Week 16, Friday, January 30, Living in Luxury—On the 16th day of my 30 Perfect Days journey, I looked back over the previous two weeks and was ashamed of how many times I went out to eat. What luxury I’m living in! How hard do I want to work to support this consumption? It’s absurd to deplete the meaning from our lives so we can live in luxury. While I believe in my heart that it’s the journey rather than the goal that’s important, I strive too much, work too hard, try to have more, of everything. When a friend of mine recently told me that she’s amazed every day by life and what it brings, the connections, beauty, and awesomeness of it all, I remembered how simple it is to appreciate what we already have. It’s enough. The happiest we can be is when we’re enjoying the journey. We need to just be. Can you find a way to live in the luxury of just being, or are you working so hard at trying to have it all that you’re missing what you have?
Archive | January, 2015
From Day 15 of 30 Perfect Days, Finding Abundance in Ordinary Life: Twenty years ago, I forgot I was human. But I WAS human, a frail and conflicted young woman who felt she had to prove herself and didn’t deserve happiness. In my unhappiness, I was always trying to be perfect, and I wasn’t willing to admit my mistakes. I had to grow into a person who could allow happiness and acceptance to infiltrate my life. As we get older, the number of mistakes we’ve made increases while the frequency of our mistakes diminishes, which makes it easier to accept imperfection. When we own up to our mistakes, we live in the present and are accepting of our human frailties. We get closer to the truth—that we aren’t meant to be perfect and we are meant to be happy. (Get the book for half price on Amazon today–http://www.amazon.com/30-Perfect-Days-Abundance-Ordinary/dp/0692277501/.)
From Day 14 of the Book–Audrey Hepburn once said, “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.” I refuel in my studio, ensconced in my big chair, where a photo of the stained glass at St. Benedictine’s monastery in Erie reminds me of the time I spent in a hermitage, reflecting and writing. The wall opposite my chair is covered by floor-to-ceiling bookcases of books, photo boxes, the Tibetan bowl that sings only for me, and a basketful of Yoga Journals. My desk is loaded with photos, trinkets, and affirmations, the mementos of my life. It is here that I journal, write, read, and reflect, where the world is outside and may as well not be there, where nothing can touch me or bring me down. In the room that is my own, I allow my mind to understand and accept that there are no answers. Privacy is what’s going on in my head, and being alone is meditative. Should we carry that private self, the one who’s open to possibility and honesty, into the real world or should we keep it in its separate place?
The Dalai Lama said “Sleep is the best meditation,” which I find interesting. But only if you get enough sleep are you able to concentrate, to meditate, to get rid of what yogis call “monkey brain.” We lose ourselves and go into the subconscious, the place where our minds let go of all the chatter to dream and we let go of worldly cares when we’re sleeping. When one’s tired, it’s time to go with the flow with the people you encounter and let others take over. The river becomes less muddy. For those of us who can’t find sleep, getting up and doing something—a warm shower or bath, a glass of wine or cup of chamomile tea, a good book, or an old movie—helps. Sometimes we need to take care of a nagging chore, one we’ve been putting off. But sometimes when I wake up at four in the morning, it’s simply time to get going, to go with the flow. Going with the flow is also a form of meditation.