Words to Live By: Pema Chodron

Following is a quote from Pema Chodron that I found in the first entry in the ‘Favorites’ list on my long forgotten Google Reader feed; too many stories, too little time!  It’s just…perfect.  I’ve spent many hours talking with my housemates about my need for control, for knowing exactly how what I’m doing is meaningful.  And Pema Chodron’s words just break all of that down beautifully, because truly we can never know, and need to find peace and freedom and life in that truth.

“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all this to happen; room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. When we think something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don’t know. We never know if we’re going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure.”

In other news, I’m getting into zines again.  Maybe I’ll even create one at long last!  I’m ordering this, and would love any recommendations.

The decadence of mornings.

I am a lover of mornings.  Don’t get me wrong- each hour of each day has it’s charms, with the possible exception of the 2:30pm slump while at work- but mornings are special.  On days when I work I always get up at least an hour before I have to leave the house so that I can start my day with leisure.  After turning on the stove to begin the ritual coffee/tea preparation, I return to my room for sun salutations and whatever other yoga poses speak to me that day.  Breakfast is either eggs or yogurt and granola, and always fruit unless it’s the end of my shopping week and I’ve run out.  Lately I’ve been alternating between oranges and pears.  A bit of reading, and then before I know it 8:30 has come and it’s time to head out.

On non-work days, the entire above process might be stretched out to two, three, or more hours: the entire morning takes on a delicious decadence.  One cup of tea becomes two, or a cup of tea followed by a pot of french press, as I write a blog entry, read the poem of the day, work on various craft projects, or just gaze out the front window.  If I am very lucky, the morning becomes the entire day, a full span of contented waking hours.  These splendid mornings are not always spent making slow progress on books and writing over various hot drinks; frequently I end a non-work day feeling more productive than I have in weeks because I have made bread/started sprouts/patched pants/done my laundry/grocery shopped/any of the myriad of other things that must be done on occasion.  The essential difference is, all of the latter are done in morning mode, that is, without hurry or worry or stress.  I am productive while remaining relaxed, contemplative even.

I know not everyone has the luxury of relaxed mornings, or of a work schedule that allows for three days off rather than the traditional two (though I would highly suggest it if it’s manageable).  Nor is everyone a morning person (though I would argue many are that perceive themselves otherwise, for they have never had the opportunity to cultivate pleasant mornings).  However, everyone can find a time of day for the decadence of time contentedly spent.  A few moments upon returning home from work, the last minutes before sleep, or an afternoon snack and walk, all are an opportunity to be present, mindful, and released.

Namaste, friends.