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Aligned Action

[June 2023 – Dharma Center Mindfulness Tip]

Every year around this time, the air currents form coastal eddies which create a thick layer of fog stretching from the coast towards the foothills. We call it May Gray and June Gloom. On most days, the inland valleys will clear by the afternoon, letting us feel the treasured San Diego sunshine. But some days the clouds linger, sapping the energy from those who thrive on sunlight.

When our world turns thick and heavy with fog, we often try to fight through it like a warrior, using our will accomplish our goals. This is how we’ve been conditioned to act for many centuries. As humans, we’re told we must dominate our environment. But in my experience, this attitude leads to exhaustion. And exhaustion often leads to poor decision making.

There is another way. We can appreciate the fog. We can work with the currents flowing through our world. My plants certainly appreciate the morning moisture. The wild irises celebrate with abundant blooms while the aloe quietly soaks it in. The cloud cover makes me move slower, allowing me to savor the quiet beauty all around me.

Instead of rushing into tasks that require a high degree of energy, I take a moment to evaluate what needs to be done. What projects feel aligned with the quietness of the cloudy morning? There’s some writing to done and a few books waiting to be read. Once the sun burns through, the fiery energy will propel me into more labor intensive tasks. I don’t need to fight and push through. I can flow with what is.

It’s helpful to make plans, to create an agenda. This keeps us focused on our larger goals. However it’s important to remember our larger goals have many small pieces. And, we don’t always have to work on the pieces in the order we originally thought. When our conditions change and we cannot take the next planned step, we can still take aligned action. By stopping to gain a wider perspective, we can account for the current conditions, both within ourselves and in our environment. From here, we can keep moving forward towards our goals, in the flow of what is.

Gaining perspective arises from the practice of mindfulness. Discover how to access the power of presence within you at any of our classes at Dharma Center.

Published inBuddha Lessons / Mindfulness