“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”-Leonard Cohen
This morning my meditation practice was graced by an unexpected visitor. After attending to a few chores, my white kitten follows me to my bedroom and joins me for a daily meditation session. When she finally settles down, she curls up on the corner of my bed and softly snores while I do my practice.
Today her older sister, a spunky red-haired cat named after the fire-goddess Brigid, joined us. Let us just say, Brigid is most appropriately named! After kitten started napping, Brigid literally walked in circles around me looking for a place to settle. When she finally sat down, I started the timer. Ding!
Brigid’s ears perked at the sound of the timer. What was that sound? Intrigued, Brigid began encircling me as if I were a bonfire and she were dancing around the flames. This went on for what seemed like ten minutes but in reality, was probably about thirty seconds.
I attended to Brigid, and she finally settled down. I was about to re-set my timer when it occurred to me… I don’t need to wait until it is quiet to start the meditation. Today, this is the meditation.
How often we put things off until our life’s circumstances change! We think that we will be happy when xyz occurs. We can’t imagine finding peace in the midst of our very busy lives! We assume that one day when things settle down, we will have time to do that which is most meaningful to us and spend time with loved ones we hold most dear.
What if we were able to accept, cultivate, and enjoy what small pleasures life offers us now even in the thick of our struggle and hardship?
Life is not what happens when things “settle down”. If we wait to get around to living our lives when life is more convenient, we will never really live. Life is the mess and the chaos, the quiet and the stability.
Living means participating in life’s dynamic stillness.
Have you heard of the Hero’s Journey? It is the basis of many of our most beloved stories such as The Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, and even Star Wars! The idea is that the hero goes on a journey, faces many challenges that spur self-growth and deepen self-awareness, and in the end returns home to share the tale with others who will benefit from the story.
It wouldn’t make for much of a journey if the hero decided not to live their life until it was over, would it?
I have some big goals for my future. However, my life will not be put on hold until I achieve those goals. In the midst of my ambitious pursuits, there are still meals to be cooked, floors to be swept, articles to be written…. And cats to walk circles around me when I forget to stop looking too far forward or too far back and return to the only moment I know I’m granted…. The very moment at hand.
· What does a life well-lived mean to you?
· Imagine looking back on your life ten years from now... What do you feel is important for you to feel satisfied?
· What do you feel must occur before you can live your life?