Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Magic of Being Open

 Living for Today:
The Magic of Being Open

Being open and trusting allows magic to unfold that may be totally different from what we expect when our lives are programmed by too much structure and scheduling.  Yes, most of us were raised to honor commitments, and stay on target with what we planned to do on a given day. 

The weather isn’t predictable and on schedule.  Today it was supposed to rain.  Instead I am being blessed as I write with an awesome pink-hued sunset, clouds as lovely as they can be in Hawaii, a sense of stillness and magic as the changing tones begin to darken, and in minutes, darkness shall prevail.  Happily, I was open to glancing out my window at a lovely view I could not begin to paint.  The magic of enjoying simple pleasures happens by being present to unexpected beauty.

Life is constantly changing, and if we choose to cling to the familiar and resist new possibilities, we get stuck, maybe even angry, resentful or depressed.  Friends move on or die or can no longer engage in our lives because of changing circumstances.  This is true for family members too; once we were close, and now they lead lives that allow little time spent together.  Today I phoned a new friend.  She called back to say she would love to hang out in our local YMCA pool, so we shared gentle exercises and caught up with one another in a setting comfortable and relaxing for our sensitive and no longer athletic bodies.  We enjoyed an adventurous moment close to home, costing us nothing but time.  We’d both had a hectic week, needing some time for simple friendship.

Both of us live with the uncertainties that come with chronic health conditions requiring great perseverance, patience, flexibility, and radical self-acceptance.  We need to be open to supportive good company one day, and making peace with solitude the next. When exhausted, it is a time to withdraw from desires that deplete our energy or expectations that don’t honor our internal voice that says, “Take it easy.  You need more down time right now.”  Being open to our emotions instead of spinning off into judging them to be good or bad requires basic trust in our own goodness; sometimes life is difficult, the way unclear, and we need some quiet retreat time-out for self-care.  This means saying no to the busy mind focused on the “to-do” list.  It means having a soft place in our own heart to accept illness, pain, and disappointment when being present may mean making peace with loneliness, not judging it as bad.  There is magic in honoring restful times needed for renewal, gathering our inner resources so we make wiser choices.  May we all pay more attention to whatever makes us more compassionate, more honest and open in this New Year!

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