I often find the simplest moments are often the most profound. And they can come at any time from any one or any thing. It’s our job to be open to noticing them. To feel them. To honor them.
One of my heart beings in this world is a 7 year old boy named Whit (and his brother). They are precious to me. We play horse and pony, fantasy fort, tackle, and read stories together.
Whit takes my hand as we walk down the street, tells me stories about his pet snake, FireHeart (great name, right?), and invites me to his school Christmas performance.
He sits on my lap for the latter half of the show, bouncing around with the music then lying back into my shoulder. I’m in kiddo heaven.
Afterwards he and his mom and I are saying goodnight. I’d been wanting to take him cross-country skiing before I leave for California for the winter. I ask him if he wants to go, with the caveat (little i likes to throw in caveats) that it depended how my packing was going and if I’d have time.
I looked at him. His eyes were big. He said to me, “When are you leaving again?” I replied, “Saturday.” I watched him as he counted the days in his head, mouthing each day, “Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday….” Then he says out loud with an absolute knowing, “That’s 3 days from now. You have an hour in the next 3 days to go skiing.”
My heart melted, and I smiled with gratitude for the wisdom he so easily and truthfully stated. Yes, I had an hour, and that hour with him is far more important then checking off all the check boxes of the to do list. I mean REALLY.
I went to bed that night more relaxed, more joyful, and having more perspective of what’s important.
We can get so caught up in the day to day and forget about the Truth. About the beauty. About the moment of awe. About the sprinkle of joy. About the love in our hearts. Yes, that’s it, the love.
The love that is of All Things. The love that is the root. The love that is the marrow and the spring of eternity – what we are born from and are made of.
I thought of you when I saw this sunset the other night. This winter sunset of awe and beauty. It’s the same awe and beauty that you and I are made of. Can you open to the possibility of that Truth?
Whit reminded me of that Truth in that one moment. As children, we come out of the womb in direct connection with God, and over time we forget that connection. We forget the love. But we can wake up to be reminded of and feel it too at any point in our lives.
As you venture into this longest night of year and the holidays, consider how you’re approaching time with family and/or loved ones.
Jack Kornfield, in his book After the Ecstasy the Laundry, tells a story of a fellow meditation teacher who is completely frustrated about her time visiting family.
She says in the week of her visit she tries her best to be a good Buddhist – meditates, shares some of what she’s learned along the way (ie: spiritual journey) and imparts her wisdom, but all they want to do is watch TV and drink beer.
Jack smiles and says (I’m paraphrasing), “Do these two things: first, stay for only 3 days and no more. Second, when you show up, show up as the Buddha, not a Buddhist. Show up as Christ, not a Christian. Show up as Krishna, not a Hindu. Be loving and present, not the teacher. Watch some TV and have a beer. Be part of your family.”
I ADORE this story. It speaks right to the heart of the spiritual path.
I’m going to take it a step further and say be loving and present with yourself too, as it’s almost guaranteed that if you’re spending time with family you’ll have some reactions. That’s a given.
It’s where our deepest work is, letting those reactions bubble to the surface so we can see where we’re still attached or resisting, where the wounds are still festering so they can be healed.
Part of awakening love in our own hearts is accepting our family as they are. Not wanting them to be like us, and not wanting us to be different either. Have patience with this, it’s a journey!
Be oh so kind with yourself through it all. You are deeply loved my friend.
And take in those precious moments that surprise you during this holiday time. The smile, the laughter together, the sunset, the apple pie, the jokes.
Take it all in to that place in your heart that follows in the steps of the Divine. It is from here that we remember who we Truly are.
I think I’ve shared this quote before, but it’s an important one to remember:
The important thing is not to think much, but to love much, and so to do whatever best awakens you to love.
~St. Theresa of Avila
Sending you a big hug as I journey from the beauty of wintry Montana to the sunshine of California.
Categories: Gratitude, Heart Centered Living