I just sat down to schedule out the next few months. It’s the first time I’ve had mental bandwidth in almost a month. Now that I no longer feel like I’m wearing a helmet of snot and an iron lung, I feel ready to plan out some projects that I signed on for back in 2014.
I’ve been experiencing a consistent theme of can-do-ness. Not exactly readiness, confidence or even creativity. More of a “Yup. Doin’ that.” This theme, or sense, has shown up everywhere, from internal feeling, to tarot readings, dharma lessons to meditation.
Although, I have to say…now that I have plugged all my projects into the calendar, where they can hobnob with ongoing obligations…I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t
totally freaking out feeling nervous about how it’s all gonna pan out. How I’m going to pan out, without melting down in an introvert’s tantrum.
Leo, in the whittling zone. Also, the backdrop to these photos may just be the ugliest corner on the ranch, crammed up against the water tank, pump and the flotsam and jetsam of a backyard porch. Not every moment can be instagramtastic. I just made up that word.
Without divulging too much, I will tell you that these projects include;
1. writing an article as a journalist
2. two teaching gigs at my old alma mater
3. getting licensed as an mft.
4. super secret writing project with a friend
In particular to #3…yes, that’s right. The countdown is on. Study materials have been purchased and test scheduled. By mid year, I will finally be done with what has been A TEN YEAR PROCESS. Cripes.
Within all this is the corner stone of a deeper theme, one chosen for the new year. I recently began a meditation practice with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, a teacher of Bon Buddhist wisdom. Like my former practice of Shambhala Buddhism, the teachings are tibetan in origin, but unlike Shambhala, predate the Buddha:
Bon is Tibet’s oldest spiritual tradition. It includes teachings and practices applicable to all parts of life, including our relationship with the elemental qualities of nature; our ethical and moral behavior; the development of love, compassion, joy and equanimity; and Bon’s highest teachings of the “Great Perfection,” dzogchen.
from the Ligmincha website.
I explored a meditation with Rinpoche on a whim last fall, and was stunned to discover the missing piece to my former practice. Years ago I walked out of the meditation center, called to reconnect with those elemental qualities of nature, the ones that mirrored my internal experience. I needed something embodied and felt, something that included the dynamic wild. The Bon practices feel like coming home.
That deeper theme? It’s one of the primary tenants of this new practice.
Effort is the exit. Resting is the door.
What does that mean? It means that at my center there is a place of stillness, silence and spaciousness. Within there may also be storms, or calm seas. But it is a place to rest in at all times, and that resting is the door to everything else in my life, including goals. The exit is effort. Striving, stressing, anxiety, worry, avoiding, and frustration are all ways of exerting effort, effort in trying to get away from the discomfort of the present moment. In trying to make the present moment more than it is.
In choosing to rest, to practice peace instead of practicing stress, means re-prioritizing. These last five years since my daughters birth have been marked and marred by my striving. I began internship right when I found out I was pregnant, and like many modern women, I have been trying to juggle ambition and career with motherhood. I also felt like I couldn’t fail, that I needed to make up for the poor timing in messing up my birth control. Not once in all this time have I given myself permission to just be a mom. I have successfully completed my internship, I have built a career, I have kept up a writing practice, I have kept house and made healthy food. But I also have not played with my daughter, I have often felt that she was an irritation and I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy that distracted me away from her glowing face.
The next few months my blogging will be infrequent. I will probably be posting more on instagram, so please do find me there. I will update here with brief posts full of photos. And I may also post a bit more on the professional site.
Blogging is, and has been, a wonderful experience. But it has also been an angst filled one, and has at times served as one of the primary ways I distract myself, a place where I have come when I have wanted to shore up against those feelings of inadequacy. I want my writing practice here to be what it was initially. A way of resting. Of just being, in that stillness, silence, spaciousness, with you. A place for sharing and connecting, not for striving and career climbing.
I’m still here, so come find me, resting in the middle of the storm and accomplishing All The Things. Big love to all.
(p.s. Oh snap! Did you notice I changed the title of the blog? That was a direct result of not striving, the name came from a moment of spontaneous rest. At some point I’ll write an intro. Maybe in August. 😉 )