This is my latest permutation in my quest for a higher power. I heard someone use the word and it struck me in a new way. What is divine to me? Nature; the power of love; the soft velvet of my children’s cheeks… These things create a perfect line, and they are beautiful. Would this line of divinity “want” me to hurt myself? Any act other than one of love would be completely incongruous with this developing entity. For the first time in my life I am finding something tangible to use for prayer. I’m not convinced that there is a creative intelligence behind it all, but it is a GIGANTIC leap for me.
I’ve also been using this phrase (I can’t have made it up): “Cultivate Joy.” It has been remarkably effective in blasting away a crappy attitude, or despair, or boredom. For example, I was picked up the other day by my husband, son and daughter. I had been in Williamsburg, feeling free and filming a short scene in a teeny film ( a very first for me since I put down the booze) and when it was over, I was offered a ride from my family. I hopped into the car and immediately felt trapped and thought, “Oh great, now I have to go back to taking care of children all day long.” But then I said to myself, “Cultivate Joy,” and INSTANTLY my thoughts transformed to: ” I have the great privilege of taking care of these miraculous beings.”
Another example: in a meeting – when someone shares for too long a time – my default reaction is to cringe and look around the room to see who is annoyed or angry, like I am the one who is going to be punished for the egregious droning. But now, I say to myself, “Cultivate Joy,” and I open my eyes and I soften my gaze and listen to what the droner is actually saying. I find the fun in it. I also can recognize that none of it has anything to do with me.
One last new growth spurt: I am learning to keep my mouth shut. My husband often criticizes the disorganization of my car. It’s infuriating.
I was tidying up his workspace at home and it was a WRECK. I even found an onion ring in a corner. My first instinct was to blaze into the room and yell that if he ever dares to say a thing about my car again I will shove the onion ring up his…….
But then I thought, ” Why would I want to hurt him like that? And what good feeling will that bring to me?” So I kept quiet.
As my mother gave me a ride to yoga yesterday (she is living with us now, and things are quite tense), I was waxing on about my new magnanimity. She listened and then said that she too had been restraining herself from voicing things that bothered her in my household. I became filled with blind, irrational rage. I demanded that she pull over and then I jumped out of the car, slamming the door as hard as I could. I stormed off in the direction of my class, screaming obscenities. It was probably a bizarre and comical sight to see a woman with a yoga mat yelling the foul insults to no one in particular.
Progress not Perfection. Cultivate Joy.