Friday, January 18, 2008

My Life Coming to Get Me

Been pretty unhappy w/ work for a while now - up and down, certainly, but more often down than up.

Been vaguely dissatisfied with the way I've been living my life, too -- too much sitting around and not enough digging deep. I've told myself I'm still resting up after 20+ years in school and working, running myself ragged and so busy as to be blind to most everything else.

Took the time to attend a meditation retreat, with Rilke by my side and on my mind. What rung through me clearly is his admonition from Sonnets to Orpheus:

"You must change your life."

And this one --

I am too alone in the world, but not alone enough to make each hour holy.
I am small in the world, but not small enough to simply be like a thing -- just as it is.

I want to know my own will
and to move with it.
And I want, in the hushed moments
when the nameless draws near,
to be among the wise ones—
or alone.

I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed, I am false.
I want to stay clear in your sight.

I would describe myself like a landscape I’ve studied
at length, in detail;
like a word I’m coming to understand;
like a pitcher I pour from at mealtimes;

like my mother’s face;
like a ship that carried me
when the waters raged.

- From Rilke’s Book Of Hours translated by Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy

So of course, the universe opened up, testing me with new opportunities, throwing my current life into bas relief, forcing me to question just how dissatisfied I am with it, and which parts I wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't throw away.

There are things I want more of --
  • Money to save and not worry about each purchase and unexpected expenses/emergencies
  • Time to meditate, to read, to follow my interest & development
  • Focus to study and pass my AICP exam for planning, which opens the door to project management and career advancement
  • Teaching, because it rockets me to understanding and challenges me to question everything -- and write about it
  • Inspiration -- to go where my life takes me, joyfully, fully, present
  • Kids
And so, what path will lead me toward these things, and which path will make it harder, or impossible? Which lets me ride the wave, and which leaves me paddling on a calm ocean, trying to surf?

It's a blessing to be presented with this moment to make choices. That is clear to me. And even the opportunity to do nothing, change nothing, except my attitude and gratitude at what I already have, is valuable for me now.


It's such a huge opportunity to change so much that it's hard not to feel fate's hand.

I must listen and calm myself in order to hear clearly -- both what the universe whispers or shouts to me and what my own instinct says.

What's the biggest move I can handle that would make Rilke proud? Isn't it interesting that the more you allow for the possibility of fate, the more you feel the press of its hand?

No comments:

Post a Comment