Tuesday, May 22, 2007

After ecstasy, the laundry!

Zen saying.

There's a new me being born, one who listens more and shrieks less. It's something to practice.

This morning, first day back after a whirlwind trip to Dijon and Paris, (oui, le vin est bon)brought me the Monday morning blues on a Tuesday. After wakefulness from 4 a.m. on, while normal time and body caught up to each other, at 6:30 it was finally the real 'wake-up call', time to prepare coffee and toast for those who were leaving for school and work. I had the good fortune of meditating alone after that, and in the midst of that peacefulness, fell asleep.

So far so good, but the main thing on my list this sunny day is laundry. Five suitcases worth of it. That was the monster facing me, or so I thought.

Two loads already started last night, allowed me the luxury of a 30-minute yoga stretch before I went downstairs and faced the 'cafard' - a messy kitchen and piles of dirty rumpled clothes. While I was sitting on the cushion listening to the yoga teacher's soothing voice on tape, it occurred to me that my blahs and blues had already dissipated. That choosing to stretch and relax before beginning my chores felt really good. (I'm not always disciplined enough to do yoga at home alone although I aim to practice 3 times a week).

Even more subtle was the realization that I had made a choice this morning, to follow the inner desire for peace in the belly and heart, instead of listening to the annoying inner tape of 'you're so lazy, the house is a mess, look at all you haven't done yet, why can't you be more organized' etc. This voice is so close to my own that I often confuse it for really being me. But it is a defeatist voice, a cruel voice, a voice that allows no pleasure, no self-gratifying breaths, and never eases up on me. It pushes and pulls me, if I let it, into a tizzy of do's, should's and haven't done's. It keeps me always on edge, and even pushes me over the edge on occasion. I renounce that voice!

So here on my cushion, the revelation was welcomed: I can choose the morass of confusion, worry, anxiety and 'not good enough' or I can choose one-thing-at-a-time peace of mind. Slow down to being, not doing - gawd I have said this often. It needs saying again, to myself.Be here, now. Rein in the wild horses ready to split off into frantic hurry mode. Ignore the negative voice that would rather just stay in bed and give up the battle before it has begun. The only battles are interior ones. The ugliest fights are the ones I have with myself.

A long time ago, my teacher described the path of consciousness as being razor-edged - to the left and to the right are the abyss, and the student walks in the middle path. It's not how I pictured it then, as a warrior doing battle with evil darkness. It's in the small choices, the little moments of clarity over confusion, the moments where I keep my feet on the path, my eyes focussed on the core of being. And take small steps forward. Enjoying the moment, and the walk.

Learning to enjoy,


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