I am just sitting down in the early hours of Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and my journal. My plan is to meditate for a few quiet moments, read a few pages of inspiration, do some morning free writing, and then get outside for some fresh air and a run.
What is that saying about the best laid plans…?
And of course, just as I sit down, coffee and pen in hand, the door to my bedroom bursts wide open and in runs my son. He is dressed in a black and red head to toe ninja costume, a sword in each hand, and is ready for battle. He makes a few speedy circles around the room before jumping on the bed. Not a minute later, one dog bounds in, then two more, and soon after that, my daughter sleepily wanders in with a book in one hand and an iPad in the other.
My peaceful, Pinterest worthy moment is going to have to wait. Perhaps my moment will have to wait a long, long time. Because this is life. My life. Real life. Presenting itself to me, wanting to play and be petted and have Saturday morning reading time together in bed. While I am busy making plans, life is waiting to be noticed, to be lived.
To be completely honest, I could feel my sense of anxiety and frustration rising. I wanted the conditions to be perfect for my mindful morning. And yes, I deserved a few peaceful minutes after a long and hectic week. But I had to remind myself that the conditions aren’t always perfect. Actually, the conditions are rarely perfect. The conditions didn’t get the memo from my expectations.
So on this particular morning, my mindfulness practice is play fighting and rolling in bed and being there to take it all in. And a few minutes later, I swiftly kick everyone out of the room, ask for ten minutes, shut the door, find my breath, and pick up my coffee and pen once again.
What do we do when life doesn’t align with what we want or need? Sometimes we can create the circumstances we desire, and when we can, that is wonderful. Sometimes we can’t, and we perhaps do our best to surrender and be with whatever has arrived at our doorstep instead. Sometimes we do some combination of the two.
But either way, resisting the moment at hand while imagining what might have been, or what might one day be, only leaves us fragmented and frustrated. The present moment, however imperfect, is the only one that is real, and the only one that is available for us to claim as our own. And somehow, the moments come together, in a chaotic, non-linear, messy mosaic, a vibrant picture that will one day make sense from afar.
So today, and in the week ahead, I invite you to join me in noticing what you are resisting in this moment. What is available in the here and now while we are waiting for the perfect conditions to arise?
With gratitude, Monisha