– Alan Wallace
Maybe you had a difficult day today. Perhaps everything is a bit much right now, with challenges flooding your mind and heart. But also, perhaps you are sitting just now somewhere in your house, garden, your favorite coffee shop, or somewhere in nature. And maybe there is a tiny bit of peace around you and in your mind and heart.
These days our tendency is to be nervous, full of worries, and out of balance. In dangerous times, nature has equipped us biologically with easy access to a rush of energy in body and mind. Once fight-flight mode energy is in our system, it’s not necessarily easy to return to calm, to breathe deeply, and to sleep well.
I myself am sitting right now in our little backyard, drinking tea, after a number of full weeks behind and ahead of me. I can feel the pressure of different to-do-lists, deadlines, and projects. I’m worried about forgetting something important or not doing enough, but still I hope to find enough little gaps to relax well in the coming days. I would guess you have your own unique version of a situation like this as a memory or as a situation in your current life.
Right here right now I’m finding this moment of peace. The delicious tea nourishes my thirst and refreshes my mind, and the bright sun is setting slowly behind huge trees. I feel connected with all of you and with everyone who knows a similar situation. All of this fills me with inner warmth and a kind of endurance that allows me to calm my nervousness, use my energy well, and find balance in the midst of this full life.
I’m noticing how my breath is slowing down and deepening, how my thoughts are getting calmer and more coherent, and how there is really just this one moment, and this next one, and this. The birds are singing their evening songs, and though I’m still internally repeating stories of the previous days in the back of my mind, these are slowly subsiding. This is also true of my expectations and worries about what is coming tomorrow and further into the future.
Just now in this moment there is just this moment. Within it my senses can open, notice and take in what’s here. There is gratitude inside me and I remember within this peaceful space other moments in which I’ve had similar experiences. Yes, these weeks are a bit challenging, but times have been this way before and will be so again. In all honesty, I don’t expect, or really want, a life without any challenges. But I think that if I can find more of these little peaceful moments, then looking back later this time might feel less stressful and more spacious.
I believe now that these moments of peace actually happen more often than we think. It’s as if they’re waiting to happen. If we stop more often for a moment in the middle of things we might notice them and they can nourish us along the way. Maybe they won’t come just as expected. Maybe they won’t happen under palm trees on a tropical beach, but instead in the middle of our way to work, with full shopping bags in town or while we are watering the flowers at our front door.
As they do happen, not only does one moment change, but our whole sense of our life changes, and our memory of a time in our life. Looking back, we might see and feel not a pressure cooker that we somehow managed to survive, but a full story of rich experience, filled with spaces that added rest, balance, perspective, and ease all along the way.
I hope that you’ll notice some of these little surprises during your week, little moments that change not only our present experience, but also our past and future. I’m curious what and where they will be for you. 🙂