If you have been reading this blog for the past couple of weeks, you have been reading about my fears and struggles. Though I know my life is entering a new phase, the fear of change and my struggles with loneliness, longing, community, connection, time, and confidence continue.
Last week I wrote about a life lesson that I missed, and finished it with:
And this one, boundaries, is a big one. How could I have missed it? When did I miss it? Worse yet, what else could I have missed?
I had concluded my boundary issues had to do with expectations. Meeting the expectations I place on myself to meet the needs of the roles I play were taking all my time. My solution was to focus on me by doing one nice thing for myself every day.
But it didn’t work. I was focusing on the right actions, but not the actions that were right for me. I was doing, not being . . . and while my head was in the game, my heart was telling me nothing had changed.
Maybe someday I will learn I must be careful with the intentions and energy I release into the Universe. Maybe one day I will ask better questions. But unless or until that happens, the Universe provides Crumbs for me to make my way.
To get me back on track, three disparate crumbs led me to the real questions I need to ask.
First, I came across the story of Nachiketa, the child protagonist in an ancient Indian story, as told in the Upanishads, about the nature of the soul. In the story, Nachiketa is granted three gifts. The three gifts he chose were a forgiving heart, inner fire, and deep inquiry into who he was. The second gift, inner fire, is the one that caught my attention.
Inner fire—what really matters, what we are in touch with, what we long for, what energizes us. Our inner fire compels us to be available, to open to the moment, to connect with ourselves, and be present.
Next, there was an email by Mel Robbins where she defined 4 tools to manage your mind. Tool #3 spoke directly to me:
Keep your mind wherever your feet are.
Then there was the Rumi quote:
Half-heartedness does not reach into majesty. You set out to find God,
but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.
It took me a while to get that the mean-spirited roadhouses were of my own creation; they are the distractions I face. Currently I am residing in the mean-spirited roadhouse of loneliness, longing, community, connection, time, and confidence.
The Upanishads, Mel Robbins, and Rumi. Odd fellows, but the throughline was apparent.
From the Upanishads, it was clear that inner fire is a spiritual gift, the actual aspirations of my truest self. What I am dedicated to, the courage that moves me through life.
From Rumi, I learned that the mean-spirited roadhouses were the distractions of my own making.
From Mel Robbins, I learned that when my mind starts to wander, when I get distracted, I just need to bring myself back to exactly where my feet are.
Clearly, I am extinguishing my own inner fire when I give into fear, the mean-spirited roadhouse. When I perseverated on loneliness, longing, community, connection, time, and confidence, it was all just a distraction, disconnecting me from myself. As was control—desperately trying to figure out how to plan for and control the circumstance of my life while waylaid at the roadhouse of fear.
And where did all this lead? To much better questions:
What are my aspirations?
Where is my mind?
My deepest aspiration? This question is going to take some time to ponder. But my immediate reaction is to love unconditionally and hold nothing back. To become my very best self. To live simply, so that others might simply live.
And my mind? I need to hold space for my aspirations. I need to value what is sacred to me. I need to choose my thoughts and words carefully so that they reflect my aspirations, and not create distractions. I need to open my heart and realize my own sovereignty, relieving myself of expectations, and committing to the present, to exactly where I find myself, to the very place my feet are.
Thank you, Nachiketa, Mel, and Rumi for showing me the way. And Creation, thanks, as always, for the Crumbs.
And thanks to the Rule of St. Benedict for reminding me that listening is a key to growth, and time is the guardian of life. I will listen to my inner fire, my internal wisdom, my allegiance to my own deep truth, and not be distracted. My time is precious.
A whole new world is opening before me. I am grateful.