When you aren’t run by reactions, you see things more clearly, and there is usually only one, possibly two courses of action that are actually viable. Freedom from the tyranny of reaction leads to a way of experiencing life that leaves you with little else to do but take the direction that life offers you in each moment.
Ken McLeod, “Freedom and Choice”
I have a very full week ahead of me. Big lessons to teach in my Rollins classes. Meetings to attend. Letters of recommendation to write for students and faculty. The workshop on Saturday to prepare for. Meetings with two clients, both of which will be longish. Two acupuncture appointments for a nagging lower back issue. And, of course, yoga practice, yoga teaching, and strength training. Full, full, full. And then, the unexpected, happens: a good friend becomes desperately ill and needs my help. I will, of course, be there for him. More Life filling up my tiny little container. How to do it all? How to be with it? How can I possibly hold it all in, do what needs to be done, serve others and serve myself, too?
I watch my old tendency to get stressed from life-overload. But also, I recognize, from a deeper place, my confidence that all will be fine, that I have the capacity to accept this week with a firm resolve. Still, I have to say, these are the kinds of weeks I so look forward to leaving behind. Will this happen in the new phase of life? Will I be able to craft my days in ways that are more open, more spacious, more leisurely–and yet still creative and productive? I have always thought so.
But before that turning point in my life arrives, I would like to create a sense of spaciousness and leisure even in the midst of busy-ness that has become the norm. This busy-ness is just form, and as such, it is ephemeral. Forms will come and they will go. No worries. It’s the way I think about all of this busy-ness that makes the difference. Even with a lot to do, even with chaos nipping at my heels, pushing its muzzle against my calves, even with a cluttered and crooked path ahead of me, I can move gently and with equanimity. I can be open to guidance of the most profound level and take action as necessary. This IS the practice.
It may be that just being present to this busy life is all I can do, and maybe all that is needed. Let life move through the events without my negative energy or my interference, or even my petty preferences. Life is unfolding through me, no matter how the outside form of that life appears. My role is to be present to the pain, the confusion, the overload and the joy, the satisfactions, and the peace—and just let Life move wildly through me, leaving remnants of its deep and sacred wisdom.
Take the direction Life offers today.