As I move through my daily life, I know that one of my motivations to stay steadfast in my practice is to support my capacity to respond to the moments of everyday life with more patience, wisdom and care. I have the direct experience of how my practice lessons my suffering and, thus, the suffering of those whom I come in contact with throughout the day. I also know that I am practicing for the inevitable moments when the alarm bells will ring.
I had just one of those “alarm bell” moments recently: While at the gym, relaxed in the let-it-all-go end-of-yoga-class resting pose, I heard my name and “please come to the front desk” ring down the hall. Before I could get there, front desk staff found and informed me that my car had been broken into in the parking lot. My purse was in the trunk.
Fortunately, though my trunk was opened, somehow my purse wasn’t stolen, I was able to quickly change out my bank accounts, and everything turned out fine. What was challenging was my internal experience– a nervous system kicked into survival mode despite a false alarm.
On the day of the event and in the days following, the seeds I’d planted (over years) in my lovingkindness practice produced fruits that lessened my suffering. I had compassion for myself and, on a day following the event, in a moment when I was acknowledging the suffering of the man who broke into my car and sending him well-wishes for healing and peace, the fear running through my mind and body dropped– we were both human beings experiencing suffering, both human beings wanting healing and peace. It was all ok. This level of ease did not last, as a nervous system calms down in its own time, but that moment of no longer experiencing the man who broke into my car as “other” set my mind/heart free. This is the healing power of lovingkindness.
How might our lives change if we were to cultivate the capacity to turn unconditional friendliness, unobstructed well-wishes toward ourselves throughout our daily life? How might this lovingkindness towards our own being then ripple out towards others? Surely, we will each have multitudes of opportunities to inquire, to receive and know our direct experience, as we continue to walk our path.
May all beings be well.
May all beings know healing and peace.