I wrote last week about Rachmaninov's Vespers, and how that piece of music always transports me to a place of deep gratitude and adoration.
It's often a bittersweet feeling— the profound appreciation coupled with the grief of knowing that what has been, has ended and will never return again (at least not in the way it originally was). No two days are exactly alike, and as far as I can tell, time only moves in one direction. So how do I remind myself to make the most of the present-- however it comes?
It has been said that our brains have a negativity bias. That we are programmed to notice the bad before the good. That is why, as humans, we are always seeking progress. In the aggregate, it could be argued, that this has been a net positive for humanity. The desire to push forward, to push for better, is something from which we have often prospered. But what about in each of our daily existences as individuals? Is the negativity bias really working in our lives?
Instead, I like to align myself with the belief that regardless of the situation in which I find myself, I have enough. I have what I need. That the right path is always unfolding before me. What if I knew that even in the worst moments, even in times when sadness or grief or not-enoughness take over, in reality I did have enough? It is a sense of deep security and stability, even in the face of the unknown.
To me, the answer lies beyond the negativity or positivity bias, this is a belief in the innate abundance of the earth and the heavens, and of life on the planet. The belief that I walk through life with support and guidance and that nothing is ever on my plate that isn't meant for me.
Does this mean that it always feels good? Of course not. Pain and suffering abound, and much of it is undeserved and unwarranted. But, grace is always available. Miracles always abound. And every day counts— each moment working towards that miraculous whole. The good and bad work in concert to drive me toward exactly what I need, not merely what I think I desire.
For many, moving into November can bring up the holiday blues. The pressure to do it all, and be it all, is overwhelming. Feeling that every moment must be special, every gift and meal must be exceptional, and any mishap could result in a failed holiday experience for all.
Or, maybe, it's the grandiosity of it all that feels put-on, or excessive. Perhaps the holidays just feel like excess and consumerism on overdrive.
For me, certainly, I often feel the pull between what I feel I should do, and what I can actually do. There are a limited number of hours in each day, after all! Even in my work at the ranch, I find myself tempted to study the negative. As the light fades further to the south, and days become shorter, I find myself pushing against the limitations and attempting to problem-solve it all. As if seasons were a nut to be cracked, an innovation waiting to happen, and not a divinely guided experience for me to feel fully. Just like that, I have to remind myself that it is enough-- whatever I am capable of, and whatever gets left until tomorrow, it is enough. It is just right. And if I find myself in a state of discontent, my task is to work through that and not resist reality as it is unfolding before me.
For the sake of a mid-week newsletter, it sounds easy. The reality is more frought, but even in it's challenges it is simple. Simple to just accept that regardless of how I feel about it, the present moment is enough. I am enough. And the way life perpetuates through it all is more than enough.
Sometimes, that looks like asking for help, connecting with others, and experiencing the richness of community. Other times, it looks like faith in knowing that I am always held, even in the most uncertain of times. And still other times, it is just appreciating the beautiful, chaotic, unpredictable mosaic that is my life.
Regardless of where you find yourself as we move into the final months of 2023, I have no doubt that whatever you need is already right in front of you. There's an invitation to start where we can start— to dive into whatever is presenting, however uncomfortable that thing may be.
It is only by feeling discomfort, pain, or disappointment that we can find peace from it, and through that, peace with what is. That is the opening for us to get to the other side-- the passage through the experience and with it-- to recognize that we are okay.
It is okay.
Like after surmounting a long-feared struggle, we often look back to acknowledge that we are grateful for the growth it presented, even when gratitude is hard to find in the moment.
It's no secret that we live in a consumer-centered epoch. A time when the impulse, or advice even, in the face of any problem is to add more. To accumulate. To purchase something new or better or more advanced. To "improve" constantly so that the negative is drowned out (temporarily).
But what if there was another path? What if we operated from a place where no matter what, what we have is enough?
What if we were able to find joy in all parts of life by truly, honestly welcoming the present in all its many apparitions? It starts with this moment, right now.
Deep gratitude and adoration. What I have is enough.
Thanks for being here.