Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

To Do or Not To Do: Choice and Consequence

I have a plant in my entryway that has survived beyond all odds.


I am a horrible caregiver for the poor thing.  I haven't repotted it in years.  And as far as watering it?

I pass by it multiple times every day.  Almost every time, I think, "I should water the plant".  And almost every time, I'm in the midst of doing something else.

I'm on my way out of the house, or back in.

I'm carrying a load of dirty laundry and thinking of how I need to sort it or a basket of clean laundry and thinking of how long it will take to fold.

I'm rushing upstairs to answer the cry of one of my children or downstairs to finally pull out my paints.

 

There's always something else to be done.

 

Meanwhile, the plant sits patiently by, watching me rush past.  Over the course of several days, the leaves start to droop.  The thought, "I should water the plant" grows louder in my mind as I walk past.  Eventually, after enough times of repeating it to myself in the day, I make time to stop,

pick up the pitcher,

and simply water the plant.

 

Thankfully, my poor plant lets me know when it needs me.  I can see the browning leaves, the droop, the sad state of neglect.

But I know that there are other things in my life that need my attention.  Those things aren't so easily seen.  

I'll have the thoughts, "I should meditate today", "I should have veggies instead of these chips", "I should go for a walk instead of scrolling through Facebook for the 18th time today".  I "should" these things because I know they make me feel better; that they allow me the experience of life that I want to have.  Without those decisions, my inner self starts to droop.

Sometimes, I'll have a health scare, or become so stressed that I can't do anything else other than simply sit and be.  At those times, I can see the sad state of neglect.  It's front and center, begging for my attention.

Other times, those things that need my attention are easily passed by.

 

This whole practice of Being Breath?  

It means allowing ourselves to pass by the plant and the meditation cushion without judgement, but while being aware of the consequences.  

It means keeping our eyes open to those things that aren't usually seen and knowing when the leaf is going to droop before it actually does.

It means acting on those thoughts that call us to engage with life, to be fully present with our experiences before the health scare instead of because of it.

Sit or don't sit.

Walk or don't walk.

Water the plant or don't.

 

Be aware of what is thriving or suffering because of your choice.

 

Namaste.