As I sit and begin planning our 20+ family celebration of Christmas and the the last night of Hanukah this weekend, I notice my mind bouncing from appetizer recipes to thoughts of ….
Who will drink too much?
Who will show up in a bad mood?
Who will be too loud, too withdrawn, too lazy to help…?
Essentially, this all adds up to:
Who is going to piss me off and ruin this day?
UUUGHHH!! It is exhausting to listen to the mental wresting match fueled by a desire to control everything.
Your classroom of 20+ students is a lot like a holiday family gathering EVERYDAY, so perhaps you can relate.
As I sit in my morning meditation, my body finds ease and my mind slowly follows.
I begin to question all of my racing thoughts of control, worry and disappointment by asking myself a few benign questions that begin with, “What If…”
What if there was nothing for me to control? Rather than amplify a need to control everyone and every situation, what if there was a greater energy all around me that is working it all out for me? If I allow myself to align with a universal energy that radiates peace, joy and ease, can I surrender my control to that?
What if there was nothing for me to worry about? Great spiritual teachers have said, worrying is like praying FOR all your fears. Prayer is the equivalent to focused attention and where your attention goes, energy flows. In what direction do you want to direct your energy? It is yours to decide.
What if everyone actually shows up as their best selves? Perhaps their “best dressed attire” will include donning gratitude, compassion, patience and peace?
What if everything was perfect as it is? As we label things as good, bad, hard, easy, fun, challenging, high and low, what if we are meant to experience and feel them of these things because they are all part of the human experience? Together they create a full life. Without the sorrow, we cannot know joy. Perhaps any chaos, turmoil or discomfort that presents itself on this day is part of a true “perfect” life.
This all brings be to the quote above by Pema Chodron.
What if I was just the sky? Steady, bright, calm.
And everything else was just the weather. Fleeting, passing through.-Pema Chodron
When the weather is not pleasant, the sky is not affected.
What if I view it all from above, radiating the light of the sun on everything below no matter how it appears?
As I ponder these questions and notice how it shifts my perspective and reality, I invite you to do the same.
Wishing you all clear skies this holiday season.