It feels cliché to say it, but April flew by – it feels like I was just sitting down to draft last month’s post on my One Little Word. And because it’s so easy to lose track of time, I’m so happy that Carolyn hosts a group of bloggers reflecting on their words on the last Monday of each month. Without this little nudge, I’m not sure if I’d ever sit down and try to eke out an update!
As many of you know, we started painting and replacing some flooring this month. And let me tell you — I was happy that I’d already spent a quarter of the year practicing stillness. I won’t go into too many details but there was plenty of activity that triggered my own feelings of anger, insecurity, and helplessness. In the past, that combination of triggers would have me lashing out at everything in my way.
Yes – I was very angry and frustrated through most of April. But thanks to months of breathing and repeating I am still hundreds (thousands?) of times while meditating, I was somehow able to hold my tongue, pretend to be patient, and offer encouragement and support. I sank into bed every night, eternally grateful that I didn’t say exactly what I wanted to say. Every day felt like an achievement.
“Even the courageous acceptance of interior trials in utter solitude cannot altogether compensate for the work of purification accomplished in us by patience and humility in loving other men and sympathizing with their most unreasonable needs and demands.”
page 191, New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
The excerpt above might be a little dramatic, but it paints the picture.
Embracing myself and others as they are and treating people and tasks as though they were my life’s purpose and not distractions — this is what I’m hoping I can learn through Stillness.
Simple attention. Singular focus. Unconditional love. That’s a lot to accomplish in one year, but I can always take baby steps to get there. And the month of April? It was a giant leap for me.
This month my meditation time has included about 20 minutes of reading from New Seeds of Contemplation followed by 5 minutes of meditation. I finished that book this morning (!) and will begin (again) Buddhism for Mothers and increase my meditation time to 7 minutes a day. I’m anxious to see what May brings.
Thanks for stopping by today! I can’t wait to make the rounds and see how everyone’s word showed up for them in April. I plan to be back tomorrow with a reading update — take good care!