May 28, 2014

Jet Lag

Europe feels like a dream. A lovely, awe-inspiring, beautiful dream. A fully-awake dream. I loved every city, every space, every experience. I loved them differently yet fully. I took books, but required no reading. The scenery provided a rich and unforgettable story. 

Jet lag is a strange feeling. It doesn't impede my sleep, but something feels off--like I've lost track of time and place. I feel in-between lives and cultures. And this liminal space allows me to not know; to let things be fuzzy. While inhabiting the in-between, I judge less. I feel embodied. I go with the flow. I feel weird, yet connected to others (don't we all feel strange at times?).

Within the fuzziness of jet lag there's a rich learning environment: space to be more and do less; to accept more and judge less; space to see through the old stories. Sometimes fuzzy can be beautiful.

May 12, 2014

Just Show Up

Expectations are like invasive weeds in our lives--they choke out surprise, curiosity, and joy; they feed disappointment. If we create a story about how things are supposed to be, we lose connection with our actual experience. Expectations trigger judging mind, which constricts life.

Today I leave for Europe. Eleven days and five cities: Prague, Vienna, Maribor, Rovinj, Venice. The trip is a gift from my dad, to be experienced with my dad--the person I most admire in this world. We're travelling with a group, so the itinerary is set. Nothing for me to do but show up.

My intention for the trip: have few expectations and many alive moments. I've not researched must-sees. I hope to view whatever is in front of me with curiosity and wonder. 

This Europe adventure feels unique, so it's easier to drop expectations. In my everyday life, it's a harder process. Yet in most situations, the just-show-up mantra works. Just show up, as I am in this moment, and let life unfold.

May 7, 2014

Allow for Mystery

When I listen to my inner-critic--when I strive, do, and judge--I become smaller. Both my heart and mind constrict. In these moments, I see only one path; it appears there's a single right way. And this rigid thinking pains me. Luckily, it's simple to switch. If I get outside and look around, I regain my curiosity. A walk in nature loosens my grip and expands my mind. (This is a simple switch, but not necessarily easy. Getting out the door--past the inner-critic--takes awareness and intention.) 

Recently I read Mary Oliver's poem "Mysteries, Yes" (Evidence, 2009). She's masterful at describing mindfulness and curiosity. An excerpt:

"Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
      to be understood. [...]

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
     who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
     'Look!' and laugh in astonishment,
     and bow their heads."

We don't have to understand all the mysteries. Life isn't a puzzle we must connect in just the right way. We can relieve ourselves of this burden. What a gift to allow for mystery; to accompany ourselves with laughter, wonder, and gratitude.