Some mornings, when I awaken, I want to stay hidden beneath the covers, my body curled up, held still in my beloved’s breathing, the silence of the dark, the coolness of the air, the weight of the dog, his body stretched out where he lies at the end of the bed.
I don’t. Stay there.
I rise up.
Even when weariness clogs my pores and saturates my thoughts with twisted coils of anxiety. Even when the heaviness of these times weighs upon my heart like an unwanted guest who has overstayed their welcome.
I rise up.
And begin. Again. To move through my day with all the compassion and grace I can muster.
Some days, my compassion and grace feel deep. Like a pool of water at the bottom of a waterfall on a tropical island. Cool. Refreshing. Captivating. Enchanting. Sustaining.
On those days, I rise up and greet the day with a smile. I pad about the house in my bare feet. Turn the cappuccino maker on. Put on a coat and shoes and take the dog out. I light the candle on my desk. Make a latte. Turn my music on. Low. Soft. Melodious. No words. Just gentle, soulful sounds of violin and piano. Cello and guitar.
On those days, possibilities for my day feel endless. Inviting.
On those days, I make a list of what I want to do, of what needs to get done and then, cross off the ‘needs’ to focus only on the things that stir my heart and spark my imagination.
On those days, compassion and grace flow easily.
On the other days, those days where the act of rising out of bed is an unwelcome interruption to my body’s desire to be left alone by thought and action, ennui prowls the early morning light, keeping dawn from rising. Keeping vigil to ensure compassion and grace remain at bay.
Under ennui’s smothering cloak, compassion and grace struggle against the tides of lethargy rolling in on the waves of fear that froth and roil at the edges of my peace of mind.
On those days, I want to give in to fear. I want to unhook gravity’s hold upon my thoughts and let myself sink into its depths, like a stone falling to the bottom of a pond.
On those days, I know what I must do to stem the waves of fear, to unravel my confusion, to make sense of all that is happening in the world around me.
I rise up.
I rise up and immerse myself in the familiar. I greet the day with a smile, even if my smile feels weak. I pad about the house in my bare feet, even if the floor feels cold. I turn on the cappuccino maker. Put on a coat and shoes and take the dog out. I light the candle on my desk. Make a latte. Turn my music on. Low. Soft. Melodious. No words. Just gentle, soulful sounds of violin and piano. Cello and guitar.
It is what I must do to stem the fear, to push back the worry and confusion, to create space for compassion and grace to flow through the cracks of my resolve to remain present in each moment of this day.
Immersing myself in the familiar, I find peace of mind softly lifting my ennui, like the sun rising through the dark, gently lifting the fog floating along the surface of the river.
It is in the familiar I find my peace of mind gravitating towards that which sustains me. Fills me. Holds me. Embraces me.
And in the gravitational pull of the familiar, compassion and grace flow with ease. Love joins in the harmony of their dance, and I rise up.
I rise up. I give thanks. I pray. And Love flows in and I find the courage to greet the day with a soft and welcoming smile.