For your viewing pleasure (I dare you to not smile)
To start off somewhere besides the place where we discuss how I've been gone for two weeks, let's begin here... I was doing yoga tonight. I've missed it so much, and I always feel much better after I do a few poses. This week has been kind of a cheat week for me since I was hiking several times per week and not feeling very encouraged by the physical results. Yesterday was a major junk food day, spilling into today, and reminding me that my diet is a big part of the shape my body takes. So lettuce wraps and tomatoes for dinner, eh?
So my yoga gear came out and I got to my final pose which is something weird in Sanskrit but translates to Dead Man's Pose in English. I inhaled with no thought, exhaling and remembering to use this time to meditate in some form or another. What word would be best? Peace...too cheesy. Tranquility... reminds me too much of a Bath & Body Works lotion.
And then: Clarity. And for the exhale Acceptance.
And as I lay there, essentially talking to myself, I realized the power and importance of those words. I think that if there were ever two words that will define a feeling of the ultimate Zen experience, they'd be Clarity and Acceptance.
As a writer, clarity is essential. I'm learning more and more that if my mind isn't clear and focused, my writing will reflect that. I become jumbled and confusing and I probably talk more about cats than I should. Even just a self-talk reminder to seek out clarity in all things is an amazing tool to wade through the haze in my head and remember to see things with my heart and mind simultaneously. It's far too easy to become overwhelmed with the thoughts and words of others and forget to pay attention to yourself. I know it is for me, anyway.
Acceptance might be even more important than Clarity, to some degree. I had the word on my mind after reading Daily Om by Madisyn Taylor this morning. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. There are a few parts that get a little hokey for my tastes, but lots of gold in those pages overall. Pages 69-70 read:
"...For every problem, there are a multitude of solutions (...) Giving others the freedom to act in the way they feel is best without fear of harsh judgments honors the capacity for growth that all people possess. It is not wise to try to fix people or control situations. you may feel compelled to intervene when difficulties arise, but it is important only to offer guidance when asked (...) Giving others the liberty to blossom in their journeys grants you the freedom to take notice of your own."Acceptance comes in a variety of forms, all of which are equally important. It is important to accept yourself, as well as others, "As Is." Always, always desire the best for others, and always strive for a better version of You- but also embrace the oddities and differences that exist without change.
I've experienced enough of life and been exposed to enough people (some of which I really, really wanted to change!) to know that you should never attempt to change another human being. And I know enough about myself to know that I need to love the person that I am at my own core of being. As I tend to say: You can't fit a square into a circle. But... I'm sure that isn't the best analogy. Oh well, I never claimed to be a philosphiziser.
It is also with Acceptance that life becomes easier. You don't push so hard against life when it goes differently than you anticipated. I don't think anyone has it the way that they expect or want on a daily basis, and I read somewhere very official and very undocumentable (see:I'm too lazy to look it up) that people who tend to bend with misfortune tend to enjoy themselves much more in the long run. Being so dead set on something that nothing else will do seems like a really good way to be disappointed all the time, in my opinion.
So, in short, find your words. Mine are Clarity and Acceptance. You can borrow them if you want. Mine are pretty awesome.