Professional Student of Life
Adventures in personal growth
September: The Eight-Course Meal
Why are you always wanting to get something or go somewhere? Why not just relax and be here, simply existing in all your cells, inhabiting all your body? ~ A.H. Almaas
So often in life I’m in a hurry to get to the punch line, the pay-off, the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve always been more of a future-oriented than past-oriented person. School helps foster this. There’s always something to work toward and wish for: Summer! The end of finals! The next class up, or the next degree!
I finally realized this (in retrospect) many years ago. I had been living for half a year in Hawaii, within walking distance of a beautiful, secluded beach. It sounds idyllic, and you would have thought I’d be relishing it, right? The thing was, I was ready to buy a house – it was the logical next step, I thought – and I couldn’t afford one in Hawaii. And so I moved back to the mainland. It wasn’t until later that I questioned my haste in moving on to the next thing, when I actually had a pretty good thing going in the present.
I still struggle with really embracing the part of the path I’m on right now. When it’s good it could be even better, and when it’s bad I really want to get the hell out of Dodge. Slowing down to look around and truly experience the life I’m in now is a discipline I’m practicing. Even with the good things, you can only really savor so much at once. If you were eating at a fine restaurant, would you order every good thing on the menu at the same time? Probably not, and you wouldn’t enjoy it long if you did.
Imagine life as a sumptuous, eight-course meal. The expert waiters take their time in bringing you each delicious course, so that you can enjoy it fully and be ready for the next one. There’s no need to feel anxious or hurried… you know that the next course will get there at exactly the right time. Waiting a little even adds to the experience, so that you really appreciate what comes next. All you need to do is relax in the moment, savoring what’s in front of you, inhabiting all your cells.
That’s how I want to live my life!
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