[Listen to me read this reflection here]
Reality is full of richness and all that it takes to see it is to open my eyes. Easier said than done.
Reality for me exists only in this moment. To see reality is to be with this moment. To connect with this moment. To have a relationship with this moment.
My dreams these past few nights have been more vivid, adventurous and exciting than what I am used to. While these dreams may be part of my experience of life, they are not part of my present moment.
My mind takes a lot of comfort in attempting to plan my future. Where will I go hiking next weekend? What direction will I take my business? Who might I choose to hire to join my team? What friends do I feel a desire to be closer with? However useful my thoughts and intentions for my future may be, they are again not part of my present moment.
My heart feels joy when reminiscing about past memories. The lifestyle I led and the communities I connected with in New York. The many activities and pastimes B.C. (Before Coronavirus) that filled my schedule. The raw excitement I more often felt in my younger years. While enjoyable to reflect, again these memories are not part of my present moment.
Last weekend while on a walk in the forest, I was fortunate to get a glimpse of the richness of reality. I saw a leaf fall from the branch of a tree. It looked as if it was dancing its way to the ground. For that leaf, that moment might just have been the climax of its existence and one that I was fortunate enough to witness. The gravity of that moment, from the perspective of the leaf, is clear. Reality for the leaf is full of richness.
A few days ago, a close friend of mine shared a picture of their new born baby. For her, this moment is beautiful. Her journey through life has begun. She is not thinking about the state of the world, what her future career prospects are or how she is received and perceived by others. In this moment, she is connected to the needs of her body. Reality for her is full of richness.
To connect with the richness of reality requires for me to connect with myself.
I believe it begins with connecting with my body. How does my body feel? Do I love my body, as it is, in this present moment? The truth is that I rarely do. I am usually hoping, wishing and desiring for the reality of my body to be different from what it is.
If my body could write me a letter, what would it ask for? It would ask for rest, nourishment and movement. I can give it that. To connect with my present moment is to learn how to listen to the richness of information that my body has for me, versus ignore it.
Next is to connect with my mental state, in this moment. This is a layer of reality where my thoughts, feelings and emotions exist.
If I am driving down a highway fast, I cannot really see the signs alongside the road. Similarly, if my mind is racing, there is a richness of information that I will not receive. It is only once I slow down that I can see.
This is why meditation, journaling and yoga are such powerful tools in my day to day life. They help me slow down, not so that I simply feel better or different, but so that I can better connect with the richness of reality.
Once I have slowed down, what do I see? In some moments, my mind feels grounded, calm and clear. And in other moments, my mind feels busy, scattered and anxious. My mind will grip to ideas that inspire me and the fears that frighten me.
Now here is the most beautiful thing about reality. Reality does not want me to try and change it. That is the risk once I begin to see reality, is that I may try to change it. Reality does not actually care about what I think or how I feel about it. Reality is too occupied with being itself, as it is. Reality wants me to simply become aware of it.
Like a child playing in the park. All she wants is for her parents to watch her. She does not want her parents to tell her how to play, she simply wants to be seen by her parents, as she is. Similarly, reality simply wants me to become aware of it.
The only choice in the face of reality is to learn how to see it without any judgement or any desire for it to be different than what it is. Easier said than done. I trust that the act of observation is sufficient to cultivate awareness, from which change happens naturally.
Reality is full of richness, if I only choose to see it. Once I see it and once I accept it, only then can I live in harmony with it. Once I am in harmony with reality, I am in harmony with life, as my only way to experience life is through this present moment with all of its richness.