Moment To Moment
As you read this, and really try and wrap your head around this, someone is taking their final breaths.
At this exact same moment, someone is being born. Someone else is celebrating a birthday with a lot of "cheers!". Someone else just woke up. Someone else just ate a bite of food, and someone else just cringed from another pain of hunger that rippled through their body.
All of these things are happening right now.
And in your life, your mind? You have the same roller coaster that you will ride in the next few moments. In this exact moment, you may be focused on my words. You may be focused on a pain that you are having, or your mind may have just switched to that once I mentioned it.
You may be thinking about what you should be doing instead, what you need to do after this, or once more, I may have just introduced those ideas into your mind.
The point is to help you remember that in this exact moment, all of this is happening.
So what, you might ask?
You may not consider some of this "right now" stuff a part of your story or important to your life.
In truth, all that is happening in this moment is rippling in some way through your life, through our lives. You are in co-creation with all of us in this reality that we are experiencing.
But before I get too "out there", let's come back down to this moment.
And this moment. And this one. Moment-to-moment, you read, you breathe, you notice. There are all of these things to notice ... the heartbreaking and the joy-inducing, the neutral and the stressful.
How aware you choose to be of all of this makes a difference.
It can be unbelievably difficult to transition from moment to moment when those moments feel so …. contradictory.
Trying to switch your mind back into work mode after reading a news story that brings tears to your eyes is hard. Trying to wrap your mind around the sudden pain being experienced by those involved in a mass shooting while your child runs gleefully around the house can seem ... surreal.
When one moment looks and feels similar to the last, you transition smoothly in between those moments. But as your awareness grows, either by deliberate practice (like meditation) or sudden new information (like a news story), you are asked to hold this information that creates conflicting feelings within yourself.
As you do so, you still go about your everyday life ... navigating thoughts and occurrences that bounce between the sublime and the horrific.
Is it just me, or does it seem like we are presented more and more frequently with such challenging transitions these days?
In my own life, I’ve recently experienced the currently indescribable joys of presenting at a women’s empowerment event (SPARK, here in Bloomington, IN) and then celebrating with those women late into the night. At the same time that I was presenting, just a few blocks over, there was a protest and an arrest at our local farmer’s market. Tensions have been escalating over the presence of white supremacists at the market. This latest event was enough to cause the market to be shut down for two weeks.
In the same weekend, my two kiddos celebrated their final days of summer with friends who will go to different schools, finishing up driver’s ed courses, sharing cupcakes with neighbors, and grabbing a few hours of deliciously warm evening weather. In that same weekend, a friend grieves the recent loss of his son, and strangers many states away grieve the incomprehensible loss of their own children at the mass shooting at the Garlic Festival.
I could go on.
I don't have answers for these challenges - just acknowledgements that they are happening and a nod to you to say that if you are feeling this, you aren't alone.
And I have the desire to inspire each of us to stay WITH this awareness - to not push away heartbreaking news stories and to not forget to create and acknowledge the moments of sublime bliss in mundane life.
These are all of our stories. We are influencing one another in this messy, chaotic life.
It certainly feels easier to draw into your own story, to try to ignore what else might be happening right now. Sometimes, for your own sanity, you might need to.
But as you are able,, I invite you to take a breath and expand your awareness again. Do your laundry and engage with the barista holding in your awareness the joys and sufferings happening in this moment....in your own mind and in the barista's mind and in the minds and hearts of those you will never meet but who are experiencing their lives right now, somewhere in this world.
Right now, someone is dying. Right now, someone is close to being born. Right now, I'm in a cafe, typing. Right now, you are reading. Right now, decisions are being made, emotions being felt,
and all of this is intertwined in this thing we call "life".
Take a full breath.
May we open our awareness to understand what others are experiencing. May we enter into that understanding free from judgment. May we continue to choose our actions knowing those actions have consequences that ripple out into the world.
And may you have a deep feeling of peace as you navigate the transitions from moment-to-moment today.