Saturday, September 12, 2009

Allowing vs. struggling

I've been reading a book that was sitting on my bed stand collecting dust for longer than I care to admit (so I won't) called Stretching Lessons by Sue Bender. It leaped out at me from the shelf at Barnes and Nobles some time ago so I bought it. Apparently, I've been a bit resistive to reading it as I've even packed it on a few trips, but never managed to crack it open...until this week of course. I guess we really can only hear (or in this case read) the things we need to when we are really ready.

The content that has struck a chord with me is Sue's realization that she continually struggles for all of her successes, even when she doesn't need to. She discusses taking a "stretching class" and is opened to the possibility of allowing things to happen rather than struggling with them.

As I struggle with the demands and challenges of motherhood, I am realizing that I really do too often struggle. This seems especially true as the boys get older. I'm pushing and pulling and trying to get to some destination that apparently is not such a big priority for everyone else. This concept of allowing instead of struggling seems like a good next step to practice. I'm pretty good at the struggling, so a new skill seems like a good idea.

As I listened to one of my favorite authors, Pema Chodron, today this concept came up again. She described how everything becomes so small and narrow when we have pain and struggle against it rather than facing it. This is so amazingly true! My view is unbelieveably narrow when the sock on the floor, the dishes on the counter, or the time on the clock are the only things I can see. My vision without my glasses really is nearsighted, but I can apparently still be nearsighted even with my glasses on!

So, how do I go about practicing allowing? I guess the first step is to notice when I'm struggling. From there I can begin to step back, broaden my perspective, open my heart, and practice allowing. I'm thinking laughing is going to be a big part of this process. Laughing at myself and the crazy things I get worked up about will be a great first step. Onward, I go...(giggle, giggle)

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