There are a lot of ways my life is chaos central these days.
While my smashed car is being repaired 200 miles away, my downstairs is being ripped to shreds because of a tiny leak in a corroded pipe – probably badly installed by the contractor 10 years ago – which flooded my downstairs and ruined the new floor installed only a year ago.
As I write from my study, downstairs, the sound of floors being torn up, furniture being moved, packers and “demolition people” shouting to one another goes on nonstop.
Plastic sheeting walls off the kitchen where huge dehumidifier fans run day and night. We are hoping to salvage the tile floor. We have to unzip the kitchen to enter “ET’s isolation tent.”
It’s a huge, disruptive mess. Meanwhile my back is not entirely happy after being heavily
rear-ended the day after the ruination of my floors at home.
Upstate, my daughter has a serious ear infection, which should be getting better by now but isn’t yet. Since she has had both her spleen and gallbladder removed due to a genetic autoimmune disorder, every infection is a worry. In moments like these, I wish that I lived closer so that I could help care for her two small children, one of whom is not even in preschool yet.
In the midst of all this, the most important thing I can do is also the hardest: keep coming back to the spiritual practice of being mindfully aware of my own internal state. Am I getting frantic? Am I getting panicky and desperate? Am I flinging myself into whatever action seems for a moment as though it might help me get back my life back in control?
The most important question I can ask myself is not what do I need to do next, but am I coming from a calm, centered place in whatever I choose.
I want to access the still place within, the eye of the storm.
This is not a retreat from engagement with the problems swirling around me, it’s the absolute essential to being able to access the sane, steady core within from which I can discern what it looks most beneficial to do next. Right now, that’s writing to you. Sometimes it’s a nap.
The awakened life, which changes your world and returns you to your the path of joy is not something that happens when things are better. As my brother, Jesus, taught. “For those who have eyes to see, the Kingdom of God has already arrived.”
Like everyone, I’m pretty sure Jesus included, I can’t always get there. But just remembering that I want to, and having some practices for getting there – such as breath practices, meridian tapping and visualization, helps so much… often amazingly fast.
Downstairs the packers and demolition workers are loudly and laughingly debating the merits of various apple cider beers.
I’m glad to be able to smile and enjoy that.
With You on the Path,