My brain has been like a confused GPS unit all week. I thought that I was prepared for this kind of situation. Why do I meditate? Why do I study? Why have I spent so much time reminding myself to live in this moment and that life is all about change and evolution? That was all supposed to help me cope with the inevitable course alterations that are required of a functioning human.
I’ve spent the better part of the past year preparing for a transition in our lives. Emotionally, financially, physically; the whole package. I did this knowing that it all might not play out the way I was anticipating. The whole point of a mindfulness practice is to remind ourselves that all we know is this particular moment. All we really know is that life changes randomly despite our best-laid plans.
So, when a ‘recalibration’ became necessary, why did it freak me out? Because old habits are so very ingrained in all of us. I hate that. Enlightenment is extremely hard work when your brain is so damned stubborn.
I want what I want, NOW. I cannot stand uncertainty. I need to have firm plans. I am dangling and swinging in the wind. ARGH!
So, as I sat on my meditation cushion this morning, it suddenly hit me: I’ll be fine. With whatever transpires. I planned for one scenario, but I’m open and ready to embrace the other one that has suddenly appeared. Either one will be great.
The funny thing about my current angst is that I’ve always been a glass half-full type when it comes to how my life has played out. Things typically work out just fine. Yes, there are challenges, but we adapt. We recalibrate. I must keep reminding myself that it all unfolds as it will. I can only respond in a healthy and flexible way.
I was listening to a podcast the other day from some talks at a Buddhist retreat center and a couple of concepts jumped up and stuck in my brain like post-it notes. “Respond, rather than react” and “pay attention; don’t cling”. Allow yourself the time to ponder and assess your new circumstance and then don’t hang onto the old one and expect it to change. Don’t cling to the pre-conceptions or the ‘what ifs’ that can clog up our brains and cause us such suffering and pain.
I’m marching toward a fork in the road and either path is fine. Either path will contain joy, pain, challenges, peace, happiness, tragedy, growth. Because that’s life.