Everything flows…. The original quote from Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher who lived about 500 BC. “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” Photo credit: Canva

We don’t have control

I feel the cool water swirl around my feet, dead leaves touch and tickle my skin as they drift past, mud oozes between my toes as if the earth’s energy was seeping into my body. I’m filled with peace, and joyfully present.

1 hour later, same spot: It seems as though the water is warmer, the bottom firmer, and the leaves aren’t there either; my mind is focused on a future thought, and that peace-filled existence, that feeling of joyful presence is gone.

You’re fooling yourself if you believe that the universe is ever stagnant or still, or you are the same person you were even a second ago. Being human only gives us the illusion we have any control at all. I cringe at the thought of the  energy and time I have wasted in the pursuit of gaining control in my life.

 

Lessons from a cactus

Night Blooming Cactus: Queen of the Night

I recently noticed a growth on a favorite cactus, a beautiful member of our succulent garden here in South Florida. I have nurtured and loved this phallic-looking cactus for 7 years, admiring it as it grew to almost 5 feet tall  He, I just had to assign it a male gender pronoun, ya know, was beautiful?

Admiring him, I was startled by this new growth that looked like flower pods, but I wasn’t sure. Was something wrong!

 I immediately texted my cactus guru who lives in Arizona, the Queen of the Desert. Christen assured me it was a good growth and I would soon be blessed with 3 beautiful fragrant flowers, flowers that only bloom at night.

Of course I had to learn more, so a google search revealed my efforts were not in vain, and a proper name for this cactus was Queen of the Night. Her blossoms grew very large. I was in awe at how quickly the pods appeared and within days rather nights, her blossoms opened and were magnificent as he transitioned into a she.

I sat and watched her open up and blossom, I swear I could see her petals move, a graceful dance in slow motion. The fragrance filled the air as the sky grew dark and her petals reached out in every direction.

Wanting to see her better I turned on the overhead light. I realized my desire to see her beauty in the bright light was in vain, as she immediately started to close. How interesting I thought. I had to view her on her terms, and just be present. Her beauty was short lived the flowers withered and were gone in a couple of days.

 

presence vs impermanence

 I’ve come to realize being present helps us accept impermanence, a valuable life lesson. “We are so free we can choose bondage.” This quote rings true for me, having witnessed mine and others’ choices time and time again. It gives me reason to pause and reassess my view on impermanence and my insane quest to conquer the unconquerable.

Impermanence vs control is more like it. We literally have no control over our lives, only what we choose to focus on, how we show up and what thoughts or beliefs we choose to hold as truth for us, and follow in our life. Sit back – take a breathe, ask yourself how comfortable are you with change, impermanence? Listen to the internal answer, what thought, vision or judgement came up? Write that down – be as detailed and precise as you can. After you have the statement, now see if you can reframe it to be more positive and in a way that serves your highest and best self. That is your old belief which is part of your truth, your story.

That was my story, who I was, who I am now. My belief AND this new statement “affirmation” is my current choice and how I choose to move forward. Affirming abundance, change and impermanence serves me and this is how.

I seem to always wait for the other shoe to drop, believing the worst-case scenario.

AND I have learned how to face life head on, knowing that change is inevitable, I believe everything is for my highest and best self. I trust it is okay to be afraid and do it anyway.

 

Don’t go chasing windmills

I purchased this Pablo Picasso print of Don Quixote on his quest while I was in Spain.

Don Quixote and his quest for chivalry, a story of insanity…or was it? His chasing the giants, those illusive windmills was in vain. I can so relate to periods in my life when chasing my holy grail/windmill led me to similar times of insanity. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Hindsight is 20/20 for some, while others find it difficult to look past their mistakes, doomed to repeat them over and over. Peace, joy, security and getting comfortable with the uncomfortableness of change or impermanence are synonymous with living the life you love. Learning to live in the present moment and giving up the illusive “quest” for control, creates your ability to love the life you live.

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