Day Five Check-in

30 Days of Presence isn’t for the timid or those easily undone by a challenge.  From the second day, I thought I’d better have a mantra because I was going to need an affirmative phrase to live through these days of September.  A Facebook friend suggested “simplicity in effort.”

I think I prefer:  “B, be here, be aware.”

Some observations:  1)  My vision seems clearer when I open my eyes after prayer.  2)  Staying present is challenging–it seems the more I focus on not being scattered among several tasks, the more that’s exactly what happens.

This morning began in a much more grounded way.  Deep breaths, feeling my center and praying.  Consciously linking my mind to the Mind of God.

When I wasn’t scattered today I experienced moments of grace.  Leaving the loft to walk to the chiropractor and noticing a subtle smell of autumn in Texas–just a tiny shift–and feeling the connection to Missouri’s fall.  How can my mind connect in two places?  In my mind, I can be in both places seeing nature’s seasonal changes concurrently; I can smell each, and note the differences between the musky fallen leaves in Missouri and the hint of morning crispness in Texas.  A mental experience is so much better than a simple memory.

Another instance of grace was the full rainbow–end to end–with a slight double behind it.  I had just come in from the balcony where I sat to watch it rain, and in the seconds it took to go from my chair to closing the door behind me, God painted the sky.  I gasped at the beauty then silently thanked the Holy One for the gift.

One of my agreements is to be present to my feelings and that is where I’ve struggled in these early days.  I fought against the presence and discovered that resistance creates pain.  The pain lodges in my chest and feels as if it circles my heart.

I seem to be taking a lot of deep breaths and I’m aware of clenching my jaw a lot.  I suspect that is my will, my determination, my ego, Little Beth, setting my teeth to gut through these 30 days.  To do it my way through sheer grit.  Old responses don’t go away easily.

But it’s early yet in this new process.  One of the other agreements is to not judge whatever I’m feeling about myself, to go easy and to be patient about my progress.

I am familiar with the “progress, not perfection” concept.  Now, as my friend Aliza says, if I could only remember that everything involves surrender and trust.

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