Sunday, July 23, 2017

Being There



...so, several things have been trying to get my attention lately.  The need for focus, the desire for a deeper, more authentic experience.  For being there. Showing up for my own life. Synchronicity has spoken to my soul, loud and clear.

My re-reading of my last year's rewilding posts and how they got derailed by my tendency to turn everything into work, into a "jobligation" caught my attention.  An inveterate teacher and a lifelong "fixer" (as well as spending a chunk of my life as a caregiver), it's no surprise, but not all that conductive of the end I'm aiming for.  Or mean to aim for, at any rate.

And then this post appeared in my memories, on what inspired you, from our Artist's Journal Workshop blog, and this one, from this blog three years ago today, on the addiction of social media.  (Yes, three.  I keep trying...)

And yet...there is this pull, from both directions.  If something becomes habit, becomes dry, only going through the motions instead of being engaged, fully THERE...is this productive?  On the other hand, this caught my eye in a book I'm reading--the concept that structure, discipline, repeated actions or rituals can keep us going through those dry times, until we can find our focus again.

That last was something I often heard in my church years.  I spent a time in the Third Order of St. Francis 20-some years ago, but found when I needed a more focused, personal spirituality--at least that's how I perceived it--rather than saying the hours with the church, I was no longer welcome as a member of that community.  The discipline, the praying with the church, was paramount--so said my director.

A friend just repeated the concept on a Facebook post, in different words.  Keep going, keep doing it (whatever it is), until you're inspired again.  But does that work?  For you?  Or for me?  I suspect that's a very individual answer.

I want to be present to my life.  Presence has been a goal for many years now...mindfulness.  Being there.

And yes, I have a tendency to read about it rather than DO it, sometimes...believe me it's not the same.

But I recently read a pair of books that made a very big impression on me: Gerald May's The Wisdom of Wilderness, and David Abram's Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology.  May's book was brilliantly written, personal, engaging, and deeply moving to me.  Abram's had a similar theme...being fully ALIVE, in all our senses.

I don't want the days...my journals...my reading, my creating...to be simply going through the motions.

And yet...two years ago I chose "presence" as my word of the year.  Last year at this time, I wrote of re-focusing.  Presence.  Being there.

Perhaps someday I'll actually get there...



8 comments:

  1. I totally get it. I wear a bracelet that is inscribed on the inside 'Be here....Now', as a visual reminder...it helps, but, as you point out, it is easier said than done.

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  2. I understand and want the same thing! Good old Baba Ram Dass always comes to mind. Be here now. Hoping I get here too! ♥

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  3. As for being there, one of my favorite quotes is the only partially tongue-in-cheek Mary Englebreit: "No matter where you go, there you are".
    Always reassuring to hear that even you, one of the most present people I know, have doubts and strive for presence.

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    1. I didn't know it was she who said that! True, isn't it? And I think what I want to learn is that EVERYTHING is "here." Railing against interruptions, distractions, etc., is missing a good part of our time here, isn't it--because that's life! Paying attention, being alive to it all. Saying yes.

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  4. As always, your posts are motivating, encouraging, and freeing, all at the same time. What's interesting is I've been pondering some similar ideas as I've realized the need for more structure or rhythm in my days, both to help me through those drier times and also to keep me from frittering away time online.

    Part of my effort in that direction has been to add in praying the daily office on my own using an Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, but also in looking for "liturgies" in nature, such as the rhythm of waves or of day and night or the seasons. I got that from the book Nature as Spiritual Practice, which I am finding to be a wonderful and eye-opening resource.

    The idea of Presence and Being There is so challenging and inviting; I will be pondering and no doubt rereading your words over the coming days as I have a somewhat quiet week set aside for pondering and meditating (I try to do this on my birthday week as I look ahead to the coming year). Thank you again for sharing your thoughts, Kate!

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    1. And I seem to be doing a different, more personal discipline/exercise, at the moment. Loving it, so far...but I'm not going to let it become a dry chore...

      And what a wonderful birthday present to give yourself!

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    2. All you have to say or think is "I Am", and there you are...You have never been anywhere else as there is only one now. Sometimes we "forget", but you are always here...

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  5. I like your observations and details. Beautiful drawings.

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