It’s been a roller coaster of a week. I hurtled into shock, grief, disappointment and confusion. And I soared with laughter, love, joy and beauty.
For the month of September, I’ve decided to be present. And for the first few days, my commitment to this challenge has really been tested.
Instead of beating myself up over being less than perfectly present, I’m glad that I’m aware when I swing high above and far below the present moment.
When I experience a rush of happiness, I look at it with curiosity. I can see that this feeling was born by a thought. A fleeting image of an interesting man I’ve been chatting with. I detach from the reverie and come back to the present.
When I tell myself I’m in a bad mood, I question it. Am I this feeling? Does it belong to me? I examine it. I realise that I feel this way because I just read a message from a friend who’s depressed.
If she’s feeling unwell, should I feel lousy too? Is it my responsibility to make her better? I need to cut the cord that I have loving placed around both our necks before we strangle one another completely. I unravel the attachment and step back into the present.
When I believe a thought, I adhere importance to it. A feeling arises from this connection. This can occur so quickly that it’s difficult to spot the sequence. Now that I understand what’s happening, I ask myself: What am I choosing to believe? And is that true?
This evening, I flake out on the armchair and watch the thoughts that dance for my attention. What can I say to help her? Will I go to badminton tonight? Would it be better to drive to the airport next week or get the bus? Maybe she doesn’t like me any more. Will I grow old gracefully? I wonder if we’ll fancy one another… I need to make an appointment for a bikini wax. What’ll I wear tomorrow night? Where am I going to live? Is everything okay?
The thoughts shimmy before me and I am exhausted. I decide that I’m too tired to think. I just couldn’t be bothered.
I could simply be present. Isn’t that where I want to be anyway? Isn’t that where I am? Spiritual teacher Mooji said:
“You’re like the infinite sky. Can any clouds come and stay? Everything is passing, everything is passing. Will you fall in love with a cloud? How long will your relationship last?”
Thoughts come. Thoughts go. Feelings surface. Feelings change. Nothing is permanent. Nothing stays the same. Everything passes, like clouds.
Why then should I fear what won’t last? And why should I hold tight to things that cannot remain? I’d rather not waste time and energy when there really is no point in doing so.
So I sit here, close my eyes and breathe. And the thoughts pass. Like clouds.