I could tell you a lot about how my life is filled to the brim or even, how my cup runneth over. I could tell you about sweet smiles from my baby girl, the supporting love of my husband, the generosity of my parents and the laughter of friends. I have all of those things, it’s true! But, to be honest, too much of the time I don’t clearly see them. Instead I see teething tears, critical looks, parents that live too far away and lack of time with friends. Rather than noticing how my cup runneth over, I’m mopping up the excess liquid going, who made this mess? I don’t have time for this sh##! It’s as if my heart needs glasses.
I know I’m not alone in this struggle so I don’t feel bad admitting to my heart’s skewed vision. The Hindu term avidya describes my predicament perfectly. Avidya is that which veils our eyes from seeing what’s really there; the suppression of the actual nature of the reality before us. I’m not suggesting that we don’t have real problems or deal with serious tragedies, not at all. I’m simply noting that we can fail to see the good in our lives. We spend so much energy focusing on that which is challenging that we can miss the better stuff.
When my husband says grace at the dinner table (I’ve always been a sucker for praying New Englanders, what can I say?), he frequently asks God to give us ears to hear and eyes to see the good things in our lives. I love this prayer and think it applies to all of us, regardless of religion. Can we choose to notice the blessings, the luck and the happiness, as much – IF NOT MORE – than the challenges? At least some of the time?
The reality is, my baby is teething (and it’s the worst). My husband can be critical (he’s also the worst … sike). My parents live WAY too far away (California is like, really far). And I never get to see my friends! (Never. The two times this past weekend don’t count).
But, the reality is ALSO that I have a wonderfully happy baby. That my husband is really supportive (and, he cooks!). That my parents are generous (and visit us) and that my friends are hilarious and wonderful (and I do get to see them, even if it doesn’t feel like it).
There are times when the bad outweigh the good and vice versa, but I hope my vision isn’t so clouded I can’t be aware of the good and be grateful for it. In the immortal words of Ice Cube, I need to chickity check myself before I wreck myself. Yes, that really popped into my brain while writing this.
If I remind myself of the veil over my eyes and focus on the good, perhaps my heart’s vision will improve. Glasses of gratitude, perhaps?
Does your heart need glasses? Come to my Thankful-Asana intensive on Sunday, November 24th from 4-6pm at the Portsmouth studio. Cost is $20 for members and students, $25 for non members, and $30 day of event. Register at any studio, or online here. Join me in a practice to bring you back to what’s good, what you’re grateful for. The Season of Thanks is upon us, don’t you want to get into the spirit?
I promise not to play any Ice Cube in the playlist.