Stepping into the Jungle...
Updated: Sep 20, 2022
There's something that happens when you stop resisting life. It's a funny thing...one that's really hard to explain. For me it began when I started meditating.
Eight years ago, each day before the kids got up, I'd make my simple breakfast and sit out on my couch by the pool. With my legs crossed, facing the gnarly oak that sat in our yard. I'd set my timer for twenty minutes, close my eyes, and do this silly little exercise of holding on to nothing. Every thought that entered my mind, I just acknowledged it and let it go. It was like me saying, "Well, hello little thought..." to every little notion that crossed my mind, but just as quickly as it arrived I would just let it dissolve. This basic practice had the most immense power, because I tell you some of those thoughts did not want to let go.
I'd say goodbye to my thoughts and within moments they would return in full force. What looked like a 48-year-old mom just chilling on her porch with a delicate smile on her face was actually a full force Zen master, meeting the demons of her mind.
Oddly enough it was actually really fun. I looked forward to those times.
What I was learning in my "practice" was there is never anything to fear. All that muck in my brain was just stories of the mind. I was learning that all those internal monsters that plagued me throughout my day could be blown away with a gentle gesture, like a dandelion whisp sent into the morning air.
I'll be honest, somedays (many days!) it took a lot to sit there for the full twenty minutes. It felt as robust as going to the gym, pushing myself to my limits, but it was pleasurable work. When my timer would ring, I'd open my eyes and just sit for another twenty minutes with the goofiest smile on my face. Bliss! It was the glow one feels after a good workout. The simply joy of being alive.
And so with this most simple of practices I set myself on a journey. Now that I knew what resistance looked like - what it felt like in my body - I was able to release these little monsters throughout my day, even when I wasn't meditating.
I no longer do a formal seated practice. It's since been replaced with a quiet breakfast on the river, watching the birds on the other shore, and rigorous walks on a jungle trail near my home, where I let my thoughts burn off of me like a hot and vibrant steam.
The most exciting and perhaps strangest part of this "practice" is the more I release these little blocks within, the more easily everything comes to me. It's like the Universe itself wants nothing more than for you to let go, to stop clinging, and become who we truly are.
I have seen magic in action, life unfolding itself with grace and love...simply because I've agreed to let go.
Author and publisher Marc Allen at New World Library, often shares a quote from Eckhart Tolle, one of the grandest of "everyday mystics". It's a good one:
"To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness."
-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
You could meditate on that one thought your whole life and need nothing more.
I highly encourage you to find a practice that works for you, if for no other reason than to get up close and personal with life as it truly is, to clear the noise, and bring yourself on the journey of becoming the best, most wonderful you, you can possibly be.
Sending oodles of love from the vast and deep and marvelous jungle,
Stay tuned! As I begin my personal journey interviewing everyday mystics in the upcoming months, I will share with you the "secrets" of everyday people, like you and me, who are doing the work, dancing daily, in the grace of their own personal magic.