Let Life Be Easier

On the opening page of his book The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck says:

Life is difficult.

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

What are the illusions that have given birth to your expectations of yourself, others and life itself? Do you believe, somewhere deep inside, that “someday” everything will be perfect? Are you always waiting and hoping for what lies out in the future somewhere?

A young sage once said to me as we walked through a farmers’ market on a crisp sunny morning,

This, this is the essence of life: Do what you love doing. Do it with people you love. And let it be easy.

Sitting on a quiet beach on the Emerald Coast of the Florida panhandle, I watched the gulf waters. The water was so still it looked more like a lake. A few weeks earlier it had raged, sending huge waves crashing across the highway into the small bay behind me. In that moment I realized that water is consistently true to itself whether it is quietly lapping at the shore or ripping into that shore so deeply that it is forever changed. I could see that because water is consistently true to its own nature,  it is able to shape the continents and I was looking at a different Florida coastline.

Life is like that. It is consistently true to itself, ever-changing, relentlessly being what it is. Life ebbs and flows. At times so quiet and peaceful I want this moment to last forever. Other times it rips and tears at the fabric of my being. It dares me to resist its flow, to deny its very nature and, in the process, to deny my own and be taken down and devastated by its storms.

M. Scott Peck is right. The only way to embrace the very nature of life is to accept the reality of its true nature. When I surrender my illusions, I set myself free to ride the waves. World class surfers travel the globe, following storms and ocean surges, looking for the fiercest waves in order to ride them! I want to ride the waves of life with that kind of confidence and openness of mind and heart. Like my young sage, I want to let life be easy.

So when life is a challenge, I sit down and breathe. I breathe slowly and quietly until I remember that this is the nature of life. I am not being punished or tested. Life is what it is. I meditate and pray for guidance. I wait for the inner voice of wisdom. The challenges don’t disappear but they look different to me then. I know that, when this storm passes, the waters of my life will be calm again while I rest and restore my energy.

It won’t be the last storm so I rest in knowing that I am more adept at embracing all of life’s experiences. I seek out the quiet within when everything around me is raging. My own true nature carries me as I flow with life rather than fighting it, even when it hurts.

This moment is enough for me no matter what it contains. Blessings can be as overwhelming as challenges. Looking to some future that may never come is not the answer. This moment is all I have. Whatever this moment contains, I choose to be present in it because I can let this one moment be easy.

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Stop For A Moment

Stop for a moment today and look at the sky. Take a deep slow breath and listen. What do you hear around you? Are you living in the moment? Are you  aware of what you are thinking, feeling, and  experiencing in that moment?

Why? Because this moment is all you really have.

May you be blessed with the Presence of the Divine; may you know the Truth of Who You Are.

Strangers Are Wonderful Too

As I waited to board the plane, I decided to find a seat in the first five rows. It was a short flight so a middle seat would be fine. They called the flight and, as I boarded, I reminded myself to look for that seat near the front. I found it in the fourth row and settled in between two young women. Once we took off, the young woman in the aisle seat cordially began a conversation. Before too long, the one to the left joined us.

The topic of conversation turned to fear of flying when we felt the plane respond to air currents over the mountains. Both women shared a fear of flying. One had learned to deal with it quite calmly; the other was only beginning to fly after a frightening experience. As women are prone to do, we had quite a lengthy discussion. What impressed me was that these two women, less than half my age and I am almost 71, were so open and honest with themselves and with us. One said, “Please don’t share exact details. I do very well now but details can still trigger me.” The other responded, “Of course! What do you do to help yourself because I am getting anxious right now?”

I sat back and listened as one gave useful and compassionate responses to the other. As the conversation slowed, I offered my insights on using breath to calm the body and mind. I also suggested that regular, simple meditation techniques are effective. Further details are not important.

As the plane landed and we prepared to disembark, we all thanked one another for an interesting and fun time together. We had shared our fears, our desires to be more balanced and ultimately our laughter and encouragement. We all agreed that it seemed like a twenty-minute flight rather than an hour.

My discussion with one of the women continued at baggage claim. Why am I not surprised that our bags were side by side!

I left the terminal smiling. What a wonderful experience! Strangers discovered common experience and spent an hour compassionately supporting one another in powerful ways. Openness of mind and heart, whether sharing or responding, made the trip easier for one as she  gave another real hope for her future travels. Though I do not have a fear of flying, it isn’t as fun as it used to be so I do avoid at times. This trip made me want to go again!

When you lead with an open heart, you aren’t really strangers after all. Love and peace abound. I will smile every time I think of those two lovely, open-hearted young women. May they be abundantly blessed. As may each of you.

At Sunrise

My meditation begins before sunrise and is complete as the soft golden rays of the sun show softly through the norens that cover my bedroom window. My breath deepens and I hear the first sounds of waking birds, then the train whistles in the distance. It is a new day and my heart expands into the moment. It is a beautiful new day and it begins in perfect peace. I breathe more deeeply feeling the peace within fill every cell of my body. I breathe deeply again and there is love, pure and clear, flooding my consciousness with a profound awareness of the Divine in everything.

It is a beautiful new day and it begins in perfect peace.

May you be blessed in the love and peace of your Soul.