is because we have expectations of others that are not met. Again, the problem lies within. We cannot place unrealistic expectations on others. Life happens and sometimes it is no ones fault the expectation is not met. We need to be able to pause and see situation clearly and not through the lens of “how it only affects me”. This takes practice. In order to experience more flow in our day we must make time for stillness.
Through practices such as yoga, meditation and breath work we can begin to feel some ease and adjust to a slower pace; allowing space for gentle awareness to arise naturally. We begin to stop doing and start being.
Please contact me if you would like more information on how to start your own personal practices of ease and flow.