Monday, February 16, 2015

Learning Presence

The Mystery within...
Cathy Gawlik’s Facebook page  featured the Mark West message imposed on the Jhourey May Weeham Smo’s winter photo.  It astounded me when I saw it because it made me very aware that each moment in time presents me with a choice as to how I react to and interact with others, my surroundings, and myself.  West’s words recalled these lines for me from my memoir when I was presented an opportunity to retire early. 

“I stood stunned in the early spring sunlight that was streaming through the office window.
Time and choice had never seemed to exist for me until then.”

Now Mark West tells me, “In every moment we get to choose…”  I did choose early retirement back then and soon came face to face with the toughest decisions of my life in caring for my aging parents.  Answers, and the courage to make tough decisions, slowly came from everyday experiences and were growth filled and life affirming--like choosing good self-care over abuse.  During those difficult years, the gift of fear heightened my presence to everything and everyone around me.  Since then I have longed for that heightened sense, but without the attending turmoil. West’s words now give me some insight and hope for that return. 

My December 29, 2014 blog, One Word, told of the challenge I accepted to choose just one word that would represent growth for me in 2015.  I wrestled with words like listening, courage, freedom, justice and equality but finally declared my one word for 2015 to be Presence.  This past week I have been keenly aware that it is up to me to choose how I react to whomever and whatever shows up in my day.  I know Presence resides within me, in all others, and everything.  I am beginning to trust I can once again return to awareness of that gift, and maybe even without tumult.  Or perhaps the gift will again be disguised in chaos.

What if we all were keenly aware that in every moment we get to choose how we react to whatever and whomever shows up in our life?      

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