Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Taking the long view on life.

"When you are sorrowful
look again in your heart, and you shall see
that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
-Kahlil Gibran

Yesterday was my birthday. And, I wanted to have no plan whatsoever, a completely rare request on my part. My beau put in quite a bit of effort to gather a dinner together, a hotel room, the next day's happenings, and not everything turned out the way he or I had hoped, but I set an intention before it all began: today will be the best day of my life.

In general, my birthdays are not so great. My family never celebrated them, except to eat "long life noodles" for dinner followed by a Chinese-style fruit and light cream cake. There's always something that is a bit melancholy, bittersweet, imperfect about the day. Rather than fighting it, I chose to embrace the day for the lessons that would be offered, the perfection that exists just because I accept everything as is. It was something I spent the weekend being steeped in, learning from master teachers at San Diego's Yoga Journal Conference on how to be whole. So, I did my best.

My beau and I had gotten into a fight the day before and the way that our disagreements go, they tend to trail onwards (I am not one of those who easily forgets or forgives or lets go). The day before my birthday had arrived and we were on the precipice of deciding whether we should still follow-through with plans or ditch everything altogether. We're both stubborn, and perhaps that is why we chose the former, in hopes that things would be nice between us, because there was an expectation already set that things had to be so, by the mere fact that it was my day of birth 34 years ago.

I woke up with sadness in the hotel room and spent a nice long while on the cool granite-tiled bathroom floor playing soothing music, journaling, and simply praying for guidance or/and grace. After I took a shower, I made my way downstairs for a cup of coffee as my beau continued to sleep, and began to explore the modern hotel on my own. The lower floor led to locked conference rooms and comfortable seats in the dimly lit hallway, so I perched on one, hot black coffee in hand, and embraced the stillness.

I asked for a sign, what I should know on this day, reassurance that I am on the right path and things are okay, regardless of how they might appear on the surface. I closed my eyes, breathed. I indulged in the humble moment. Then, I opened my eyes and searched for the signs. All the master teachers throughout the weekend reminded me that miracles are everywhere, in every moment, and all we need to do is open our eyes to them. If we look, then we'll see.

So I began to look. I got up, walked slowly down the hallway back to the elevator, in preparation to go to our room, and as I made my way, there it was, underneath the glass stairway up to the lobby. A giant mural where, in the bottom right corner, was painted with a heart and the word "you" with an exclamation point. I smiled, and thanked the Universe. But, She wasn't done. As I stepped towards the elevator buttons, the rug beneath me revealed two hands, fingers touching in the shape of a heart, with the thumbs at the base and all the other fingers curled around for the left and right curves.

"Love you" and a symbol of a heart. Enveloping all my senses before I made my way back to the room. The elevator arrived and I stepped in, but quickly turned right back out. I wanted to savor the moment a bit more, believing that when you ask for help, the Universe reminds you that it's there.

The day turned out nicely, though I wouldn't say that it wasn't tinged with a bit of shadow. One of the parts of our argument is that we could benefit from being kinder to one another, especially in the heat of the moment, to move away from needing to be right and resolve the situation, to take the longview perspective rather than focusing on all that's wrong and not working.

I have no idea how things will turn out. I just know that I'll keep looking for help, opening up beyond my comfort zone, and hoping that as I move into my 34th year of existence, the wisdom of the world will continue to unfold before me, so that I can get lost in the beauty of what is, rather than constantly feeling like I'm falling short of how I'd like for things to be.

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