The One Minute Guide to Inner Peace

I’m writing this from in front of the fire in our little cabin. It’s June, so it isn’t supposed to be so cold, but it’s been cold and rainy all day, so here I am. The rain is plinking on the metal roof, the wind is rustling the leaves and there’s an occasional pop from the wood stove, but other than that, I can hardly hear a thing. I brought a thermos of hot coffee with me and I can’t think of anything else that I want or need that could make things better. Well, that’s not quite true. It would be awfully nice if someone were to cook supper tonight. And, if truth be told, my bladder is starting to remind me of its limitations. I know if I run back to the house I’ll stay there, and listening to the rain on the roof is making a trip out to the bushes sound like more of an adventure than I’m willing to undertake at the moment.

These moments of perfection in life are so fleeting, it’s easy to miss them. It’s taking a while to get the chill out of the air in the cabin, and just when it’s truly cozy, I’ll have to return to the house to cook supper. Sigh.

Of course, it’s easy to get hung up on finding perfect moments. Those moments when, depending on your temperament, the weather is perfect or the house is spotless, or the scale has registered a sufficiently small amount that you can let yourself relax into the moment. But don’t let your mind wander because it is likely to find that you have a phone call to return, or a bill coming due, or a kid that has turned out to be as stubborn as you. Not to mention more existential concerns like how to respond to the prospect of near term extinction (don’t google it if you don’t know what I’m referring to – spare yourself) or what did the dog roll in this time.

If I have a spiritual practice it’s this: When I think of it, I tell my inner whiner to just shut the fuck up so I can enjoy the moment. And more and more often, I find it works. Your mileage may vary.

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