Appointments, dates, and deadlines have been crowding my schedule lately. Having been a homebody and introvert much of my life, it’s strange to find myself going with my recent outward-oriented schedule easily. On the other hand, I’ve been working a while on this.
In the last five years, I became aware of how my thoughts over the future events frequently never matched the reality when they came–things would turn out better than expected, or something would happen that I could not have imagined or prepared for. It was a lot of wasted time and emotions spent on worry and negative possibilities. I realised that I’d spent at least two decades sabotaging myself on many levels by over-preparing for imaginary scenarios that never happened.
So it was an incredible gift to myself to learn how to stop thinking. Or at least to have control over what my mind focused upon. It developed shakily at first, then with more certainty as I practised more and more meditation.
The meditations created quiet spaces, spaces of awareness, and finally after years, spaces of nonjudgment. As meditators may find after some time, it’s possible to get to a point when you’re in that space of no-thought and no-judgment naturally. When there, you are paying attention only to the present moment, the environment and the people in front of you, or the task you are carrying out. Your thoughts wander only when you’re “off duty” (which you determine), or your logical faculties are invited only when you ask. It’s mindfulness and presence without unnecessary thought. It cuts out anxiety, cuts down stress, cuts down judgment and self-criticism.
I started writing this post thinking of how I’m getting things done with less anxiety. Lists and plans help. When I get to an activity that I can’t run from, I drop all doubt and anxiety and just trust that I have everything I need. Whatever I’m “missing” can be improvised or faced in the moment.
So, it’s showing up to a blank piece of paper, and just jotting vague ideas onto it. It’s showing up to that blank document, so that I can type words onto it. It’s showing up to a roomful of people looking at me, and filling the silence with honesty. It’s listening to the softest messages on the air and in the heart, and trusting them.
It’s letting go of perfection and finally knowing that it’s all in the little efforts that add up.
It’s having affirmed my worthiness, desires, and intentions so often and embraced all parts of myself so hard that I know I won’t hate myself if I have doubt, stumble, or fail.
It’s making the best of wherever I am, and in those “off duty” moments, taking stock of how I feel emotionally and physically, and what I’m thinking. This makes sure I am present and treating myself with respect and attention. (This was a serious lesson for me in my own life. My immune system is unusual, and necessitates me watching my exertion and stress levels, or my body starts fighting itself.)
It’s trusting oneself and the Universe. If you’re enjoying this point in time and space, then the journey behind and the journey ahead bring neither anxiety nor regret. (And you can just keep going.)
The Star was drawn from the Tarot today, surprising me. (It’s often my own reactions that confirm I’m not “gaming” the deck.) The artwork for this card is one of the loveliest in the Tarot: Sky, stars, earth, water, and a woman in a position of generosity and stewardship. Heaven, earth, and human in harmony; heart, body, and mind in open interaction and balance.
The Star offers guidance and inspiration, and encouragement to move forward. It asks us to show up to the journey, not forgetting our ideals and values (and perhaps our innermost heart-centered intentions) as our guides. As we give out positive energy (shown by the woman pouring water into the pool), that creates concentric circles that tend to reach back to us (see the foot in the water). And we ought to remember to water the ground for our seeds and plans to mature as well.
To end, I’ll share a recent night dream: It had me, my daughter and a recent crush, wandering together in a new place. It had beautiful architecture that incorporated nature and allowed ceilings that were open to the sky. There was music and dancing around; happy crowds. I offered my companions my hands so that we would stay together. The physical sensation of two hands in my hands made me realise I was dreaming. To be with loved ones in a lucid dream is a positive treat, even though most of the time, I know they’re my own projections. To ascertain if they were “real”, I started asking questions to “test” them, before realising that it really didn’t matter–there was something I wanted to do more.
“Welcome to my dream,” I said, practically vibrating with happiness. “Shall I show you how to fly?”
Have a great new moon on Saturday!