The first week free of work would be my last week at home. The days where I could flitter about like a bat, taking care of whatever I could at any moment, have drawn to a close.
With several hours left before my flight and a bag yet to be packed, I have to make definitive choices about my time, and what to bring along with me to San Diego.
This is less than easy for me. I challenge myself to resist getting impulsive, drastically jettisoning important things in an anxious effort to lighten my load. Also challenged is my desire to make the ‘right’ decision, to act appropriately. The zen quote comes to mind now: “if you’ll sit, then sit; if you’ll stand, then stand. But never wobble.” Midway through, having repacked for the third time, my moral is nearly gone. Past midnight, I am an exhausted wobbling.
In the midst of it, I get words of encouragement from my loved ones. I take them in with a bowl of Matcha, and get to work with a new vigor.
As I tie up my last loose ends, I take some time to finally peer into the book made for me to commemorate my career at MRC. It’s one of the most magnificent and potent doses of thoughtfulness I have ever received. Note after note of well wishes from so many people that mean much to me; a stream of reminders that I am connected with others, that we affect each other, and that love is the ultimate vehicle of meaningful change within. Put another way that sounds even less wishy washy, the impediments to love within oneself are one’s very work in this life. Everything else is peripheral in the grandest scheme. After this moment of gratitude, I am able to set aside what cyclically doesn’t serve me, and take care of my goal.
The nature of this recharge of my spirit compelled me to share a practice of mine I adapted from a monk’s advice during a retreat last year:
At the end of the day, reflect on 3 signs of greatness in other people that you noticed today; reflect then on 3 ways you have been helped by others; then, reflect on 3 signs of greatness in yourself.
I’m filled with gratitude and bewilderment as I head off to the first leg of my trip, a meditation retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh and nearly a thousand others at deer park monastery in Escondido, California.