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« Field Notes: Lessons from the Hummingbird | Main | Field Notes: Having New Eyes »

Field Notes: Fullness of Returning

David Austen Rose at Hidcote Gardens Shop, Chipping Camden, England, June 15, 2014

It is hard to believe that we have been home a month today from our journey to Paris and England. In some ways, I still don't feel fully returned yet.

The trip —and  all we experienced in those 19 days and in the weeks since returning home — is still working in me and through me. When friends ask me about the trip, I find I can't describe the trip in a concise or coherent manner. 

What I can say was that the trip was wonderful. Full of beauty, dreams realized, rich memories I will savor my whole life, fun family time and delicious food. And the trip was exhausting with full days, the sometimes felt stress of choosing how to best spend our time, and several nights of poor sleep.

The trip stretched my horizons in both amazing and painful ways.

It shone light on some tight places in my heart. Like the parts that don't always feel worthy of receiving so much goodness and love or having my dreams become manifest, the part that holds getting everything right and perfect as the supreme standard, the part that is quick to look to the future or the past, but is uncomfortable with just savoring the present as it is — exactly as it is, even the messy stuff — in this moment.

I learned more deeply what it means when they say, "wherever you go, there you are."

It has been a time where I feel a bit like the David Austen rose pictured above — squeezed full of beauty and squeezed full of the fullness of life. It is wonderfully abundant and sometimes over-crowded and uncomfortable. 

There is part of me that wants to tie a neat bow around all that I experienced in the last seven weeks. To write in a way that puts it all into a polished bit of wisdom and clarity, but I can't. At least, not yet.

The truth for me is that life here has been amazingly good and sometimes hard. I continue to feel the stretch of my own capacities and how life (and I think God, too) is calling me to widen the capacity of my heart — certainly towards others but most especially toward myself. 

So, as best I can, I am (again) taking my cue from the flowers. 

When I do this, I can focus on being with whatever is present and allow what is present to emerge, serene in my nonattachment. I can find the bliss in every step of the messily wonderful journey called my life. (I loved what Elizabeth Gilbert had to say about embracing this messiness on Facebook here.)

When I can be with the all of it — the good, the bad, the sublime, the ugly — I know I am touching into the flower-like nature at the core of our being.

Surrendering to the process. Trusting in the fundamental blooming that is always happening in perfect timing. Reminding myself that this abundance of love and inherent beauty is a birthright, bestowed upon all beings.

I am just getting the glimpse of the richness of this space. The Buddha points to it. So does Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there. — Rumi

In some ways, the travel and the returning is opening me to see all I am experiencing and perceiving as neither good nor bad. It just is. It is all welcome and part of the process. I am finding the powerful gift in moving beyond labels of judgment to just being present to what is in the moment…and appreciating it exactly as it is.

As I so naturally do with flowers, I am learning to do with myself and each messy moment of this life.

Tell me, how you are flowing with the fullness of your life? How is your blooming going this month?

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