I know, I know, friends. The title of today's blog is not grammatically correct. I fought in my head over using it or not but decided, in the end, to just ignore my rule-based brain and go with it. Sometimes all I have is a half second to think of a phrase that regrounds me, and this one has just kept popping into my head these days.
Recently, my husband's grandfather passed away, the last of his grandparents. It set me to thinking about relationships and life. And it reminded me, more firmly, to call my granny, which I did. We all have a certain, unknown amount of time on this planet, for this life. How many of us stop to ask ourselves, what am I doing with my time? Our human (and sometimes non-human) relationships are so vital to our happiness, to our lives. If one has real, whole, fulfilling relationships in life, she can make it through almost any difficulty. We should cherish and nourish those so much more than we do. It's too easy to get swept up in societal pressures, unfulfilling jobs, money, youtube, facebook, shopping malls... the list of distractions goes on. But in the quiet moments of our lives, when you are caught without earphones in or our cell phones attached to our fingertips, what do you say to yourself? How do you feel? What parts are happy and what parts are yearning for something more?
I can say that mothering my child is the most important job in the world to me. And it is hard to be present and mindful all the time. It's hard to stop my mind from thinking up all kinds of chores that I "should" be doing instead of playing with my son. I also feel a place inside that wants even more... purpose, meaning, growth, learning in my life. Not outside of my job as mom but along with it. Within the things we do together, what am I teaching and learning about the world around us and our place in it?
Where is this thought train headed? I don't know. But I do know that it's important to ask the questions. If I don't ask the questions then I can't listen for answers within. Reminding myself to "live visceral", to really feel in my body what I'm living at any given moment, brings me back to myself. Living viscerally doesn't always mean living in bliss; sometimes the best times I use it are when I'm upset. I feel very visceral at those times and that, too, is what life is about. Make this your mantra for a day, a week... see what happens. See how mindful you become.
As Mary Oliver asks in one of her poems, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”