Life is not an obstacle

“On my new path to awakening, life was no longer an obstacle to my growth.
Life was now the battlefield on which I was to remain conscious enough to
willingly permit my old self to be stripped away.” 

 ~ The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer

I just got back from a week-long vacation up in South Dakota. It was part camping/part hotel – part two mamas with three boys/part two mamas, four boys, one dad, one mother/grandmother, and one teenage girl, and all-in-all – a whole lot of opportunity for growth and fun!

We had a little of everything including tears, fits, quiet time, setting down the law on the side of the road, good talks, meditation time, fishing time, wildlife, writing, naps in trains, time for art, exploring new lands, reading and plenty of swimming time.

Many of those pieces are typical of family vacations – the swimming and fits most familiar to many of us – but other pieces were created out of our intentions for the trip. My camping-mama partner and I set out a schedule before we left that included meditation/alone time for each of us and quiet/reading/drawing time for the kids each day. Let me start out by saying we didn’t actually adhere to a “perfect” schedule any of the days, but we had the pieces in place and did much better than we would have had we not set those intentions before we left. During our four days of camping, we each meditated twice; we painted, read, and wrote a few times; the boys had quiet time every day, and by the end the upsets were quick to be processed by all. I’d say this was a successful trip! Not to mention the buffalo, burros, and pronghorn sightings, the fish caught, cleaned and cooked, and the many smores enjoyed by the campfire.

As I read one afternoon with the boys fishing off a dock nearby, the idea that “life was no longer an obstacle to my growth” seemed to hit home. Yes, we planned for 30 minutes of alone time twice a day for each mama and probably only managed 30 minutes twice in the four days (not counting the decadent shower or two we each took!), but there I was sitting quietly, reading, happy to hear the sound of boys exclaiming in excitement about the nibble on their lines, as I looked up at blue skies and forested lake shores. I smiled and breathed in the fresh air. Life is not all quiet, centered meditation time, but I am learning more and more to bring a quiet, centered self to my life.

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