"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." —Rumi
I'm enjoying some delightful downtime this holiday week. I've taken the term "slow down" to new levels. The question I've been asking myself these days as I recover from my injury is, "How can I slow down even more?" The answer has come in a variety of ways: surrender, asking for help (there's nothing like allowing someone to take care of you -- thanks E! XOXO!), acting way more consciously and less out of habit. My yoga practice doesn't even come close to resembling what it normally is. Rather than being frustrated by this, I'm choosing to see it as refreshing. Little Miss Speedy is embracing the slow.
All of this downtime has allowed me to really get into the holiday spirit this year. On Saturday I participated in a fairly new (I started in 2011) tradition that never fails to light me up -- I attended a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. There's nothing like watching talented people do what they love. Sharing in the passion is truly intoxicating. Combine that with some fabulous music, thrilling pyrotechnics and special effects, and some heartwarming storytelling and you've got yourself one heck of an experience. Here's a photo that sums it all up (yes, I took flashier photos and a few hundred action shots that included a lot of hair flipping but this one captures the spirit of it all) -- the incredibly talented tenor blowing a kiss. Yep -- love!
On Thanksgiving day I'll be partaking in yet another one of my favorite holiday traditions -- I'll spend the morning walking on some of my favorite nature trails. It might be a slower walk than usual this year but a slow, meditative walk might be just what I need right now.
There's nothing like slowing down enough to appreciate what's in the moment. I suppose that's why this time is feeling more special than usual -- I've slowed down and am savoring every second. Yep, I'll take that trade -- savoring over a vigorous yoga practice and a left leg that feels 100%. Gee, who would have thought that I'd embrace my injury?
That's my gift this holiday season -- embracing everything. Normally an injury would bum me out. I'd miss my time out in nature. I'd miss my normal yoga practice. I'd complain I'm not as agile as I typically am. I'd complain that I can't do as much. I'd whine about not feeling 100%. Instead, I'm seeing it as an opportunity to get into the holidays (something that I didn't get to do too much last year because I was doing a million and one things including traveling and moving). Yes, there has been holiday decorating purchasing this past week as well as reflecting on how grateful I am for my life and all of the people in it (I love you! You know who you are...).
A little over a year ago I was enjoying a lovely day with a friend who asked me a question I don't normally hear: "If you had unlimited funds and didn't have to worry about money, how would you live?" I was struck speechless for a moment, my first thought being, "Gee, I need to think of something quick because I can't think of anything I'd do differently." WHOA...there I was trying to come up with something (I think I muttered something about traveling more...and perhaps spending some time in Bali) to say because I was already living exactly how I wanted to?!?!?!? Yeah, I laughed at myself and told him the truth: "I wouldn't do anything differently. If I had bazillions in the bank, I'd still live the same way."
Three or so years prior to this enlightening question and answer, I had a dream. I don't often remember my dreams but this one made a big impression. I was flying and I had this feeling of getting everything I've ever wanted or could ever want. I could feel the exhilaration mixed with joy and contentment. I woke up crying (literally tears of joy). I never forgot that feeling even though I talked myself into the idea that it was impossible. Of course I'd never feel that way -- it was just a dream.
A few years after the dream, I would feel the exhilaration that came along with the flying when I went skydiving. I can still remember the thrill of the freefall. Yes, the feeling sticks with you...just like that dream. But even more thrilling than that is having the dream come true in regards to feeling like I've gotten everything I've ever wanted and could want. Yeah, my answer to my friend's question -- it was the truth. And it thrilled me...even more so than the skydive freefall.
I had slipped into that truth so quickly and quietly (okay, maybe not so quietly...I sort of blew up my life in order to get here) that I would have missed it if not for the feeling that I've had each and every day since. It's a wanting what you have. It's a feeling like you're lacking for nothing. It's a feeling of pure love. And I am thankful and ever so grateful that this is my life. When I had that dream years ago, I never thought I would actually feel it in "real" life (in death maybe...go towards the light and all). Yet here I am feeling it. Here I am, not changing a thing (no, I don't have a bazillion in the bank and these days I'm feeling like I don't need it).
I'll admit that it's a different sort of life than the norm (and veeeery different than the life I used to live). It's an embrace it all and have no plan sort of life. It's a follow the feeling, even when it doesn't make sense. It's not about talking myself into or out of anything but embracing the truth of how I'm feeling and going with it. Sure people try to apply the standard timelines of typical life milestones to my life but it just doesn't fit. The truth is: I have no clue what's going to happen (so please stop asking, people!). I have no plan (other than my little Thanksgiving day hike). I'm just going to embrace what comes and keep following the feeling. I'm going to keep choosing love over fear (and boy does my mind enjoy stirring the fear pot).
I am grateful. Yes, dreams DO come true. Mine have. I wish the same for you. I love you all, my amazing blog readers. Thank you for listening to my ramblings, sending me love notes, asking questions, giving feedback, connecting in any way. I am grateful for you.
Now go out and embrace it all. May you realize that the dream of exhilaration, contentment, and joy isn't merely a dream.
P.S. Yes, I'll be posting my annual gift guide shortly. Taking down time means less time online, so I'm a wee bit behind my normal schedule.