The sparkle from within
In the day to day routine of my ordinary life, I am happy almost all the time. I am living the dream of probably 80-95 percent of the world. I live in happy upper middle class style with little or no responsibilities that can result in life or death scenarios …. any more.
I had a career where life and death were daily conversations, where abuse and victimization in its most brutal form was my daily reading and interactions. However, I retired from this a few years ago. I no longer need to do risk assessments to see someone in my office, or to brace myself for another tragic tale of early life demise and stress for the very young.
My ordinary daily life now consists of a post retirement job doing some clerical and liaison communications, bridging my job and my experience in a place that values my every contribution. I no longer have client engagements or conflicts. Now, I sit at a computer, I read, I go to Court and I enjoy the routine nature of my 8 hour work day.
Fortunately I learned some skills along the way and one of them is meditation, mindfulness practice. About 12 years ago it came into my life and I manage to keep engaged and increasing my practice more and more as the years pass. The fact is, the more I practice, the more I want to practice, and then the more I practice …..
There is a power inside me that I can only tap into when in my practice state of being still and noticing. I suppose it is always present, just not in my awareness as much. When I sit still and have the strong intention on retreat, I can feel a sense of peacefulness that exists only in that place.
When I first went to India I had taken part in a two day non residential vipassana retreat just a few days prior to my flight. I had the intention to try to stay in my own “pool”, to keep watching what arose for me to notice in my awareness and to not bite the hook of my own judgements as much as possible. A month is a long time and I was in the company of 17 women, two drivers and at least one tour guide for the better part of the first two weeks as we explored India on a phenomenal bus tour. I would say I was about 10 percent successful on a few very good days in that time. Not huge, however, much more than I would have enjoyed without the intention and pre planning and reminders, mantras and bus motion sickness that kept me facing forward, front seat, eyes open to the new world I was seeing and mostly listening to my own thoughts rattling around in my head and taking over my body.
The second trip to India, smaller group, only 6 ladies and one tour guide, no bus and much less shock to my system. I had some idea of what to expect, I had walked through my small comfort zone a full year ago and would never look back through those eyes again. Now I could find familiarity in the awareness of the foreign. I could see more clearly what was going on inside of me as I looked out at the world going by. I could hear the words the other’s spoke, I could sit more still and notice how I was not biting the hook of their judgements and shock at what they were experiencing.
I felt more confident and committed to my intentions to remain positive, to hold the present as much as possible, to be patient with the process. I wrote, recited and remembered these words daily. I enjoyed the sounds and sensory explosions of each new experience, unique colours, textures, tastes, and feelings that arise and fall as I experience India. I fall in love when I am there ….
Totally away from my ordinary life I could stay present so much more of the time. Fragile as I felt, tearful at times, and elated at others, I was truly in my own vibrations and feelings, trying to notice thoughts as they passed through me, nowhere to attach.
One of my friends and travel companions has been giving me feedback on the trip and my contribution to the experience she had in India. She tells me I sparkled! She was in awe of my sparkle ….
I would never have known myself in that light. I would not have been able to see in stark contrast and vivid technicolor how I could show up in the world.
“We are blind to our blind spots and blind to our blindness” – I read this somewhere a long time ago. I was blind to my sparkle. I did not know that being in my bliss could show up visibly and make me a lighthouse for others, potentially lost at sea.
I know this now.
I am certain I will go again to India to offer my beacon of light for whatever it may be worth to anyone. For me, it is fuel for my extraordinary life. I am speechless with delight at the possibilities and promise of the next time, and the next ….. wandering around the deserts of India in full sparkle!!!