shifting my orientation

I’ve just gotten some guidance that I need to keep slowing down. I think about it enough, I still have room to increase doing it – and the quality of it, the relaxedness in the rest – these are areas to grow. I may be a decade in, and still everything points me to the basics. the quality of being. presence, both in activity and stillness. A decade in, you’d think I’d be further down the pike. And from my point of view – well, i was sure I’d be enlightened by now. But enlightenment isn’t the goal. Enlightenment is a way of being. Adding even a breath per day of pure light is worth the effort of a thousand lifetimes, but we don’t have to wait! We can take that breath right now.

The first part of the decade was recognizing, “Houston, we have a problem.” I wasn’t sure what the problem was. My goal-oriented way of being drove my value and I still had some in reserve despite some recent losses. I struggled with what was next and what ‘out there’ i needed to accomplish in order to hit the ‘happily ever after’ button. from which point all of life would be smooth sailing. This was a false goal, though an appealing one, and it took me (is still taking me) some time to unplug from. Thankfully, deciding that my body is my teacher and naturally is life-positive, my body couldn’t care less what ‘out there’ would make me feel better. I needed some feeling better In Here, and that was going to take a whole new kind of time and attention.

This shift in orientation, to a deep focus on lifestyle – food, hydration, bodywork, self-care, fully present relationships, very little ‘out there’ validation but definitely learning the language of what the body likes, doesn’t like and couldn’t care less about – heralded a very different world from the values of my early adulthood. Not drinking took a whole lot of work to accept. It made me sick as shit so it didn’t take me long to stop drinking, it just took me a hell of a long time to be OK with who I was without it. I thought people who didn’t drink were BORING and if I was a person who didn’t drink, how was I going to square with that? Where on earth would my fun come from, unless I was content with not having any.

Honestly, I’m still working on fun – although the picture of it has more to do with collecting ingredients in a village and going and cooking dinner together than telling jokes in the pub (though both are wonderful, mostly the former is where you’d find me). But I have unplugged a whole lot of assumptions I lived with for a very long time, especially putting happiness at the end of accomplishment. I’ve come a long way on this one, and happy to report I’m still at the very beginning. Being in a state of beginning is a very exciting place to be. Receiving the freshness of everything that is unfolding as white-gloved escorts stepping up into the present moment… That is a whole different world than seeking accomplishments, and it’s a trade I’m glad I’m making.

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