A while back, I started doing this thing when I leave my house in the morning. As I turn the key in the lock, I say the following words: I humbly ask for blessings and peace on all who live in this home, wherever we may be. Then I picture all the members of my family and where they are at the current moment – the cats are usually sleeping (so that they can be well rested to terrorize as soon as I get home), the lizard is eating kale and carrots in her tank, the kid is at school, and the dude is at work, or still sleeping like a dirty rat.
As I walk outside, I open the request up, for blessings and peace for all who live in my city, and then in my state, the country, then on to the planet. I make sure to clarify that I mean all living beings, be it cockroaches or bald eagles or humans.
This began as much more of a self-serving practice rather than a magnanimous one, in that I believe that the happier others are, the less of their burden I will be required to carry. I’ve no trouble with empathy, and with sharing the load of a friend going through rough times. I will not lie and say that, along with my own crazy head troubles, occasionally that load gets heavier than I feel I can shoulder.
The mantra is kind of a life line for me. My tendency when overwhelmed is to go numb, to retreat to my Netflix and my cats, and untether myself from the tenuous connections of humanity. This, not surprisingly, leads to existential ansgty crises of what’s it all about, what does any of it matter, why should I even care. I relate to Holden Caulfield and Albert Camus, not my drunken upstairs neighbor, or my friend who keeps making the same mistakes in her life over and over again. I retreat to the above it all intellectual teenager that I was, when in fact I am the mother of a damn teenager and should stop it.
I’m not a particularly spiritual person, and while I definitely consider myself both a student and practitioner of yoga, it’s very easy for me to fall back into the I am an island unto myself mindset. It feels as if I blink and a month has gone by, and I must go through my list of contacts and touch base with those who really matter to me. Thankfully, they all know me well enough that my frequent sojourns into silence do not affect our friendship, but I still feel like a terrible person when I realize I’m not giving what I should to those who have given me so much more than I feel I’ve earned.
So I will continue to chant my mantra, as a daily reminder that no matter how alone and pointless I may feel at times, there is always a buoy bobbing somewhere to hug, to stop from being swept away to the Land of Meh.
This is my first non-fiction entry into the Yeah Write grid. I look forward to hearing if I missed the point of what they look for completely, or at least if I’m on the right track. I’d like to delve a little more into non-fiction work, so it can’t hurt to jump on in.
This seems like a pretty great community that I would definitely like to explore a little more. I admit to finding it a tad intimidating, but hey, jumping on in and all Head over here if you’d like to do the same: http://yeahwrite.me/nonfiction-writing-challenge-186/