Inner Mind


March 2011

The Right Time and Pace

Dear Friends,

A number of years ago when I was making a conscientious effort to adjust my thoughts and notions of reality to what I wanted to experience in my life, I noticed many people saying: "It never rains but it pours. It's either feast or famine. Everything happens at once." and such like phrases.

I, personally, did not enjoy being overwhelmed by too many visitors or events or challenges, pleasurable or not, all at once. So, everytime I heard someone say one of the above phrases, I would counter it in my mind by saying to myself, "That is not what I believe. In my life, everything happens at the right time and at a pace I am comfortable with."

And I noticed that, as time went on, the demands on my time and energy started to sort themselves out and pace themselves.

I think, as well, about the story my friend told me about a conference for health care providers she attended. The conference was fascilitated by a man who had worked in Africa, chairing meetings between warring tribes. He had come to the realization that, no matter what the aims or intentions of the organizers were, when meeting time comes, then: "Whoever come are the right people to come, whatever time they arrive is the right time for the meeting to begin and whatever they want to talk about is the right topic for the meeting."

So, if the meeting is set up to talk about land claim disputes and the people want to discuss some tree that fell on the power lines or some well that went dry in a totally unrelated area, then this discussion is allowed to happen. Inevitably it will establish some safe "common ground" which then can be a basis for understanding that hopefully fascilitates the peaceful resolution of the main issue. Confronting the issue head on would only have locked people into their separate camps.

Although, I am not negotiating any external confrontations, I have been applying this to my internal expectations. Someone invites me somewhere with somesort of an idea, or I invite people for something at a certain time or I see an advertisement for an event I feel drawn to attend, envisioning this or that or meeting so and so, expecting there will be ten people and two show up or there will be twelve people and fifty show up.

Allowing that "whoever shows up are the right people to come, whatever time they arrive is the right time and whatever they want to engage with is the right thing to happen" has given me an ease in the processes of my life, that includes response to my own actions when external circumstances conspire to something different inspite of my best intentions. This helps me to be in the present moment with whatever is happening, to see the unexpected gifts and lessons and blessings provided by events unfolding in different ways than I had envisioned. 

Well, and then there is the practice of being satisfied with whatever it is that has happened. We can have endless thoughts about how and what all should and could have been different or otherwise, in a personal situation or the history of humanity or the way Universal Spirit created everything to begin with. But so long as we have been fully present to the moment and the situation at hand, "satisfaction" is a practice and an internal state that we can cultivate.

After all, energy follows thought and we attract what we give our attention to.

It is a windy afternoon in mid February. The sun is bright in the nearly cloudless sky, bringing temperatures above freezing, softening the ice and snow and creating little rivulets of meltwater on the rock I am sitting on by the frozen lake. The only sound I hear is the wind in the forest trees behind me. I play on my recorder, a simple familiar melody that comes to my fingers with infinite variations of pace and thought.

Today I feel gratitude and I bless my simple life that allows me to sit on this rock on a sunny afternoon, looking out over the frozen lake with its forested shores, harmonizing with the wind sounds and practicing contentment.

In this present moment, there is only myself within the natural world surrounding me. I give my full attention to it, desiring nothing else beyond this awareness of simple beingness.