After a particularly mindful bike ride, one on which I was experiencing the birds chirping and the wind rustling as if for the first time, I sat by the river bed and got still. In this space I sensed emotions rising up. I let them flow and cried as I released the pent up desire for perfection. Why wasn’t I a more enlightened being after all my hard work, all my attempts to change and grow and raise my consciousness?? After all, I practice yoga most days, have a dedicated meditation practice and read inspirational and mindfulness based essays and poetry. After this self-flagellation, I “heard” in my spirit the song’s lyrics return to me. “Cause I can’t change…even if I, wanted to…even if I tried”.
The words had been in the background of my mind during the bike ride and now they were back again but to teach my something very important.
This message from somewhere in and yet beyond me, was saying I was getting it all wrong if I thought I had to work at change. God is the only one that can actually effect lasting change in us or else the ego would take the credit! Chuckling at this I continued this mixture of emotions riding the waves of laughter and then tears of relief and deep gratitude. I could actually let go of the need to be a better me…whew! This is FREAKIN HUGE!!! My highest self wanted me to know that I could and would be used right now in the midst of my imperfect nature…all I had to do was show up, be willing. And I had thought that when I better resembled Mother Theresa, the Uni-verse would begin using me in more meaningful ways. Again, WRONG!
I returned the next Tuesday to teach my weekly meditation class at a local prison and was excited to share this good news. God wants to use YOU– right here, right now to spread the message of unconditional love and acceptance. Our willingness to serve is what will change us in all the important, tranformational ways and it will be painless. Our willingness to commit to the mindfulness practices works the magic because presence cannot be easily defined. According to Father Richard Rohr ‘ Presence can only be experienced.….True presence to someone or something allows them or it to change me and influence me—before I try to change them or it! Beginner’s mind is pure presence to each moment before I label it, critique it, categorize it, exclude it, or judge it.’
Cue the music, maestro! Love me the genius that is Macklemore.