Class tonight was blissful.
It wasn’t crowded, which meant not being on top of my neighbor’s mat, it wasn’t nearly as tough as the past two weeks (or, perhaps it just played more to my strengths) and my mind was much more focused (which, after the day I had, was a small miracle).
We talked about impermanence and attachment this evening. I know I always say that class is fitting to what is happening in my life ~ I am not sure if that is the case, or if all the concepts and ideas of life can be applied to at least one thing within a person’s daily existence. Irregardless, I needed the mental stretching class provided today.
A friend once said to me, as we sat on bleachers in a quiet playground with stars filling the sky, that the only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain. You could rephrase it to say the only thing that is permanent is impermanence ~ either way, it’s the same idea. Life changes and shifts on a daily, weekly, yearly basis. Relationships ebb & flow, we are each striving to mold ourselves out of deeply flawed putty, working to become our own vision of a well-rounded human.
I am reminded daily that this is an on-going process.
I’ve always had attachments to material things ~ we all have. I used to wonder if mine stemmed from moving so often when I was young. The impermanence of home was stabilized by pieces of furniture, a stuffed bear named Rudi (who still sits by my bed, and is in his 27th year), books that have lined my bookshelves in every place I have called home …. So many things with personal meaning, significance. Living with the man for nearly three years, I’ve learned to spring clean ~ get rid of unnecessary things, outdated things … things that had become, over time, nothing more than clutter. It is always a little nerve-wracking and exhilarating all at once to send bags or boxes of long-held belongings to Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. But in the time that follows, I do not pine for that which I have given away. Material things feel very important until you loosen your grip on the value you assign them. On the flip side, some things are too personal to me to consider giving away. Will I ever relinquish Rudi Bear? Probably not.
From another perspective, friendships and relationships change. Recently, I realized with deep sadness, that someone I cherished for what seems like forever, isn’t the same person I used to know. Time has slipped by, and life has changed us both. I think with regret that I made mistakes ~ I didn’t nurture the relationship ~ I took for granted that we would always be close. I made an assumption that some things were forever… but I should have known better. Coming to terms with that on the mat seemed fitting. Relinquishing the fight and acknowledging that one cannot go back and fix mistakes ~ one can only find wisdom in today, and move forward purposefully, within the present environment.
It is so easy to allow oneself to get caught up in the small details of daily life. I am one hundred percent guilty of it. Something unbalances my work day, and I twist into knots, rather than stepping back, and trying to gain a whisper of perspective. When we began class, our instructor asked us to think about the events of the day, but to remove any feelings or emotions from the thoughts. I envisioned each event in a sterilized environment ~ like scalpels and knives in an operating room. Clean, unblemished, and nothing more or less than what they appear.
I think that what I came away with is that life will continue to move forward, ever-changing and shifting, as though the ground is never truly firm beneath our feet. These changes, whether fluid or jarring, are part of life, and whether one allows these changes to affect them individually or in broad strokes really depends on the person. I have my fingers crossed that as time rolls on, I get better at looking at the big picture instead of all the little pieces.