Tuesday was one of the best days of my life. Well, the second time around, since I got to live it twice with the time change as I flew back to the States.
I spent my second Tuesday in Honolulu being spoiled by everyone I met. From the woman who went out of her way to reserve me a ticket for the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial tour, to the waiter who gifted me free dessert and coffee, to the stranger who charged my cell phone and gave me $10 cash just because. Plus they all showered me with praise about how kind and lovely I am.
It was awesome.
So it’s only fitting that the very next day my luggage was lost, I was over-charged for a service by hundreds of dollars, and I was incredibly tired and grumpy.
That seems to be the way of it – good things happen, then bad things happen.
Or at least that’s what we think.
Because it’s often our perception of how well life meets our expectations that determines our emotions.
There was a moment yesterday, when I sat struggling to get an internet signal in a grocery store parking lot in the Hollywood Hills, stressing out about the over-charge, that I’d had enough. I was tired, angry, and felt out of control and like the world was conspiring against me.
So I did what anyone would do – I turned off the car, walked into the store, and then bought and ate an entire bag of gummy bears in under 5 minutes.
Because that’s how I feel better.
The problem is, that’s only how to feel better if I identify with the negative emotions.
If I instead allowed them to pass without attachment – viewing them as clouds passing momentarily through the deeper backdrop of my sky, I wouldn’t react. I’d hold my cool and allow for life’s ups and downs without feeling up and down. Without believing my life is going up and down.
Which is truly the goal of meditation – to see the fluctuations of your mind and emotions and witness them from a deeper knowing.
To hear sounds and know you are hearing.
To see sights and recognize you are seeing.
To touch and know you are sensing.
To know you exist beyond the external reality of your senses and perceptions.
And thus not react. This is the gift of meditation – non-reaction. You are free from the constant pull and drama of life.
The next round of Mindful Month opens soon and I hope you’ll join me in exploring the power of mindfulness practices. Stay tuned for more.
Be free. Be brave. Be YOU!