Some days I go to yoga and sweat my way through a crazy workout, and am frustrated at myself. Other days, my mind is present and I feel great. Some days I wonder why in the world I even wasted my time changing for an hour when my mind is all over the place.
Then–on days like today– I am reminded why I’m there.. Every word our instructor Anita shared was right “en pointe”, as the beau would say, and this final quote truly could not have been a better way to start my week.
Spiritual practitioners thrive in unpredictable conditions, testing and refining the inner qualities of the heart and mind. Every situation becomes an opportunity to abandon judgment and opinions and to simply give complete attention to what is. Situations of inconvenience are terrific areas to discover, test or develop your equanimity. How gracefully can you compromise in a negotiation? Does your mind remain balanced when you have to drive around the block three times to find a parking space? Are you at ease waiting for a flight that is six hours delayed? These inconveniences are opportunities to develop equanimity. Rather than shift the blame onto an institution, system, or person, one can develop the capacity to opt to rest within the experience of inconvenience.
Yesterday, the beau and I drove to Cincy to see Mary Poppins and were planning on a visit to Ikea beforehand to browse and pick up some patio furniture. We just love sitting outside this time of year to dine and especially when having friends over, a simple little patio set was at the top of our list.
Right after crossing the bridge into Cincy we got held up in traffic. Like go-2-miles-total-in-one-and-a-half-hours kind of traffic. It was hard to have a positive attitude when we realized that our time in the car ate away at ALL our browsing time at Ikea. BUT–it also allowed us to chat, spend some great time together and enjoy the breeze afforded by the windows being down, And really, we’d just end up wanting a lot of things we couldn’t afford right now anyway. We were able to go in and get only what we needed and made a new store record–got in and out in probably 20 minutes!
Was it ideal? No. But we learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes the experience of inconvenience is calling you to rest. We had a great weekend, but had many curveballs thrown our way (the traffic happened to be the icing on the cake of all the random things that had happened this weekend), so maybe that traffic was Gods way of making us rest–making us slow down knowing that speeding through Ikea would have only increased our exhasution.
“Lord, May my eyes and heart be open to the opportunities you wish to give me when inconveniences arise. “