Mindfulness: “The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”
What if you aren’t supposed to be as mindful as your best moment in meditation all the time? What if that isn’t even the goal?
What if, in this moment, I could give you permission to totally lose it and still be in the process of mindfulness?
What if when you are flipping off the driver that cut you off, or getting in the same fight with your family you have for twenty years, or berating yourself in yoga class for not being able to stay in that asana….you are in the same process as when you were at your week long yoga retreat with no cell phones or email or contact with the outside world?
What if….you are just in the waves of higher states of consciousness?
It’s possible on bad days instead of looking at them like bad days to see them as the relaxation of the wave of enlightenment. It’s possible that it’s just the fluctuation, the vibration, the movement of your own souls energy, and not so much an experience of failure and or going backwards on your path through your journey.
What if the yoga retreat, or group meditation was the top of the wave? That surfers bliss where you are in the zone and there is nothing but a focused groove to carry you across the waters surface?
But what if life is also the paddling out to that wave? Or getting pummeled by that wave? Or waiting for the perfect wave? Or even the fear of paddling out and just standing on the beach, contemplating?
All of that is part of surfing, of getting you out to that perfect wave. Part of the process. It’s not just that one moment of focused perfection, of undeniable connection, of peace. It’s all of the moments leading up to that, and following it.
But we want to only experience the top of the wave! We want life to move toward a series of events that are just perfection. Just the connection. But what we don’t realize, is the connection exists from the moment we stand there contemplating, through the pummeling, and while we are walking back to our cars, boards under our arms, waves in the ocean and us walking away.
And yes, this is just a metaphor. But so is life. It’s hard. It pummels us. And in our clearest moments we are connected to something that gives us a little push in the right direction…and we take it.
And waves never stop. They keep going. And there will always be the high, and there will always be the low. The only change is our relationship to the waves.
No one likes being held under the water, scraped by rocks, fighting to hold your breath before you can find the surface again. But what happens during that first breath, that moment where you get to breathe again?
It’s glorious. The sun shines brighter. The air tastes sweeter. The joy is not only palpable but bounces off of you! And all of that is the gift from the bottom. All of that is the reward for going in, and coming out changed.
There is no cure for the bottom of the wave. It is part of the wave. It is part of your process. It is still your meditation… What we learn from sitting, is how to bring mindfulness into our grief, into our anger, into our frustration, our disappointment, our lives.
How to take a step, when you don’t want to, don’t know how to, don’t feel like it.
But then we do.
We take a breath.
We take a step.
We take another.
And something shifts. And something else. And something else.
Is it how we thought it would be? Probably not.
But then what? We look inside are we are changed.
When I’m sitting in meditation I don’t even think I’m doing a very good job. I’m just the babysitter of my thoughts. I spend more time watching them, then focusing on my breath.
But what I notice is when life sends me to the bottom of the wave, I get to watch it now. I get to keep breathing. I get to choose how I feel. I get to determine when I take my next step, my next breath. Not life. Not the circumstance.
And I am triggered?
And do I get depressed? Every day.
And is life hard for me? As privileged as I am? Hourly.
And do I want to give up? Some days.
And I cradle those thoughts. I hold them in my heart and I smile inwardly, and I breathe. And then I sit and watch my thoughts. And I picture my wave of mindfulness and I see myself at the bottom and I wait for my next step. And invariably, it arises. And I don’t hesitate, I take it.
And before I know it…I’m floating again.
Meditation is saving my life. Saving me from myself. Teaching me about my reactions and my motivations. I allow myself my process and I see it as a constant evolution of the most beautiful wave.
And I don’t know if this helps, but in case it does…