At first I thought my theme was “BEing, not DOing in 2011.” That’s pretty useful in and of itself. I know that themes work because they are about BEing, whereas resolutions are about DOing. I find resolutions to be defeating… about as motivating as having a whip to my back. Ugh. Takes the fun right out of it. Life requires so much DOing that it is easy to get lost in it… a “can’t see the forest for the trees” kind of thing. But BEing is about how I want to BE as I go about whatever I DO.
As I worked on my collages, which is part of my discovery process, I noticed that the images I intuitively chose were about balance: yin and yang, stones balancing upon one another, soft and rugged, raucous and still, losing self and finding self, nurture self and nurture the world, inside success expressed in the outside world. Cool. That fits. I get how important balance is. But there’s more.
BEing is more than just not DOing. This is where ‘abiding’ comes in. It is about stillness. It’s about trust. Some may call it faith. It’s about being centered, grounded, calm in the midst of life’s storms. It’s about being true to myself and in turn true to others by being clear about my needs, wants, expectations and capacities. It’s the clarion call of my soul. It is the place where all of life’s craziness is balanced with an unshakable trust that all is well just as it is. As one who has spent far too much time trying to keep the world in order, abiding is also about being ok with the chaos of daily living.
Abiding requires that I get in sync with the pace to natural life. In order to BE I must accept the pace that is rather than get lost in the futility of artificially manipulating it into being what I want it to be. We humans are a creative bunch. We’ve redesigned the natural pace of life to one that (we think) serves us better with drive up windows, fast food, and instant everything. Presto. No waiting. I’m amazed at what a luxury it has become to cook a meal and sit down and eat it. In the natural order seasons change gradually to allow us time to adjust, there is a rhythm to the till, plant, harvest cycles of gardening. We can’t plant a tomato seed today and expect juicy, ripe, red, tomatoes tomorrow, in a week, or even in a month. When we operate outside (or against) the natural order and rhythms of life we fight reality…like swimming upstream into strong current. That alone is the root of so many of our daily stresses. Abiding means aligning my inner rhythms to the natural rhythms of life. When I ‘abide’ I get to swim with the current and ride the natural flow with grace and ease. ‘Abiding’ helps me to adjust to the natural, slower, pace with content.
When I think of this ‘abiding’ place I sometimes get the sense of a Great Lap. I see myself nestled into the cozy, soft folds of a robe like those of a monk, my heart beating in alignment with the owner of the Great Lap. Sometimes it feels like I’m in the pouch of a Grand Kangaroo… safe, warm, protected, I peek out curiously at the world around me, unafraid.
When there are questions the Great Lap has answers. Even in the thick of chaos and traffic and a checkbook that won’t balance abiding is like the still pool that reflects back to me the needed insight. I laugh now to think that not so long ago I thought nothing of requesting God/Spirit to bless my endeavors. Imagine that. Expecting the Creative Power of the Universe to come alongside me to do whatever I wanted done. How presumptuous. ‘Abiding’ has me look at it differently now. I want to be wherever The Great Lap is. There is comfort there. I don’t want to run off and do my own thing. Been there, done that. That place is empty, cold, lonely, fearful …the opposite of the Great Lap. When I am ‘abiding’ I don’t worry too much about how things will go cuz I know they’ll go just fine.
I’ve never been a serious meditator. I can’t imagine going away for a week to just sit and meditate, but I have a sense that serious meditators also ‘abide’. I imagine that they, too, have found that place of peace below the storms of day-to-day life.
Is this place that I pull into when it feels like I’m on a Great Lap my center, or Spirit’s center? Or is it the place where Spirit and I meet together? I don’t know. One thing I do know is that it’s the only place that really makes sense in this crazy, chaotic, world and I’m glad to have found it.
Balance, BEing not DOing, Abiding. What’s your theme for 2011?