I think I have spent a considerable amount of time in life waiting. Waiting to be in middle school, to live the glamorous kind of life my older sister lived in 7th and 8th grade.
Waiting to get my driver's license so I could be independent.
Waiting to go to college, to be on my own and find myself.
Waiting to fall in love.
Waiting to get married.
Waiting to have a puppy, a baby, another baby.
Waiting for those babies to roll over, sleep through the night, eat solid food, start talking, start walking, move into a toddler bed, wipe their own butts.
Waiting for those walking, talking toddlers to be able to entertain themselves.
Waiting for the next paycheck so I can buy those boots.
Waiting for my tax return so we can buy a house.
Waiting and waiting and waiting, getting what I want or where I want and then realizing that there is always something else.
So I am thinking about contentment, of peace and warmth where I am. Because the problem with always waiting for something new, something shiny and exciting, is that you spend so much time looking out, you forget to look down, where you are, at what you have, inside of who you are. Waiting for something shiny to fall from the sky means you never learn the art of archaeology, the art of digging in the dust at your feet and finding treasures where you are.
I want to be a better archaeologist.
I think about contentment, what peace feels like. And I realize that I felt it this week, in yoga, staring up at the swirly yellow ceiling and feeling warm and quiet and having no desire save laying on the floor, listening to the waves of music, watching the swirly yellow. And I think about the things I've learned in my head, what religions teach about contentment.
Peace means letting go. Grace is full of empty air. There is peace and contentment in nothingness, in lacking, in the empty space. Maybe those are my inaccurate mishmashes of what religions actually teach, but hey, I never claimed to be a theologian.
And then I think about the seal pose, back arched, legs splayed back, arms holding up a relaxed and open chest. This pose is hard for me, a few weeks ago it was actually unbearable for me. But last week I broke through. Let go. The more tightly I clench my legs and butt, the more I push, the harder it gets. When I let go, it falls in to place.
So I am thinking about that, the seal. Letting go. Emptying myself, laying on the floor looking at the ceiling, fingers dabbling in the dust.
We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the wheel depends.We turn clay to make a vessel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the vessel depends.We pierce doors and windows to make a house; And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the usefulness of the house depends. Therefore just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the usefulness of what is not. --Tao Te Ching