Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Me First Day 10 of 30: Oh my.

I am surprised.  I hoped this practice would have an effect in my life.  It has.  Wow.  Words fail me.  I can't really remember now what I was predicting might happen when I began this, I think it was mainly doom and gloom, but whatever it was I predicted wasn't what actually has happened.

What has happened is a rapid alignment of the systems around me, my friendships, my work relationships, my online relationships, as well as re-emergence of my musical life, and a burst of professional creativity, a burst of serendipitous exposure/recognition vignettes have occurred.  It's been miraculous.

At the same time, every single really hard thing I have been dismissing, putting off, denying, and deceiving myself about is sitting in the middle of my internal heart-mind landscape.   I am reminded of the old zen story of Seiko, lover of dragon images and icons, who was so frightened by a real dragon that visited him he tried to cut off it's head.

This is my true dragon.  I have been a fish swimming desperately in search of water.  My task is not to make myself valuable enough to another so that I am taken care of.  My task is to take care of myself.  This is a lot harder than taking care of others.

When I take care of others I conceal my agenda.  When I take care of myself I am revealing my agenda.  This is new and unfamiliar.  There's been a lot of unfamiliarity in these last ten days.  A lot of it has been good unfamiliarity, but that's still kind of stressful.

This self-care, when practiced as a human Art, like tea ceremony, or music, or in dozens of other ways, influences the systems in which we all exist.  When any part of a system takes better care of itself the system as a whole is better off, and this practice of self-care rapidly multiplies when practiced in concert.  That is, the more it is done, the more members of a system that do it, the more that gets done.  It's almost too simple to put into words.

But, it is also sometimes three steps forward followed by two steps back.  Just like with zen practice, or music, or cooking, I don't always perform perfectly.  Habits crop up, patterns get dipped back into unconsciously, it's not like I've shed some old skin, it is a practice.  There's no where to go, nothing to achieve.  Just what is.  Only doing.

Now I sound like Yoda.  But, the truth is, the practice is the thing.  My zen teacher taught me that just as one becomes a pedestrian by being a pedestrian, one wakes up by being awake.  So, I'm not being transported on some mystical carpet ride powered by good karma or something, I'm just noticing that a lot of things are working out around me now.  People I've missed are in touch, obstacles are dissolving, opportunities are emerging, each little nook and cranny of my life has turned up something cool, like a $5 bill found in a coat pocket.

Now, the 30 day thing is not an issue.  I won't be ceasing this practice.  June 4th is now just the day that I will get to start my next 30-day challenge.  I want to shake it up, do something completely different, in a different domain of my existence.

Until then, I will update this when there's something to say.  Right now, I'm just sayin'.