Last Saturday while teaching my meditation class, the sound of road construction roared outside the studio during the entire hour. As I walked around the room, leading the class on awareness of the breath and noticing the rise and fall of the chest, jackhammers decimated the asphalt, the road crew shouted directions to each other, and car horns angrily screamed as traffic clumsily navigated the partial road closure. The more I struggled to be heard above the noise, the more anxious I felt about what the class might be experiencing. I worried that they couldn’t hear me. I worried that the experience was bad. Then laughing to myself, I realized that I wasn’t present, but rather caught up in my own thoughts, and judging the experience. Breathing deeply, silent for a few moments, I focused on the breath and let go, remembering that all of the chaos outside was just life arising in that particular moment, completely outside of my control. I could continue fighting or pushing against it, or I could allow the experience without judgment, gently leaning into it to witness what it was evoking in me.
This week’s suggested practice: Let go and lean in.
Is there something in particular that is bringing up discomfort, frustration, or is there a situation that you want to change but can’t?
– Take a few moments and arrive, noticing how the breath moves throughout the body.
– Notice if there are any areas of tension or tightness.
– Breathing deeply into the torso, grounded through the legs, notice all four corners of the feet and where they meet the floor.
– Continuing to breath, what would it be like to simply allow this situation, person, or event to be what it is without trying to change it, without judging it?
– Would it be possible to let go of the need to DO anything about it?
– What sensations arise in the body as you let go and lean into this experience that you want to change?
– Would it be possible to be fully present and compassionate with yourself as you embrace whatever is arising?
In that awareness, perhaps there can be an allowing that brings ease, release, full presence and the realization of the gift in that experience. The conditions of life may not always be what we want, or expect, or even within our power to change. But in letting go, surrendering, accepting and leaning in, we always have the freedom to choose our perspective.
What perspective will you choose?
Have a great week!