Reality is Perfection
When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. Buddha quote
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what is real. As I’ve been focusing on gratitude, taking time to acknowledge what I’m grateful for at the start of each day and as much as I can remember throughout the day, I notice that my world seems to shift a bit. The other morning as I boarded the BART train, after focusing quite intently on gratitude during my drive there, I stepped onto a fully loaded train and stood. Always a lovely prospect – trying to read and play words with friends while swaying back and forth among perfect strangers. At that point, a passenger stood and gave me his seat. Now maybe I was having a particularly good hair day… but I couldn’t help but wonder… did I do that? Did all of that positivity and gratitude actually influence my reality? Sure… it could have been a coincidence. I will tell you that in my 10+ years as a regular BART passenger, the seat offering is a rare occurrence for anyone under 70 or without a bun in the oven. It certainly made me feel very appreciative. So… I was in a state of gratitude and something occurred that made me feel all the more grateful. I don’t know about you, but seems to me that focusing on gratitude gave me more to be grateful for… or as those who know me often hear me say… focus on what you want more of!
It makes me wonder a bit about this thing we call “reality.” If two people are in the same situation, they will inevitably have different “realities” of what has occurred. It reminds me of an Eagles song that states, “There’s three sides to every story. There’s yours, mine and the cold hard truth.” But what is the cold, hard truth? Isn’t there really only each person’s interpretation? So reality is really only as real as our interpretation of it, right?
And on that note, why do we put up so much resistance to that reality? Is it because we’re always focusing on what we don’t want? As I move through my day, I inevitably find challenges galore. Too much to do in not enough time. Not enough money to make it all happen exactly the way I would like. A hairy, albeit cute, dog that sheds enough for a parka on an hourly basis. How, exactly, do we relax into the amazement of our lives? I had an interesting opportunity to practice last night. I was lying in bed not sleeping. It was about 3:30am. I started getting a bad cramp in my right hip. My initial response was to tense up and groan (quietly, of course, so as not to wake the hubby~you’re welcome, babe!). Then, for some reason, I thought about the notion of acceptance vs. resistance… and I decided to lean into the pain. I consciously focused on relaxing my body~which wasn’t exactly intuitive while having a cramp. Then I started focusing on my breathing. I imagined my body relaxing and letting go… and the cramp went away. It made me realize that our immediate response is fight or flight – tense up, resist the pain, fight back. But we have a choice in each situation… we can consciously choose to relax into the “reality” of the given situation and allow it to be. Amazingly, as was the case with my cramp, it often leads to a place of peace.
So my invitation to you… is to notice where you resist… where you fight against reality. How can you shift into a state of gratitude? In what ways can you allow… and appreciate what is? Sometimes when I’m meditating I use a mantra that helps me with this… on the in-breath I repeat “Accept” and on the out-breath I repeat “Allow.” I also pause for a few seconds between breaths and repeat to myself… INVITE! I allow and accept what is… all the while, inviting exactly what I want to be. I INVITE you to try it out yourself!