Matters of the heart tend to slide into my life when I’m looking the other way. They settle into the corners and wait patiently for me notice. If I’m not too caught up in the desiccating winds of my internal critic or the howling banshees of blame, I do catch a glimpse of them snuggled against each other, taking warmth from the light of inspiration and opportunity they carried in with them.
Sometimes, if the light dies, as it does from my neglect or blindness, they grow cold, tire, and drift away through the cracks and crevices in the gyp-rock walls and floor planks. That usually (often!) happens when I’m caught in the busy-ness of life. Not living. Life. As an Object of a verb and not a present participle, Living.
This is what it is for now. At the end of 60 days on May 4th, I will count 32 of them spent on the road. I am developing a profound respect for those of you who do this as the primary way of earning a living. Or perhaps, I should write “earning a livelihood” because I fail to see the Living aspect of this. And that is the challenge of practice, I suppose. How to be immersed in the process of Living while doing what one needs to do.
There were some moments while at Upaya after the Chaplaincy program. I had a week without formal obligations while Frank attended the Trauma Resource Institute’s training. It promised to be a delicious time devoted to writing the last two chapters of our clinic guidebook. In fact, it was a double no-brainer because one chapter was on Self-compassion and the last on the ethical and spiritual basis of mindfulness. I intended to live out self-compassion by taking the time in beautiful inspiring places to write and where else to culminate the last chapter on spirituality but in a spiritual place! One and a half days of the five worked out that way.
It may not seem like much but that was enough to still the brain and allow me to see the gentle relationship that sat quietly in the background and emerged on the last day. Four of us doing what needs to be done, cultivating a community of those dedicated to the alleviation of suffering. I’ll keep you posted.
Thank you for practising,