This winter in North Carolina, we’ve actually had a “real winter”… for here, anyway.
In the southern United States, since we typically have something like 1-4 days per winter when we might actually have some snow or ice, we don’t have the budget in our town systems to do any extensive plowing or road maintenance when we do get the white/icy stuff. Plus, our roads really don’t get cold enough for it to stick for more than a few days. So… a few inches of snow does slow things down to a crawl very easily.
Right now, it’s the second week in the past three that we’ve had snow/ice accumulate on the ground. Yes, our schools are closed; yes, many are having a challenge getting to and fro because of the limited road clearing service. However, in listening to conversations, in watching the postings across the Internet… what is often prominent is what boils down to a) addiction to drama and discontent, and b) lack of presence that in so many ways pervades our society.
Here’s the lesson…
Listen to conversations… even those in which you’re engaged. How many times do you and others say things like, “This is a mess…” “I can’t wait until beach weather…” “How many days until spring?” “I really can’t wait to get back to work; I’m getting a little stir crazy being stuck in the house with my _______ (kids, spouse, etc.)…” And… if you pay attention, long term… at other times, how often do you hear, “It’s too hot; I can’t wait until it cools down…” “I’m really looking forward to getting some time away from the office…” “I’d love to be able to just stay home today…””I really just want to spend some time with my ______ (kids, spouse, etc.)…”
In all of the complaining… in all of the wishing to be someplace, somewhere else… when does the individual ALLOW themselves to enjoy everything that’s offered right here, right now?
The pictures featured on this post was taken by my 15-year-old this morning; she and her 17-year-old sister hurried to get up and dressed to go out and play in the snow… and to take pictures of the rare winter wonderland we have, which will only last here for a few days. The pictures she took were sublime, saturated with beauty, stillness… and presence.
Just… right… now.
In our society, we fill up our time with largely meaningless chatter and complaints that really have little truth to feel like we’re “one of the group.” How many times have you complained about your spouse, your kids, your house, your ______… when it’s really a vast over exaggeration so you don’t stand out from the crowd? How much time do you spend complaining about wanting something other than what’s right in front of you… whether it’s to be someplace else, to have something else, or to do something else?
Part of the process of awakening and enlightenment is to release living in duality and the perception of lack… in anything. It’s also letting go of the coulda, shoulda, wouldas, stopping the chatter of the ego and its role in duality, and simply accepting that the only reality is NOW… right this moment. The more we live in the moment… the more we find the beauty, the serenity, and the perfection of what the Universe/our Higher Self brings to us… no matter WHAT that looks like. Also, as the energies have shifted and are continuing to shift, the power of our thoughts and words become more and more powerful. Complain about something? That creates more of a situation of lack via thoughts and words. Instead, it’s time to change things around… start with gratitude.
Start with a journal – a notebook of any type will suffice. Every morning, take ten minutes (or less) and write down three things that you have gratitude for. EVERYONE can do this… it’s a matter of changing the way we see things. You can be grateful for getting up in the morning; for a beautiful, sunny day; for the unconditional love given to you by your pet; for having a car… it doesn’t have to be big. Do you think that three things are too many? Start with one per day. EVERY day. Before you know it, you’ll be LOOKING at the moment – the right here, right now – to recognize the gratitude you have for everything in it. I promise you… it works!
Eventually, when you get there. you’ll automatically see the positive in every moment; more and more, you’ll appreciate that which you have NOW… vs. what you “lack.”
So, in this week… I’ve found gratitude in the beauty of the snow… the ice on the trees… the quiet muffling of sound when the snow was coming down… the fact that we kept our power on… that we had firewood for fires in the fireplace… and that my husband, children, and I spent some time together, without the hustle and bustle of the world taking us in different directions… and that my two children – my oldest being a senior in high school, my youngest a sophomore – still enjoy “playing” in the snow (albeit briefly), and in spending time together with my husband and me. Look at that: That was a list of SEVEN things to have gratitude for… with barely a thought. there are many, many more in EVERY moment!
So, for you… look around you! There is ALWAYS some beauty present… even in what we perceive to be the ugliest of situations. Expand your heart in gratitude and love… and you’ll be surprised at the different existence you begin to perceive!
NOTE: If you’d like to consider and take part in more discussion and practice of presence, join me via this link LIVE online Tuesday, 2/18, 4-5pm for my Blog Talk Radio show; the topic is “The Present of Presence” (and if you can’t make it live, you can listen to the recording via this link afterward, too!).