Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

Messy Blessings

Slowing down and making space.

This will not be the last post on this.

The idea of space is a small part of the bigger "stuff" that is swirling around to which I've been alluding. It is beginning to come through in words, in colors...but slowly.  For now, it peeks through everyday moments.

My daughter loves to keep herself entertained. 

This is a blessing until I come to the room where she's been playing and see the trail of what she's been doing.  Puzzle pieces, train tracks, crayons.... but even this is usually ok.  It's what comes next that throws me out of my yoga-Buddhist-being...

She always whines when asked to clean up.  (And when I say always...I'm not exaggerating.)  When she finally does clean up, the process of cleaning becomes a time-laden game itself.

Toy cars will drive around and pick up one puzzle piece at a time, delivering it to its home.  A cleanup that would take me or another child maybe 5 minutes usually takes her about an hour (if she stays focused enough to remember she's cleaning and the car doesn't start taking the puzzle pieces to the kitchen for dinner.)

Today as I was rushing around the house begging her to clean, she asked me to watch, "Just for a minute mommy".  I did so as a small wooden flatbed train drove over, picked up a track, and delivered it to the box.  She had a huge smile on her face as she looked up to see my reaction.

And there.  Right there.  

Another opportunity for enlightenment, delivered in the shape of a smile.

How many times have each of us balked at the consequences of an action...the things we feel we "have-to-do"?  Cleaning the house after letting it go for a few days, another meeting at a job we are fortunate to have, paying for the car repairs for the car we chose to have and rely upon.

My daughter is no exception, but she has found a way to make even those consequences (cleaning up) an enjoyable part of life.  And here I am complaining about that.

Her schedule may not operate on my schedule.  She may not be doing things the way I feel they should be done.  I guarantee at some point in the future as I slide into the splits from a puzzle piece being on the floor, I'm not going to care about any of this.

But she has so much to teach me if only I'd just listen.  If only I'd create the space in my life, slow down enough to realize that creating the space is exactly what she is doing.

She is not thinking about what needs to be done after cleaning up.  She is not concerned about how things should be cleaned up.  She is clearing her "schedule" (filled with upcoming game and drawing time) to clean the way she wants to clean.  

To enjoy the process instead of trying to get it done and out of the way so she can move onto something else.

My life is my practice...and I have so much to learn.

Namaste.