If you read the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*%” you’ll remember Disappointment Panda from chapter one. Disappointment Panda goes around telling people uncomfortable truths, just because someone needs to tell you and few people ever do. I am such a panda. It seems to be my lot in life to bring up uncomfortable truths. mostly it’s just holding up mirrors, or being unwilling to pretend the elephant is not in the room. It’s uncomfortable work, but we can, so we do. We’re not telling you for any other reason than it’s there to be told. No judgment, really not much emotion at all. It may be emotional for you. We’re sorry. But we have to do it because we know the truth will ultimately set us free.
I make a lot of mistakes. I’m not certain my average is growing, or if just my awareness is growing and so i’m seeing mistakes I simply didn’t previously see. How I respond to my mistakes is sortof the question of the time. I am getting gentler. on myself and on others. still a lot of room to grow there, but directionally I feel I’m facing the sun.
i see a lot of people suffering. really tormented by their minds and thoughts. i can absolutely relate because i gave myself an extremely hard time for a lot of my life. this is why feeling your body during a few breaths per day is so important – it drops you out of the thought-stream if only for a second. that makes the reintroduction just a tiny bit fresh. and the more you drop out of it, the fresher your take on it can be during visits, instead of the servitude of its constant captivity.
The only thing that has effectively kept me out of my panicked mind is dedication to evolving. My ultimate dream is to be a clear instrument of pure love and creative responsiveness. That’s about as lofty as I can make it, I think. That’s the purpose I put first and I’ve been toying with the way forward being through the body, so feeling into my body and deep intentional breathing is the practice – sporadically throughout the day and once or twice on the cushion. It is working. My body has less inflammation, my mind defaults to a smile and curiosity really frequently and that brings me such relief. I’ve spent my life figuring out the advanced math of society’s expectations and my own failings, how I might compensate for them and what exactly I wanted to express. Those things don’t have the hold they used to. I focus on a couple of things:
- What do I want to create? What do I want to create in this situation? What is my very best outcome and what is the impact on myself and others? How do I take a step in that direction?
- What part of me feels wounded? Having the most resourceful and mature part of my psyche ask and invite the wounded parts to have their say. Nothing we can necessarily fix, but being present to myself and my perceived suffering with compassion and full attention. And then reminding the whole self about what I want to create, and refocus attention on that.
- What is first? Putting evolving first, which is the most natural thing in the world, I know that i need to relax into that which is natural. Taking a deep, intentional, expansive breath and relaxing into my body is *always* the *very best* activity, the very best answer to the thought, “what’s next?/what should i be doing now?” Evolving is also loving, and expansive. That’s how I know if i’m turned toward the sun.
These three thought tools help me keep peace between my ears and a tender song in my heart. Every step isn’t elegant, but the direction is so encouraging it is a pleasure to persist.