,
Eyes Wide Open

Our dear readers will excuse me. I had to be reminded by my wonderful co-blogger that I had failed to post not only one, but two posts. My excuse is a simple one; I have been going through, and processing, one of the most difficult chapters of my life, and it has beenan-all consuming process.

Last February, I took a major step that required me to clean out my entire supply of courage. I consciously transformed the trajectory of my life, and that of my children, and I am only now recovering from the toll that process took – on my health, my mind, and my relationships. ‘Tired’ does not begin to explain it, but it is a good kind of fatigue, the kind filled with purpose and a conviction that once I am over this hump, infinitely brighter days will be mine for
the taking.

Some changes are transformative. It is like having a baby or a death of a loved one – you can never go back to what was before. It is a tectonic shift of one’s life. Change is inevitable, but in my opinion, what determines its effect – whether it devastates us or leaves us invigorated, is entirely up to the attitude we take to the challenge. I decided early on to face this particular transformation with eyes wide open.

Consciousness is a big part of my life. I meditate nearly every day, and at this point, it is a practice that requires little effort from me. I’m mindful almost at all times, and it is at times of stress, when in particularly bad traffic, or in the presence of an angry person, that my internal ‘muscle’ of consciousness (as my instructor used to put it) starts flexing and I find myself breathing deeply and keenly aware of my surroundings. I’m usually very calm. Therefore, I faced the prospect of change with a level of peace – I knew there would be bad times, but I also knew that I would be given the support I required to get through the most difficult of days.

Am I claiming here that because I faced my decision with consciousness and bravery, that it was easy? Not by a long shot. I have had days
where my biggest achievement was getting my kids into the car, and where I have played them loud music because I didn’t have the energy to talk to them. There were days and weeks where I read continuously, unable to pull my head out of the Adam Retta epic, ‘YeSinibit Kelemat’ or an ebook on my phone because to do so would have forced me to think. I made certain decisions that were simply not me but I had to forgive myself and quickly move on. So how did consciousness help?

I have a friend who says, ‘Let Go, Let God.’ So I did. I just woke up and showed up everyday, until the debris of my life had no choice but to settle down. I told myself, and trusted, on the worst of days, ‘Tomorrow will be better.’ And I kept keeping my eyes wide open. To all the tricks I played to avoid myself, to the warmth of the friendship of women that got me through, to the miracles that my children are. I kept looking.

I would flinch at first but one’s spiritual eyes adjust. They learn to observe beauty and disappointment and to not take either too seriously. To not be overly upset at the friend who lets you down because you know you might get exactly what you need from a relative stranger who owes you nothing. To forgive everyone for everything. To live like a child. To expect with grace, your salvation just around the corner, and to humbly accept it. To not be attached to it. To just keep keeping watch. To stop and give thanks for the courage to
transform your life.