War With Reality

A born planner, every minute of every day is recorded in my schedule book. If it is in the book, it will get done. While this high level of organization means that I squeeze every ounce of life out of each day, it also means that any unscheduled chinks in my delicate system throw my life into complete upheaval. Today was one of those days. While teaching, I had a free half-hour in the middle of the day, so I was able to rush my Mini Cooper over to get a routine checkup and oil change. With all the driving I do for my multiple teaching jobs, performance gigs, and weekly lessons, I try to keep her fighting fit. Unfortunately, when I went to pick up my beloved car, they found a major problem with the coolant pump and told me that I could not safely drive to Los Angeles on Monday with this problem. Therein lies the broken cog in the balance of my days. I begged them to fix my car tomorrow as my mind started racing to figure out how to get to my multiple jobs without wheels. I was frustrated and angry, wanting life to be easier and my car to be fixed so that I could focus on my many other pressing tasks. I was angry at the reality that things break down and the tools we use daily require maintenance and upkeep. I felt the world was not being fair–adding problems to my to-do list rather than subtracting them. This war with reality made me miserable, stressed, and flustered.
But then the words of Stephen Cope came to mind: “Through practice, I’ve come to see that the deepest source of my misery is not wanting things to be the way they are. Not wanting myself to be the way I am. Not wanting the world to be the way it is. Not wanting others to be the way they are. Whenever I’m suffering, I find this war with reality to be at the heart of the problem.”
Truly, why should I suffer? In the grand scheme of things, is something like a busted coolant pump really earth-shattering? Rather than swimming against the current which tires you out and gets you nowhere, turn around and allow yourself to float with the tide. Let go to the reality of life and just ride the waves of distress as well as joy. After taking a breath and pausing, I realized my gratitude that my intuition told me to bring in my car for a checkup this week, that I was not stranded on the freeway far from home on Monday, and that my car will be healed and safe by tomorrow evening. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly became elated that a major fiasco was waylaid by a minor inconvenience. Our daily trials and tribulations can either break us down or teach us to be grateful for the days when things fall easily into place. Today, I choose gratitude… though perhaps with a few grumblings.

#letsgetflexyin2015 challenge day 7: cobra pose. Daily, I am reminded that life is not lived in black and white. Life is made of passionate emotions: anger, frustration, distress, joy, bliss, beauty, peace. These are the things which give life color–for better or for worse. I am grateful for my colorful life, even on those days I feel whitewashed and walking through a world of darkened hues.

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