THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF PAUSE
When We Stop Chasing It––We Experience It.
Allowing myself to sleep in past 6AM, a gesture that I don’t often make to myself, I listened to my two cats scampering about in a determined crazy-cat frenzy. If you’re a cat owner, you know that untamed state that possesses our sweet kitties and then mutates them into wild beasts?
I indulged in a mattress belly flop, half awake and half asleep, in that magical subconscious paradigm.
“Do that which is not done by doing.
Make that which is not made by making.
Taste that which cannot be distinguished by taste.
Hold the same regard for the few and the many.
Requite the unkind with kindness…”
As I listened to their industrious pitter-patter for a long luxurious moment, I handed over my current labor-intensive chase to create my perfect world, to their obvious commitment to do the same. At this particular time in my life the culmination of life altering events were coming to fruition at once.
I was involved in the last days of the last editorial read of my first book’s deadline. I had just adopted an Amazon Parrot to join my already befriended Conure of 18 years. Both had been in the works for years.
The pressure to finesse the perfect book and the perfect birdhouse were both rooted in creating alignment in the world. The book’s focus being alignment between mind and body, the bird focus being alignment between adversaries––cats and birds.
When I finally decided to get up and face my day’s demands, what I found gave me pause.
I had created my dream! It had arrived!
A tiny sparrow was motionless on my kitchen floor. One of the cats had clearly captured it and brought it in from the terrace. I know this because, though I sleep with the terrace door open the curtain is closed, so the bird did not fly in.
Startled, of course, I tried to access the situation. Was the bird hurt?
I had heard that handling the bird would ostracise the sparrow from its’ flock. For that reason I placed a clean dish towel over it, swiped it up from the floor, and brought it to a pot of dirt back out on the terrace to offer a safe and familiar resting place.
As my towel was raised from the sparrow, it quickly flew away. All was well in the world. In fact, it was perfect.
All that ruckus I had listened to in my hesitancy to get up and start my daily dream chase, was the innocent witnessing of my dream being realized.
My cats had plenty of time to annihilate the bird, (I know this because they’re great mousers) but they didn’t. They choose to play with the sparrow (it was that sparrows lucky day!). Much like their mama—me—plays with the parrots.
When I reflected back on my mattress belly flop I recalled how open my pelvis was to the bed and how my quadriceps extended in a relaxed surrender away from the determination that fuels my gut’s passion. I was in a state of what Tao calls “non-doing” receptivity. I allowed the cats to be at the helm of the household’s direction.
“… Thus, one of integral virtue desires what is not connected with desire,
Sets no value on the rare goods of the world,
Learns what is not learned through learning,
And induces people to return to that which they have overlooked.”
Tao te Ching
It was a moment of trust.
So accustomed to using my quadriceps to drive my passions forward, this incident reminded me that, yes my quadriceps’ actions produce my future forward, but my quadriceps’ release recognizes that yesterday’s future is now.
Balance giving and receiving to move forward tirelessly.
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