I woke up this morning to the sound of the rain. Did you too? Filled with ideas, sleepiness, a bit of anxiety, curiosity at what the day would bring, interest in my social media worlds, wondering if the rain would continue on throughout the day and if my work calendar would be full.
My general habit is to check the weather forecast in the morning—sometimes to pray for rain, always to hope for a cooling break from the brutally oppressive space that holds Houston for the summer season. Then I started to wonder, what if I don’t look at the forecast, and just go forth with my most prepared self. I will wear my Chie Miharah summer sandals (as I’ve done almost every day since buying them last month in Bilbao), bring a pair of old Birkenstocks and carry my trusty umbrella. I will be as prepared for what may come. And also be cognizant that no matter how much I plan, prepare, read, review, fret, hope, etc.— there will be surprises along my path today.
I am both a procrastinator and an over-preparer. Makes for an interesting balance. Currently I am of the perspective that we are in a culture of too much preparation and too much information; and that that over preparation and information overload does not allow us to be in the real ebb and flow of life. If I think I have everything figured out, what do I do when life smacks me in the face with a new teaching on the regular? And if I am in my practice, breathing, feeling, seeing, allowing, open and prepared to be responsive, not reactive, then I can see clearly as things comes up during the course of my life, and not freak out when things do not go #just.as.planned.
So in the words of the great teachers, I will go slowly, breathe and smile. I will be as prepared as is wise and practical, knowing what I know about where I currently sit. The reality is I am in Houston in the summer. It is hot. It may rain. It will be swampy. I will look outside my window and check the sky, observe the clouds, instead of my weather app. And if it rains, and I am unprepared, I have a choice of how to deal with it. The options are limitless; I can duck into a covered space, I can stay and feel the drops on my skin, I can take off whichever shoes I am wearing and feel the earth. I can pause. I can be present with what comes up, and I can choose to respond (not react) to what is. My ethical practice grounds me in being present, open, pragmatic, realistic, responsive and truly interested, at times delighted, at the surprises that life will always bring.