"Each day, we're given many opportunities to open up or shut down. The most precious opportunity presents itself when we come to the place where we think we can't handle whatever is happening. It's too much. It's gone too far. We feel bad about ourselves. There's no way we can manipulate the situation to make ourselves come out looking good. No matter how hard we try, it just won't work. Basically, life has just nailed us.
Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape - all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can't stand it." - Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart
While at work the other day, I opened up an old book in which I kept all my daily lists and brainstorming ideas and things to do etc... It was quite interesting to remember, and see proof of, how I was living my life before baby came.
From the outside looking in, things seemed a bit scattered and definitely overly busy. It was just the night before that I had read the above passage by Pema Chodron. It is only since having Cedar that I can fairly say that I intimately know that moment where I meet my edge and can't stand it, that moment that makes my skin crawl and makes me want to jump out of my seat: it is the moment of not knowing.
Funnily enough, I experience it when Cedar catches me off-guard and I don't have a plan in place. Maybe he wakes up early from a nap, or doesn't like the activity we're doing - I stop dead in my tracks with the thought of "What now?!" Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but it so happens to be my edge, and it's the moment I have avoided at all costs by being a very, very busy person. But now I can't avoid that moment, it's in my face, and it's great. Yes, I said great. Since I have time to swim around in this moment of not knowing, I am getting to know it. I am asking questions of it, like: what the heck am I so afraid of? What is it about not knowing what to do that makes me frantic?
The answer I got today is that not knowing what to do produces incredible fear for me; both fear of failure and fear of success.
So here's what I'm doing in the state of not knowing: I'm showing up. I go to work not knowing what to do and I just start doing stuff. Maybe I'll clean out my desk, maybe I'll answer emails, maybe I'll brainstorm. The point is that I'm showing up. I've also been writing for half an hour every day in my journal, and yes, there is a lot of boring stuff coming out, but so what? I'm showing up.
And then there are the moments with Cedar... I sit with him, he stands up on the garbage pail, or blows zrrrbrrts (Cosby Show term) on my arm, or looks at a leaf, and what can I do but surrender to his absolute Zen-ness?
Point I am making here is that showing up seems to be the most important thing I can do, no matter what comes out of it. The next big thing will come, it always does, and right now I am simply being humble in the practice of asking for it.
By the way, that's a picture of me and Cedar in a 29' foot RV that we took to the desert. Yep, I'm still on the adventure...