The Pursuit of Pleasure

A meditative practice invites us to get intimate with the self, with our desires (attachments) and our aversions. Any transformation starts with awareness. My meditation practice highlighted what I was chasing, and what I was avoiding. From that awareness, actions to make changes ensued. And they weren’t small ones. I changed my job and the whole industry I worked in. I forewent being in a relationship with someone else to exploring a relationship (intentionally so) with myself. My circle of friends began to change. I changed my diet. I changed my relationship with alcohol and caffeine. My time on the cushion illuminated where I was attaching value to pleasure, and where that pursuit was still coming up short. Contrary to being on a path to contentment and fulfillment, my relentless pursuit of pleasure was in fact what was preventing me from finding it at all.

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Celebrate Everything

Just like in meditation, when we pick a focus – the breath, the earth, sounds, sensations – we start to attune to that focus. We begin to notice more. Our perspective shifts. When I started to actively turn my awareness towards celebration, there was no shortage of content and possibility, of reasons and occasions to partake in some revelry.

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Caregiving in the time of Covid 

It’s so easy to lose yourself in the care of another human being. But as I’ve learned, and keep learning, you can’t pour from an empty cup. What fills my cup? My daily practices of meditation, gratitude and movement. Weekly connection in community with like minded individuals. And every now and then an immersive deep dive into my own self care on retreat, even if just for a few days. What can I do more simply? Nourish myself with healthy food and clean water. Rest. Spend time in Nature. Call a friend. Disconnect from devices. Take a deep breath. And another. And another.

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Radical Rest

Rest for me was equivalent to unproductiveness, boredom, and weakness. “You can sleep when you’re dead” – I used to say all the time. I used this to justify overworking, staying too late at the party, or taking on too much. “I don’t have time to rest.” That was another one I used to tell myself. What I didn’t know then, was this was a boundaries issue. I didn’t actually have time to rest. Trying to carve out a 5 minute meditation in my day seemed impossible. And 8 full hours of sleep? Forget about it.

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Nature from the Inside Out

In this challenging month I realized that the nature outdoors is a part of our own true nature. Even though I felt at times as though I was separated from it, each time I returned to my cushion I was connecting to that true nature, and tuning into the flow of the universe. The more I sat, the more I took joy in our little walks around the block, or jumping in the smallest puddle on our driveway.

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