My mom is fond of saying, “People make plans, and God laughs.” I often repeat the saying back to her at moments when things aren't working out in the ways I expected. I've been saying it a lot lately. This morning, she told me that she grew up hearing that quote from her grandmother, Ida. And that whenever she hears John Lennon's lyric, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” she thinks of her grandmother. My mom is the quintessential planner, and she's also really good at adapting when plans go awry. I, being her daughter, seem to have taken in this paradoxical ping pong of plan, surrender, plan, surrender, plan, surrender (you get the point), which sometimes feels like a graceful dance and other times like a I'm tripping over my feet. The past three weeks have felt like an exclamation point on a message the universe has been trying to show me for a while. Earlier this week, I finally threw my hands in the air, looked up at the sky, and said, “Okay, I get it! I’m not in charge!” Is this my final act of surrender? Probably not. But it feels like I'm starting to embody this message in a whole new way. Yesterday, I read through some journal entries I wrote earlier this. I found several pieces that I wrote after a series of meditation practices. I decided to combine excerpts from the entries into one piece and share it here. They felt to me like a conversation between the human part of myself and the part that is eternal—a call and response of patience and presence.
I'm sitting outside, legs wide, feet planted, rooted on the warm ground. Spine straight, arms bent, elbows by my waist, forearms extended at the level of my chest. Palms up receiving and radiating, below and above, within and without. But stillness feels too stiff this morning. I begin to shift from side to side, front to back, swaying to the sounds of the wind. Too much movement, I wobble off balance. Too little, I freeze. I think I’ll play here for a little while, learning the choreography of dancing in the now. Of listening deeply to cues, of noticing what is, rather than expectation
or desire. Of letting go, of no agendas. Of each moment being what it is. Of slowing down to feel, what is this moment calling for? Of responding to the now
with compassion and care.
I had the unexpected chance to spend a few days north of New York City this week. I'm savoring the weather (it's much cooler here than at home in Austin, TX, right now) and spending as much time as I can outside. I've fallen in love the the frog chorus at a nearby pond. I recorded a few minutes of their call and response to share with you.
Whatever you are dancing with these days, may you find grace.