Sunday, November 10, 2013

Unanticipated and Unintentional Learning

Driving home from work a few nights ago I watched scores of birds flying in formation across the remnants of a hazy sunlit sky.  Red tail lights for miles is all I could see before me. I just wanted to get home and judging by the view of the road up ahead, I was in for an unexpectedly long drive.  I took a deep breath and rolled down the window and heard a cacophony of different genres of music as if they were all one horrendous song.  I looked up from the road as the sunlight caught my attention.  As I looked up I noticed that the sky changed in an instant from a pale water color picture perfect hazy autumn sunset to a vivid neon light display.  My irritation at being stuck in traffic melted away like a Popsicle on a hot summer day.  What a dazzling display I thought, perfectly perched on a traffic laden hill which gave me a moment of spectacular perspective as the sun began to drop ever so gently below the cloud line.

My thoughts went quiet as often they do at sunset and I moved into a complete state of being.  There was no hectic day left in my mind and the traffic ahead became insignificant.  In that moment of conscious decision to just breathe, a dark fog of anxiety lifted and I breathed a huge sigh of both awe and relief.  Months of frenetic and chaotic activity has had me feeling quite uncomfortable within my skin.  There is much change afoot in a part of my world that has been so very stable for a long time.  I guess the stress of it has played just out of reach of my conscious cognition much like a background program running on a computer.  You don't notice it too much but its effect is still present and can stress the operating system's capabilities a bit.

In that moment that seemed like an unmoving eternity, I was free.  I was free from the worries and cares I have held and I laughed a little knowing the prior feelings were only my own resistance to participating in my world in a way I don't really wish to.  But as many humans on the planet, I have bills to pay, a nice roof over head and plenty of creature comforts for my family to enjoy.  It is their comfort that is my impetus for continuing parts of my journey some days I'd rather not.  "This too, shall pass," I said out loud.  It all will pass.

The traffic began to inch along on this crowded popular route into my home town.  Feeling the city's energy at this point in my drive was interesting to say the least.  When I opened my senses I felt, relief, sorrow, anxiety, excited anticipation and then from within, my own deep love and appreciation for home.  Not my home on this planet but the home deep inside of me that is where ever I am.  My thoughts trail off chasing a whisper of a concept that we're all seeking to get "home" not realizing the "home" we seek is truly right inside of us.  That loving place of complete connection, total understanding and limitless possibility is always within us.  We just don't realize how the mechanics of that works because we either don't care mired in the ego's superficial pursuits or we don't know how to find it.  When the connected part of me took over, the landscape before me changed.  Well, my perspective of it changed anyway -- nothing was going to move these cars out of my way any time soon so I had a choice to make.  I could go back to irritation and frustration or I could sit back and realize that this too is just another projection I have chosen to participate in.

My beautiful neon light sky display dissipated into the half flight of a quickly setting sun.  An amazing seeming phenomenon at this time of year I witness now near daily. I normally love the autumn but have barely even noticed it until this moment caught in Friday night traffic during rush hour.  Gratitude replaced my former anxious irritation and I decided to just enjoy the ride.  The night got worse before it got better and even that didn't seem to phase my elevated state much.  I had errands to run after I finally made it home.  Not used to turning on the garage light before I stepped the two steps down to the floor, I missed one mid-conversation with my partner and have no recollection of what happened next.  One minute I was talking and the next I was falling in darkness landing knees first, thank goodness.  I didn't move right away centering my focus into my body for signals to let me know I'd not injured myself too much.  I sat down with my worried family rushing over to help me up.  Without any worry and fighting back tears of pain, I realized with relief that miraculously I'd not broken anything.  Every single muscle was on fire with life in a way I didn't appreciate all that much but I got up and got on with it.  The errands were run and finally I was back to the safety of my physical home.  Once there I took note of the many sensations I experienced in a short span of linear time.  I walked through them so curious...frenetic thoughts of a very busy work day, frustration in traffic not wanting to be where I was, letting that go to embrace a beautiful sun set and getting on with the business at hand rather hurriedly only to be warned it's unwise to walk quickly down darkened stairways.  I laugh now but it's funny.

There is a lesson to be learned here about not becoming distracted as well as refusing to let negative emotions run rampant if even unconsciously.  In our distracted states, we lose our connectedness to our true "home" and clarity of focus.  In our hurried states, we miss opportunities to see what is right in front of us.  In the absence of some forethought we can risk the unexpected and unintended misstep.  While seemingly negative, these are all good things to be mindful of.  For a few days, I'll have some painful reminders of the importance of paying closer attention to not only my physical state, but the state of my thoughts and the speed with which I let them roam unfettered, while labeling things in fearful and resistant ways.  It took a painful reminder to get that.  Sufficiently reminded is a concept I'm fully physically aware of in this moment.

I hope all are having a wonderful weekend enjoying time with family and friends.  Relish every moment of your beautiful lives as you live them.  Everything matters in more ways than you realize.  Blessings for a beautiful day.

(c) 2013, Jaie Hart (Photo, random but fortunate internet find)

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