Thursday, February 16, 2012

Light52: Week 7

sean's handful of hearts

Sean’s candy heart says exactly what I’ve felt all of February saying: GO GO GO.

Going is a good thing, but somehow February turned into this vortex of time commitments---an evening sewing class, a daily 750 words writing challenge (tied to some money just to “keep it interesting”) between friends, a new 6AM workout routine that is kicking my butt, swim classes for the boys (which mean I’m in the water with Nolie), all of the same and never-ending commitments of home-keeping and meal planning/preparing, and a completely unexpected work opportunity that has me thrilled and desperate for more time.

I like a wide margin to my days, as Thoreau so wisely put it. I’m a homebody at heart, and don’t like to rush. I wouldn’t wish away any of the demands on my time; most of them involve caring for people I’m madly in love with or creative pursuits I’ve been dreaming of. I just wanted to spread things out more, or to be honest, hide from what began to feel like an avalanche of responsibilities and pressure.

Then I read this The Myth of the Missing Moon as told by Karen Maezen Miller.

I’ve quoted Momma Zen here before, and her most recent post is exactly the kind I struggle against most---because I’m a striver, someone always looking for a challenge, looking for improvement, wanting to change, improve---hmm, funny that word “improve” because, at least for me, at the heart of my “alchemy” as Gretchen Rubin described it, is a desire to prove, once and for all, to myself that I am good and that I have a right to be here.

“There is something you think you don’t have. A virtue, quality, or substance you need to acquire. Courage. Strength. Patience. Wisdom. Compassion. Wholeheartedness. As soon as I name it, you see it as missing from you, quick to disavow the suggestion that you are complete.”

The thing I most often complain that I don’t have is time. Karen’s writing on time is even more frustrating/enlightening, depending on my frame of mind. “I often tell people they have all the time in the world,” she wrote here. “ They look up from their frantic scramblings, their scattered minds, feeling overwhelmed and bogged down, and they think, to put it nicely, She’s insane.” Um, yes, that was my reaction.

“At the moment I’m in the muck, at the moment I’m doing anything, it is my life, it is all of time, and it is all of me.”

Somehow it took the story of the missing moon to bring that line to light for me.

“One evening she opened her eyes and saw the moon. It was full, of course. It was full all along, doing what moons do, reflecting light. Only our perspective changes. We rob ourselves when we mistake the unreal for the real.

Your heart is always whole, just as the moon is always full. Your life is always complete. You just don’t see it that way.”

I am okay. The pressure, the time crunch, mostly comes from me. I have an impressive ability to take opportunities I originally embrace as fun and turn them into work (if you define work as pass/fail opportunities to reveal yourself as inadequate).

I may disappoint some people, but that’s doubtful as I’m the one with the expectations. There is nothing to fail at really, other than missing the moment because I’m rushing to the next the one in fear that there isn’t enough time. Missing the chance to dance by the light of a moon that is always full.

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