A Dharma Glimpse by Maria Trotter
Today has been a strange day indeed. It began with snow on the hills – in March – and a slightly annoying pulsing headache as I reluctantly got out of bed. “There has been so much going on recently!” – I thought as I went though the morning routine, my cats jumping under my feet, begging for food. They say you can’t fool the cats trying to conceal your emotions and if you’re nervous, they’ll know.
I have resigned from my job and accepted a new one to start in a couple of months. I’ve embarked on a new spiritual journey. I have got a new harp and this has opened a whole world of musical possibilities which I’ve started exploring straight away. I’ve been getting ready for a very busy holiday, arranging transport and accommodation, packing and booking events. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Of course it does – to me.
I have been observing my cats run around the house and try to play with the new harp. Maybe they are a bit more jumpy than normal? Maybe they are hiding under the sofa too much when the doorbell rings? Suddenly Cassie is not as keen on her wet food and Starbuck jolts when I’m trying to pet him.
Are my cats excited about all this change – harp covers and suitcases around the house? Of course not – they are petrified! They don’t understand what’s going on, all they can see is disruption to their daily routine. As they jump carelessly under my feet, they are trying desperately to get my attention away from all of my personal worries. I haven’t been checking in with them – or with my husband for that matter – as I have been jumping myself, from one appointment to the other, one problem to the other, my inner manager taking over more and more of my personal life.
Sometimes our lives move at pace and being aware of impermanence, we accept that change is part of the game. But change shouldn’t make us ignorant and swipe away our capacity for empathy and care for those around us. Maybe the annoying headache has been here today to remind me that now is the time to slow down and check in with my family. Maybe they are struggling with something that I have just taken for granted. Maybe they feel like I’ve been slipping away from them. Maybe “getting over it” is not always a good option. Maybe we all need to step back a bit before we move forward. Maybe I have been so wrapped up in the pace of change that I’ve sacrificed the mindfulness of moving through this change in life.
As I’m writing this, my headache is slowly dissipating. Maybe now I’m starting to move with the right pace!
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