Sunday, September 9, 2012

Where Do You Go, My Lovely?

     Where do you go, when you're sitting in that meeting so full of acronyms and good-feeling mission statements? When the light shines through just one tiny corner of the window and strikes an important piece of crystal corporate art just so - opening wide the full spectrum of visible color - and you're the only one who notices it? When voices around the table sound no more distinct than the caw of an individual crow in a full murder?
     Do you sit numbly, smiling and nodding, or frowning and shaking your head,  as befits the topic at hand? If so, can you feel your soul shrinking, your energy drawing in tightly, like a shroud? No more the rays of enthusiasm that emanate and enchant others when you are feeling alive. No more the glow. No more.
     It doesn't have to be that way.
     You can decide in advance of a deadly meeting or any other unwelcome event just how you will face it. You can decide in this moment. Will you be present? Or will you dissociate so completely that you don't even hear your own name?
     Being present does not mean having to endure the pain of something you don't want to do in the first place. It can also mean being hyper-present: alert to all the information your senses bombard you with in any given moment. In a meeting, you can hear the tone of each voice, feel the firmness of chair upon you sit, become aware of the mixed aromas of coffee, muffins, aftershave, perfume. You can extend this alertness to include all the tools in your imagination. This is a moment that will never come again. It is a moment in your life.
     We often allow ourselves to feel bored when things aren't captivating to us. But isn't that a big demand to place on things we cannot control anyway? Such as a meeting? Why constrict your experience so tightly? Why create boredom for yourself? Because you do create it, you know. You create it by having such narrow guidelines about what interests you.
     If you expand those guidelines way out to the edges of the universe, all of a sudden there is room for wonder once again in your life. You remember wonder. You felt it as a child. One of the reasons you felt it then was that you had not been hardened by your life's experiences into expecting one thing to happen, preferring one thing over another, and deciding that you absolutely detest certain things. Time and your life did that do you. And  you can undo it.
     I believe there is no place or situation on this Earth where a sensitive person can truly be bored. You have the universe inside of you. Pull a piece or two out and toss it around next time you're feeling that numbness begin to crawl up your legs. Allow yourself to see colors streaming through the room. Hear the musicality or lack of it in someone's voice. Imagine what would happen if everyone's hair disappeared all at once.
     You will love it. Every minute of it. You will love that meeting.
     You will be present.
     You will hear your name.

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