May: the month of ‘whole.’ When that word first popped up as our theme the obvious came to mind: whole foods, complete meals and holistic wellness…the ‘regulars’ we gab about. We started planning and carving out specific topics. What does ‘whole’ really mean, as a person? It’s certainly not one size fits all, and certainly more than nutrition. It’s not only about taking care of yourself physically, we all know it’s much more than that.
Complete circle: more than just our physical selves.
So what’s the road to living a ‘whole life’ look like?
I asked myself that question. I really did, I sat at my desk and I thought “is my life whole?” I started to wonder if there is a part of my life that doesn’t feel complete. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hate this exercise. It was hard. Facing the big scary stuff that doesn’t have black and white answers? Not my favorite morning activity. A lot of good came out of it though; a few major realizations.
1) I’m really happy. Far too many reasons to list here, but I am grateful for the life I have.
2) I am not religious or spiritual, but maybe I want to be?
A long while back I was going through some sad times, you know how those go, they are just the saddest right? There’s a reason why so many women know Joni Mitchell’s Blue cover to cover. Sad times are a part of life. During that time a friend suggested I read “When Things Fall Apart,” by Pema Chodron, a well known Buddhist nun. It was not a book on buddhism, but it takes the form of nontheistic spiritualism. I’m not going to dive too far into this book, but in a nutshell this was what it was telling me:
The sooner I learned I couldn’t solve problems, the better off I would be. Things can never really be solved – they come together and they fall apart, and then they come back together and fall apart again. It’s just how it goes. And the sooner I let go of the reigns the happier I will be.
Well, that was my take away at least.
This book literally snapped me out of my blue mood. In fact, I read only 4 chapters and still haven’t finished it. Yep, just admitted that. And I LOVED it, but I just felt like I didn’t need it anymore…but the reality is we always need these reminders. We need whatever it is that keeps us going: faith in a higher power, belief in the goodness of people, conviction in something bigger than us. I realized that it’s time for me to revisit this book, and many more like it, and perhaps listen a bit more to some wise folks in my life who know the power of standing still, and maybe even practice some meditation (ahem, Katie & Anna). I don’t know if any specific religion is in my future, but I do know life is bigger than me, larger than my to do list and patiently waiting for me to tap into its abundant riches. So, short story long, I think it’s time for me to get a bit more in tune with what this wild world has to offer.
So that was my discovery. I’m looking forward to many more.