When the going gets tough, and it often does when one attempts ‘advanced living,’ what do you do?
After my weekend in Canada, my week was a rough come down. My period started; I was physically exhausted and sleep deprived. My son turned five and we threw a larger than usual birthday party. My in-laws came to town. And my husband and I took some risks while at the same time excavating some intense relationship stuff. Did I reach out to friends? Did I fall back on the foundations of my spiritual practice? Did I use my tools? Yes, no, and no.
ROOKIE MOVE, WHITING.
Now that we are coming down from the intensity of the last week I see how helpful finding some time to sit in meditation would have been. To have made kala daily. To make offerings and ask for my Allies’ assistance. The 5 minutes I spent crying in front of my altar, telling any thing that would listen that I’d really screwed things up, could have been better spent. But it was an honest outpouring.
Now begins the rebuilding and a sort of starting over. Back to the cushion for sitting practice. My head will surely be filled with every possible distraction. Back to the cup for kala, for endless, needed purification. Back to reaching out, for connection and guidance and honor. Now that I’m more clearheaded I can remember to sink down deep, into my core, aligning all my souls.
I am reminded of a story I’ve heard about O Sensei, the founder of Aikido. A student asks him, “Why are you never off center?” He replies, “I fall off center, but I return to center so quickly you do not notice.”
That is the goal of daily practice, is it not? My only consolation is that even though I ‘forgot’ my tools this week, I find that I’ve come back to center so much more quickly than I would have before. My partner and I worked through our issues faster and more smoothly than the last time. I’ll be out of the weeds before I know it.