After a very hectic week fraught with interruptions and distractions, I awoke this morning in the doldrums – absolutely dead in the water – all momentum for doing gone – no excitement for life, just worn down by a lot of unexpected turns in the River. I asked, where does Life want to go today? Nothing, nada. I asked, what is needed here? Again blank, zilch. What am I supposed to see here? Hello-o-o-o-o, anybody home? Evidently not. So I trudged my way to the kitchen to feed the cat and make breakfast, inwardly listening, trying to be aware of something, anything that would give me some hint of what I was experiencing and why; why there seemed to be a lot of obstacles and no real flow these last few days – just a lot of busyness, and in most cases accompanying resistance to the way things were going.
Over breakfast I started sharing with my husband about what I was feeling and experiencing. We got on the topic of the flow of experience, the river metaphor, like the opening phrase on the home page on my web site, “Our lives are like rivers, eventually they go where they must, not where we want them to.” And so I was lamenting that life was not going where I wanted it to, but that I didn’t know where it was going, because at the moment, it didn’t seem to be going at all, even with all the effort and busyness, and how unsettled that was making me feel.
And so I took off with the metaphor and started talking about how sometimes life is just like that – trying to convince myself I guess - that sometimes there are still places on the River where nothing seems to be happening and sometimes life is like the rapids – it just takes you, even when you don’t feel ready for where it’s going. And how I often find myself saying to life – wait, I’m not ready, hold on, I don’t know how to do this, I’ve never been in a kayak before and no one gave me lessons! This happened when I published my website and blog last month. And then out of my mouth came – “and sometimes you just have to take the rapids, whether you’re ready or not.” How interesting I was now excitedly talking about taking the rapids when an instant before I felt like I was dead in the water.
My husband had been attentively listening, adding his wisdom here and there. But after my last statement I could see this rather quizzical look in his eye. I thought he was maybe pondering the deep profundity that had spewed forth. :) He started laughing. I became quizzical as well, and asked – What? - with a grin on my face – like he was now going to tell me some profound point that he had just gotten. With a gleam and a grin he looked at me and said: I thought you said you just have to “take the rabbits.” We both broke into a hearty belly laughter beyond our control. We have resident rabbits around our home that graze on the grass and live under the front stoop, or the back spruce tree, or the shed. We love to watch the rabbits while eating in our “breakfast nook" window that overlooks the back yard. So of course it made sense that he would hear me say “rabbits.”
And there it was – the moment that took me out of the doldrums. It just took a little humor and a lot of laughter in a mis-heard phrase and I began to feel a stirring of life within again. And here I thought I’d have to spend some serious time in morning meditation, meeting this unsettledness, this disgruntledness with life, working with it, seeing what lesson was there for me. But life itself had unexpectedly presented the remedy in the moment. Ah, the medicine of humor.
So I pondered the metaphor of the rabbit. Rabbits, it seems from my observations, are content to graze on grass all day – to be in a state of inner stillness for most of their existence. They are not thinking: This is not how my life should be. They seemingly know when to run to take cover and when to freeze in place, blending in like a rock in the grass. And they multiply unendingly – like the rapids on a river that intensify as they go over the rocks. They, rabbits and rapids, innately go with the flow of their life, whatever it is, without resistance - content in their true nature – their Beingness, not wanting life to be any different than what it is.
So the next time I’m feeling unsettled about where life is going, or not going, all I’ll have to do is look out my back window and remember this funny little story, and allow the River to take me – freely without resistance - let what arises arise, and just be with it. And, oh yes, I’ll remember to “take the rabbits.”
Living life as it is…
Heart Smiles – MeANderi
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