Every morning I sit with my journal and write my life: the to-do list for the day, the accomplishments of the day before, dreams, memories, thoughts, fears, physical struggles. It’s a practice I’ve had for many years – almost forty! I just realized – and fed by many teachers I’ve known through their writing: Doris Lessing, Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron.
This morning as I was writing my ever-expanding-do-this-right-now! list, I felt a growing anxiety in my chest. I stopped. I breathed. Breathe, Janet, breathe. It will all come together. I picked up a current favorite teacher, Rabbi David A. Cooper.
“Each time we do something that raises consciousness, we lift sparks of holiness to new levels. This is called tikkun ha-nefesh, mending the soul, and tikkum ha-olam, mending the world, bringing it closer to its source.”
Ah. The task once more of mending the world is by redirecting my own consciousness into peace. Waaaaa waaaaa waaaaa. That’s what it always comes back to. I laughed, and laughter and consciousness are like an electrical charge, infusing the holy into everything.
“Once we enter a holistic frame of reference in which all parts are complete and are replicas of the whole, then everything in the universe, by definition, is integrally connected.”
I am once more thrown back into the “circle of my arms” as I wrote in an earlier post. I can only change this world – mend this life – offer that peace to everything I can do. And of course, that means being conscious of my actions and where I step.
But by that simple action of changing my frame of reference by breathing and releasing the anxiety I was feeling, I was able to return to being. Simply being silent and observing the world around me. This morning, the sky is a blue backdrop to the deep green of trees outside my window and the morning light slants in golden from the east. A breeze ruffles the top of the weeping willow. Yes, sure, the day may bring heat and humidity, but at the moment, out my window, there’s a silent glory. No sirens this morning, at least not yet; the birds in the thicket along the fence are even quiet.
For a moment, for this little window of consciousness, all is right with my world. That’s the consciousness I want to carry with me through the tumble of today’s tasks, and the reminder I want to give myself: stop and look and consider and breathe.
I imagine there must be people in the world right now who aren’t pushed to the limits of their understanding and patience. I don’t know any of them, but there must be. I want to pretend I’m one of them. I want to remember that the world isn’t ending, at least not quite yet, and the tasks will either get completed today or another day. I want to remember to laugh and do my part to heal the world. Even if the world is as small as the circle of my two arms.