Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

My flat tire lesson…

on January 19, 2012

The last few days have been incredibly peaceful. Nobody has been sick, and things have been more or less smooth. And everyday I pinch myself at our good fortune. And yet it is days like today that I really come alive.

Last evening on a dark cold winter night, on the way to meeting a friend for dinner I realized I had a flat tire. I stopped by the gas station and the kind gentleman who worked there did what he could: he filled up my flat so I could get back home. I would have to wait and see if it held up. My lovely friend Sarah followed me all the way to make sure I got home safe, and then took me out to dinner. And this morning, after calling AAA and getting a spare tire on, I’m waiting at the car service to figure out if I need new tires.

Days like this, when we come face to face with the change, the unpredictability and uncertainty of life in whichever way, our practice comes alive. There is this incredible opportunity to respond rather than react when things don’t go the way we planned. How adaptable are we? And how present? My own mindfulness practice seems to be if I can be in the gas station and be right there and think no more than getting home. When I’m at dinner, to not be anywhere but with my friend- not with the car mechanic or the plans for next day and all that needs to get done. And this morning, to not be anywhere else but here, at the car service waiting.

It’s not like we won’t have thoughts that wish things to be otherwise. Of course it would have been more convenient if I didn’t have a flat at the end of a long day and we didn’t have to change the place we ate last night and so on. But we understand that this is the way things are, right now. They can’t be any other way. And thoughts are simply what they are – thoughts – fleeting. There will be another one before this one even ends…

The more I practice, the more I realize that mindfulness is ordinary. It is being with the washing of dishes, with the brushing of teeth, with the waiting at the car mechanic. It is being in the body when you lift up your arms in a sun salutation or when you see the blue jays outside jumping around from one branch to the other or when you sit with your daughter on the steps, saying two and three. It is the simplest of all practices, it is simply being here.

With love, S.

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4 responses to “My flat tire lesson…

  1. Anne Shivas says:

    I loved your Shambala piece & your blog!
    Thank you for sharing them!
    Anne (from the Monday night group)

  2. Joni Cole says:

    I love this! Respond rather than react. Yes! I will try try try to practice this. Miss you, Shuba, in the writing workshop!

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