On my way home from an early birthday celebration with my family, I turned to Dan, my husband, and said, "That was so much fun and way too short. Is this how I'm going to feel at the end of my life?" Dan's response, "Yup."
Later on that night, I felt this incredible expansion in my body-mind. I swelled with awe when I stood apart from my life and observed all that I've experienced, and I began to write the the mini-poem "Banks of Forgiveness." For most of my life, my pattern has been to narrow my focus until I only see what's wrong and/ or irritating in any and all situations. Hence, my attraction to insight meditation! The Buddha wisely said, "Whatever you frequently think and ponder upon that will become the inclination of your mind." Ralph Waldo Emerson echoed that sentiment by saying, "You become what you think about all day long." Last Saturday night I realized, once again, it takes effort to develop new habits. No amount of wishing is going to help me expand my focus so I can take in the full picture. I have to train myself again and again to zoom out and notice that yes there are irritants but there are also neutral and delightful experiences alongside those irritants. Many meditation teachers have often compared the states of mind to clouds drifting across the sky.
My birthday wish for myself is that I continue to expand my focus so I can take in the full picture. I don't want to reach the end of my life only to realize I wasted far too much time and energy fretting my life away. On that note, the photos posted below are of me paragliding through the Tyrolean Alps two summers ago. Here's to a new age and a reminder to take in the full view! :)