“I think I am finally a zen master! Or at least, something monumental has shifted, and I’m loving the possibility that it opens within me, because even if the inner calm is gone in another hour, I know it is a place that I can inhabit.”
Driving back from my yoga class last night, I suddenly wondered what was wrong. Something felt off, misaligned and weirdly unfamiliar. I took a minute to search for the answer
and was flabbergasted to discover that the thing that was wrong was that my mind was entirely silent. My mind was quiet, apocalyptically so, and my inner monologue had left the building. That little voice of discontent which questions my very being and so often sits snipping and criticising every inch of my life, had taken the evening off. And it was glorious. I cannot remember a moment, outside of purposeful meditation or creative flow, in the last years, maybe ever, that I have had absolute internal peace and stillness. As my evening back home evolved, the quietness stayed and hugged my insides and let me just be.
This morning, again my mind is kind, my thoughts are calm and when a lady stole my car parking space, which had other drivers round me throwing their arms up in solidarity, I remained unshaken and shrugged it off and found another. I think I am finally a zen master! Or at least, something monumental has shifted, and I’m loving the possibility that it opens within me, because even if the inner calm is gone in another hour, I know it is a place that I can inhabit. A place that I can be in real life, not at a retreat where the world is calm and controlled, but in the real-life-parking-space-thieving world.
When I went walking across the fields this morning, I was not fighting away thoughts of my inadequacies or my designated disappointments, my fears or my anxieties about the future, I was simply present. I was present with the bird song as it gambled through the sky and enjoyed the simple pleasure of wading through the overgrown footpath, golden rapeseed clinging to me, my legs getting entangled with its spindly stems. This way of being is so refreshingly easy and straightforward. I want more.
How have I ended up here? The more I think about it the answer is clear. I think the answer is simply by living the life I want to live. Over the past years, I have made more and more decisions and adjustments in my life which mean that I am living a life I have designed; a life which I am consciously curating. My insides match my outsides. I am living wholeheartedly. As my sister-in-law Jess would say, I am giving myself a holy YES. I am choosing me. I have been cutting out the bullshit and living more intuitively. And what’s more than that, in the last couple of weeks, I’ve made some real breakthroughs about how I want to feel and how I want to be in the world and started to put that into action. Turns out we get to choose how we feel about things which opens up the playground of possibility. And what’s more than that, I’ve been consciously doing all the things that keep me well. I’ve been to my yoga class. I’ve made time for connecting with friends including some dear friends from way back when, who I’ve not spoken to for far too long. I’ve tried to go to sleep at night. I’ve eaten well. I’ve finally ended my addiction to Coke (Coca-Cola, not the white stuff!). I’m drinking alcohol in healthy moderation. I’ve invested in myself (I had my nails done). I’m connecting with my creativity. I’m working in a way that fits with what I want my life to look like. I’m enjoying time with my children more. Bottom line, I am living into my values and it feels great. Today, zen master versus the parking space thief, tomorrow school run sensei?