I RESOLVE TO … WAIT, WHERE WAS I?
Why is it that the things we want most, the things that will make us happier, healthier, better people, are so darned hard to do? Have you ever kept a resolution? Do you know anyone who has? I knew one person: my stepfather, St. David, who resolved one day to give up smoking after two decades and did. Just like that. No looking back, no problemo, easy-peasy. But he was a saint, so he had a leg up. The rest of us, not so much.
The turn of the year prodded me into thinking about my self-improvement project for the year and, while the list is long, I narrowed it down to the thing that has been tailing me for me for years – many years as a matter of fact. Meditation.
Some years back in a conversation with Spirit I was told, and I quote, “Respect and mediation will lead to seeing,” which I understood as a simple, two step program for developing my intuitive capacities, not to mention a calmer mind and state of being. Now, you would think that I’d be all over it. You’d think I’d take a direct message from Spirit and be meditating obsessive-compulsively every day, twice a day. I mean, Spirit said it will lead to seeing, and for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to see more clearly, both in the psychic sense and in terms of figuring out my path in life. I heard that message, knew it to be right and true and went right back to beseeching Spirit for another six or seven years to help me.
You have, no doubt, heard the story of the guy who is caught in a flood, climbs to the top of his roof to escape the rising water, and prays to God to deliver him to safety? A family floats by on a raft and offers him a spot, but he refuses saying God is going to deliver him, so they depart. A man comes in a boat and offers him a ride but he tells him that God is going to save him, and the man leaves, shaking his head. Then a helicopter rescue team appears above him and lowers a ladder, but he waves them off because he is waiting on God for his rescue. The waters continue to rise and he drowns. When he gets to heaven he asks God, “Why didn’t you save me?” and God replies, “I sent you a raft, a boat and a helicopter, what more did you want?”
I’ve asked for direction, and Spirit told me clearly and directly what to do: Meditate. And I did … sometimes. A little here and there. And I kept waiting for salvation. More messages came, in my reading, in my cards, from other people. Meditation is the key. There is no alternate path, no other directive. But mediation is hard. It hurts my back. I can’t sit in a lotus position. My mind wanders. I fall asleep. I have stuff to do. Do I sound whiny? I am whiny. Meditation for me is über hard. I want revelation. I want to be standing in the shower, as someone I know was, and have a full-blown psychic opening, just bam! and there it is. The doors open and the messages and visions are flowing. I want the Road to Damascus experience. I want, in short, the easy way out. That’s not going to happen. I’m pretty clear now.
So back to work. Spirit is patiently waiting for me. Spirit has all the time in the world because there is no time in that world. So I sit in the dark this morning, my dog curled beside me and close my eyes. I breathe. I inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Oh, right, I need to look up that email and contact that person about that thing. I wonder if there’s still time to make reservations for that? Oh wait, I’m supposed to be letting all that chatter go. Okay. Back to the breath. Inhaling to the count of eight, hold the breath, exhale to the count of ten. How’s that second chakra feeling? I need to let my creativity out more, to “let the dogs run” as my husband says. I should write about meditation and how hard it is. I should write about my crazy mind. I think I’ve already written about that. But that was a while ago. My mind is like a den of coked-up ferrets … aaand we’re back. Breathe. Just breathe. Listen to the clock ticking. Inhale, exhale. Did the ticks just stop? I can’t hear them. Oh, there it is. That’s weird how the sound disappeared like that. Remember that time at Frank and Ken’s when we were all meditating and the damed clock was so loud it was all anyone could think about? That was funny! Oh my God, I’m off again. Reel the puppy back in, contain it, quiet the mind. Inhale, exhale. Inhale … you should tell that story about Deepak Chopra in your piece. How you were in the audience when he was telling everyone in that thick, East Indian accent how he mediates every day for one hour (and you need to tell your readers to imagine this in the accent, because it’s so much better that way) except when he has an exceptionally busy day, in which case he mediates for two hours. Does anyone believe this? Is this for real, or is this part of the Deepak mystique? I mean the guy talks about presence and mindfulness and then after I stood in line forever for him to sign my stupid book, he didn’t even look at me, just kept talking to his assistant and pushed the book across the table toward me.
This, my mind says after four minutes, is not meditation. This is thinking with your eyes closed.
And so it goes.
This is going to lead me to seeing? One wonders.
At this juncture, I began my usual stream of self-deprecation and decline into hopelessness, thinking how, after resolving just five days ago to meditate 15 minutes every day I had only managed to do it twice. But I was brought up short in my “musturbation,” as one of my psych professors called the eternal massaging of useless thought (He was also the one who said, “you know what Ph.D. stands for, don’t you? Piled Higher and Deeper”), by a helpful intruder thought which took my terrible percentage and reframed it. “You know,” it said, “in baseball percentages you’d be batting 400, which is pretty fantastic. Buster Posey bats about .375, and he’s a rock star” which made me feel much, much better. In baseball, hitting the ball 3 out of 10 times is considered darned good. It’s hard to hit a tiny sphere hurtling toward your head at 99 miles per hour with a narrow stick. And it’s hard to mediate.
There are at least three morals to this story:
1) Respect the messages you receive. Don’t be the fool who drowns.
2) Nothing meaningful or done well is easy. The proper response to a whiny, “This is hard!” is, “So?”
3) Good things can come from a difficult at bat.
Maybe you whiff. Maybe you strike out. Maybe you don’t get a home run, but you might bat someone, or something — like a blog — in. You never know unless you step up to the plate, or the sofa cushion. Now, where was I ….