Sunday, May 29, 2011

wide open spaces


"In Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, Shunryu Suzuki talks about giving farm animals big pastures in which to roam. He says that when you fence them in too tightly, they become wild and restless, but when you provide wide, open spaces, they relax. The same is true of human beings." (Geneen Roth)

Ahhh big pastures. If there's one thing I want to "work on," it's this: reassuring my heart, body, and mind that I am in a wide open space. I think that's why Spain was so impacting, because it was sensory reassurance of this, it was a trip of so many vistas (and my kids were safe and happy while I was gone, and my boyfriend had fun with his guy friends and didn't punish me for going without him, two kinds of relational open spaces).

So often we trap ourselves mentally, or rather have leftover traps that somebody else put there - a parent's modeling, a partner's treatment, friends' expectations. Nate and I are learning how to point out each others' traps, and it helps to have that clear mirroring. (Unfortunately we can also sometimes both assume the other is reinforcing a trap when, in fact, we aren't; communication is H U G E .)

If there's been one thing fertilizing my negativity here, it's been those mind traps (and some actual life traps, like money stress or loneliness).

I had a dream the other night that both my great-grandma and my grandma were waiting for me at a coffee shop and that, instead of instant coffee, my grandma insisted on buying me two freshly-made vanilla lattes. She wanted to free me with abundance.

This week I want to keep my eyes out for big pastures - in conversations, when looking into someone's eyes, in what I see around me. Continuing to paint my walls shell-white a few strokes at a time is going to be a satisfying metaphorical act, as well.