Tuesday, February 26, 2008

At The End of The Pier

After dropping The Kid off at school this morning, I drove straight to the river park and walking path to sneak in a quick walk before I went home to get some things done. I needed the stress relief, big time. This Friday will be a day which will give Aqua Man and I more information about whether we will be staying here, in this city, or whether we will be relocating to another state, all together. And if the latter is the case, that move could happen very, very fast. I am excited and nervous; he is excited and nervous.

In the midst of all of the reality, I've made the choice to hold off on pitching new freelance work until the end of the week, but no matter the outcome, whether we stay here, or we move, I'll have to pull in more work. Either way, though, my work will shift, but each place will require different ways in which this will happen, almost all of which, I have no idea what that will really mean until I'm in it. I fully support this move, and believe that equally exciting opportunities will open up for me as a result of it, but it still leaves a lot of big details to come together. It's just a lot of unknowns, maybes and possibilities, right now. All of which are equally exciting and scary. Also, The Kid is turning 5 years old this Sunday. 5 years old! This is just blowing my mind, and giving me plenty to reflect on, as well. Knowing that these "big days" are approaching at the end of the week makes for some interesting ups and downs.

So, with all of this on my mind, I walked until I was eventually able to loosen my grip on my thoughts, and to just enjoy the surroundings. I didn't plan it, but when I eventually tired of walking, I was drawn to the end of the pier. And once on the end of the pier, I was drawn to do some light yoga and stretching, which then led me to a 20-minute sitting meditation practice.

At first I held back a little-a bit self-conscious of who might be looking at me-but slowly I got over that, and it was awesome to be outside practicing. The birds were flying and diving into the water, a rowing crew rowed by, the wind was steadily blowing, leaves were swirling at the end of the pier, and I could hear metal chimes ringing from across the other side of the river. And I felt intimately a part of it all. I was in my own little space, breathing my own mantra in and out, while connected to every ripple of the river, every bird, and every gust of wind. It was just a divine moment of unexpected peace.

The hardest part was coming out of meditation and leaving the outdoors. I truly felt like I could have stayed in meditation for the rest of the day, just breathing and sitting in stillness at the end of that pier. On my walk back to my car, the serenity and peace I had felt was quickly followed by a bit of sadness at leaving that space. I didn't want to go back home, be by myself, sitting inside, and face my work, my tasks, my to-do list.

I'm taking this feeling of being psychically separated from my serenity as a challenge and a lesson. The challenge, I think, is to find this serenity even when I'm not at the end of that pier-even in the face of to-do lists, and things that I might not want to do. I know this serenity always lies within me-as I believe it's in each one of us.

Sitting in my home office right now, typing this post, I can suddenly hear my neighbor's wind chimes ringing, birds chirping, and the blowing leaves, and I am transported back to the end of that pier, when I felt at peace and a part of everything. I wonder, was that chime ringing the whole time I was writing?

And there in lies my lesson, I think: I choose my focus. I can focus on the chitta in my mind, or I can just acknowledge it, and let it go. I can choose to bring myself to calming thoughts. Over, and over, and over, again, (yup, sometimes, its just like that), I can come back to the calm that already lies within.

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