The moment I accept the reality of what is, is the moment I relax.
Saturday morning, 4.30am. Jet lag kicks in and I’m not sleeping. I should sleep. I need to be refreshed. I’ve crossed an ocean for the annual tai chi workshop and I want to be rested, relaxed. So I worry about not sleeping.
Every year that I attend this workshop I arrive with a suitcase of worries. Will it be too hot? Am I good enough at tai chi to be here? What if the travel plans go wrong? Did I do everything I needed to do before I left work, before I left home? What if I don’t feel well and miss some of the workshop? What if, what if.
And every year, I love it. I have the most amazing time. I learn, I reconnect with friends, I make new friends. I relax, deeply. I gain insights in my practice. Yes, sometimes it’s too hot, occasionally I’ve felt a bit unwell, but I still have a great time.
4.30 am, Saturday morning. I must go back to sleep. I am anxiously awake.
Then a thought pops into my head. Should I really be asleep? Really? Is that true? No. I am awake. That is the reality.
What would happen if I just accepted that I’m awake? That it’s OK to be awake at 4.30 in the morning and it won’t ruin my whole week?
So I did. And suddenly I’m just lying awake, relaxed, in a comfortable bed. I just enjoy lying there in the darkness, listening to the first tentative notes of the foreign dawn chorus.
And all the other things I am worrying about just dissolve in the dawn.
There is such ease to be found in living life this way, accepting what is instead of fighting reality.
This is my new practice.
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