I was minding my own business today, sitting at a national brand coffee shop drinking my venti® blonde roast, while Zoe attends two hours of day care at the community center across the street. I thought I’d take a moment to write, because I haven’t been hitting my resolution to do a mini writing exercise every day. So out onto my screen came a journal entry about how I’m conflicted about my next career move, in a year or two, whenever Zoe goes to school. I’d paused to check my email (yes, i left the 12 minute timer running and checked my email to see if anything important had come in, feel free to snort milk out of your nose at my wandering focus). But in my email was this tweet: What matters is how quickly you do what your soul wants and it immediately resonated (like a deep gonging bell ringing at the top of a medieval church tower).
Did you know that Buddhists don’t believe in the concept of a soul? They also don’t hold with the concept of ‘I’ either. But before I chase you away with that discussion – let’s just assume for the sake of continuity, that we can exchange the idea of ‘Buddha Nature’, or what Christians would consider your truest, purest, most compassionate, most God-Like version of yourself, for ‘Soul’.
If it hadn’t before, when you insert that idea instead of soul in the tweet above, does your inner bell gong too? Mine did, and does, and I stopped writing about possible career moves as far as 2 years in my future, and I looked around me. I am sitting in a coffee shop, drinking coffee, writing, while my husband is working to support our family, and while my daughter is getting a good dose of peer interaction at a reasonably priced child care provider in the neighborhood.
This hip national brand coffee shop has been recently remodeled and is lit with the gentle glow of no less than 21 pendant lights, 28 spotlights, and 16 can lights. That is 65 separate lights to create the urban, now, vibe that is conducive to sipping their bitter coffee and conversing with friends and neighbors. They are also playing, softly, some pleasant, upbeat music that makes me want to dance just a little bit in my seat. I am here, in this epitome of American luxury, with free time, an American commodity in short supply, and my soul says to open my eyes; to be grateful for the blessings in my life; and to practice being present for the wonderful, the mundane and especially the uncomfortable that may arise today.
So I will practice being open to what comes with equanimity, and to being grateful for everything in my life: the nice things that bring me pleasure, and the uncomfortable things that are just a reminder that life is impermanent, and that I have an opportunity to practice responding to the world however I choose.
So maybe I will go home, feed Zoe lunch, and mop the floors today. They are beautiful floors, and I love the way they look when they are clean (and good grief, i’ve been putting it off for a long time). Maybe I’ll tackle putting away the pile of (thankfully) clean laundry piling up in my awesome basket system in the laundry room. Whatever I do, I think I’ll take the opportunity to do it fully present, so that i don’t miss a minute of this beautiful life of mine.