Ah yes, my one wild and precious life!! What a wonderful reminder that I am responsible for my life and my experience here on this good earth. I surrender to the reality that I have no capacity to control other’s attitudes or actions taken, no matter how much I would like to. All the people whom I love and all the inhabitants of the earth (whom I love too) will still feel discomfort, pain and will suffer despite my best efforts to soften and fix and control. No amount of self-sacrificing and selfless giving will protect and shelter people from life’s lessons. I have come to see that those actions are actually selfish and self-serving. Their suffering stirs up ‘stuff’ in my own shadow that I am reticent to feel.
An act of great courage is to sit with people’s discomfort and troubles and be a compassionate presence listening with your heart. No need for solutions – what sweet relief to simply be ‘seen’.
I can eat well, get plenty of rest and be physically fit only to have some physical symptom show up uninvited as pain or dis-ease or disease. Some things that happen are beyond my control and no amount of positive thinking and living ‘right’ will alter its course. I do have an opportunity to consciously decide how I choose to look at it and what my response will be. This will impact greatly what I do with my one wild and precious life.
Only if I allow it, my “knee jerk” reactions based on past experiences will pull me out of the present moment. Instead, I can choose to act consciously and with intention, to respond rather than react, to choose love over power and to relinquish this all consuming need to be right and to be heard. I will seek to understand rather than to be understood.
With the passage of time, consciously choosing a different response will impact the neural pathways in the brain creating the capacity for new responses and fresh perspectives. We will approach situations differently over time. It is an ongoing work in progress. When a particle that makes up our matter is paid attention to, its behavior changes. So showering unconditional love and acceptance on to whatever you are FEELING in your body creates a lightness of being – expansion. You, as the witness, using your conscious presence are changed too.
I want to look back on my life knowing that the awkward moments, heartbreaks failures, tears and disappointments were clear indicators that I jumped in with both feet and took some risks, was curious and passionate and I allowed myself to genuinely feel. It takes courage to go beyond what is comfortable and safe and to stay in this precious present moment – now, now, now.
The richly textured fabric of a life well lived is made up of threads of good and bad, of dark and light, of pain and sorrow and of joy, of laughter and of tears. We need the disappointments as well as the triumphs.
Written by Jodi Gould, Physiotherapist