Let’s face it, I’m busy. How about you?
I keep signing up for more and more classes (the ones I’m interested in, of course). I have a growing ‘to read’ list. I participate in two meditation groups and two coaching support groups. I facilitate the most-wonderful-and-awesome ‘upliftment’ group, write blogs, create classes, work with clients, and work full-time. Whew!
So it can become really easy for me to buy into the lie that “I don’t have enough time.” And when that happens, I can come to nearly a complete standstill. My mind can become so overactive that I don’t know what to do first. And I end up doing nothing. Nada. Zilch.
And even though this doing nothing should alleviate the feeling of ‘busy-ness,’ it doesn’t. It adds to the frustration that I’m getting further and further behind. And I don’t do the things I know will help me feel better, like breathe, or go for a walk, or just unplug. Talk about not ‘living in the moment’ - - big time! (just in case I was wondering why I’ve been writing about that so much for the past few weeks)
I’m writing this today in case you sometimes feel the same way, too. It’s all well and good to read my blogs about how to be present and live in the moment, but what about when we struggle with that? I want you to know that if you are challenged by being consistent in your spiritual practice or with keeping yourself aligned or if you have bad days or bad weeks, it’s okay.
In fact, it’s normal. You’re normal.
You’re not broken. You don’t need to apologize. You’re not weak. You’re doing fine. Don’t let these struggles affect your sense of ‘enoughness’ or sense of self-worth.
Is the practice of ‘trusting the universe’ just another way that we choose to NOT make a decision? Is it a form of giving our power away?
You know how it goes: rather than making a definitive choice or asking ourselves crucial questions, we look for signs and coincidences that verify we’re on the right track. Or not on the right track. If things don’t work out, we can ‘blame’ the universe saying, ‘it wasn’t meant to be.’ But if things do turn out, we applaud our ability to tune in and listen to the Divine! (at least, I’ve done that in the past).
In this week’s reading, Abraham sends his servant Eliezer back to their homeland to find a wife for Isaac. When Eliezer arrives at the city of Nahor, he finds a spring and prays: “Hashem… let the maiden to whom I say, ‘Please lower your jar that I may drink,’ and who replies, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels,’ let her be the one to whom you have decreed for your servant, for Isaac…”
Is Eliezar taking this opportunity NOT to make a decision on his own? Is he relying on an external sign to tell him what to do, rather than using his own intelligence to find the right wife for Isaac?
Reading carefully, Eliezer says that she should offer water to him and his camels. In other words, she should be a kind, caring, and generous person.
He’s not giving away his power in favor of superstition. He’s actually specifying the exact criteria by which to make his decision - she should be kind, caring, and generous. He doesn’t want Isaac to marry someone who will steal his money and his livestock! If she doesn’t have these qualities, he’s not interested.
If you want to live with clarity and purpose, if you want to truly say “yes” to your life, you’ve got to be able to say a clear “no” as well. The “yes” and the “no” go together!
I wonder if the ‘appearance of God’ is always a welcome sight.
Here’s the scene: Abraham just circumcised himself (ouch) and it’s really hot outside. I imagine he’s in a great deal of pain and discomfort. There’s no morphine drip or pain medication with codeine. And yet, he’s not lounging in bed or recovering inside his tent; he’s sitting at the entrance of his tent, outside and in the heat.
To make matters worse, suddenly three strangers show up. What does he do? He runs out to greet them! I don’t know about you, but when I’m recovering or am in great pain, I can be grouchy, withdrawn, and perhaps a little self-pitying. But not Abraham! Not only did he run out to greet these strangers, he fetches water to wash their feet and he and Sarah prepare a feast. Abraham welcomed the moment!
Whatever the moment brings, it’s all just different forms of the One Reality.
The last couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about living in the moment and staying in the present. And here’s this week’s Torah portion which is telling us the same thing. Imagine that! But what if the present moment seems terrible? What if the present moment is painful and awful? Why would we want to saddle ourselves in the present moment when thinking about a wonderful and exciting future seems so much better and happier?
Janet Kingsley is an effective 'Belief Change Expert' who helps clients transform frustration to focus, confusion to clarity, and self-doubt to self-confidence.