Yesterday, as I picked my seven-year-old granddaughter up from school, I asked her my habitual question, “How was your day?”
She rolls her eyes. “Not again!”
I argue. “But I LOVE to hear about anything from your day!”
“It’s the same thing as before. It was GOOD!” she replies. “It’s good every day!”
I want to be her.
It doesn’t matter what happened, who ate lunch with her or didn’t, the teasing boy or what was going on in class (I know there are those days), it’s the same answer, “It’s good every day!”
She teaches me.
How about just remembering that the day is “good,” even if things “go bump in the night?”
Part of this spiritual journey really is about learning to be a conscious participant in life and that our responses, reactions and experience of anything is ultimately our choice.
Be Present to What Is
One of the practices that serves me and others I work with well is the practice of being present to what is.
What does that mean?
Ultimately, knowing that our state of mind is of utmost importance, it becomes more joyful to flow with rather than fight life.
If I can accept this moment as it is without needing it to change for me to be happy and at peace, then I have found the secret elixir. This practice can reveal a life of happiness, no matter what happens.
For example, recently I had a day where one thing after another piled up on me that normally could have been cause for upset and turmoil.
First, a ridiculous hour delay, waiting in a line that should’ve taken five minutes. Then, a cutting and hurtful letter from a loved one, a financial downturn and “bad” news on a project. All in one day.
When the first delay appeared, I breathed into it and thought, “There is nothing I can do about this but wait. I might as well notice the things around me and enjoy “what is.“ Peace ensued.
After slowly reading the painful and cutting remarks of a dear loved one, I felt my heart cringe and my gut kicked. I remembered the line from Matt Kahn, “More love, not less.” I allowed the letter to be there. I recalled that it wasn’t my job to change her or the situation but it was a call for more love, not less, toward myself and my precious one. This is what is happening now. I don’t need it to change. Peace ensued.
As the financial hit surprised me and I went into fear immediately without choice, I soon remembered that this is what’s happening for now. I breathed. I remembered, “This is just a passing condition.” I want peace more than fear. I choose to accept what is happening in order to have peace, and from that peace, new and better solutions can arise. Peace ensued.
Things happen. Life does go “bump in the night,” and I know, all too well, it can be scary. Irritations arise but they are all passing states and experiences and, like the rough waters on the top of a lake on the windy day, the depth of the lake remains undisturbed.
Our ability to accept what is happening is our ability to go into the depths of the lake, the still part, no matter what storms may toss the surface.
All is well, no matter what.
Dr. Janette Freeman is the Founder and Spiritual Director at The Oneness Center OC, author of “The Second Envelope,“ and “Why Did This Happen to Me, Again?” She teaches regular classes in spiritual development locally and online. Get your free Visualization Meditation by signing up on her website: www.janettefreeman.com