Today, Alex and I had to make a decision. We found the loveliest, most perfect home owned by a yoga practitioner. It is for sale, for rent, and she actually offered us a rent-to-own option. The rent was way more than we really were up for, but the idea of having a years worth of rent go toward the purchase price was too good to pass up! I have literally spent nearly every moment of the past week calculating costs and income, and today, after another talk with calculators, buying lottery tickets, and sitting somberly for awhile, we had to call the owner to say that we can’t do it.
The great thing is that because we love what we do, and already have plans for saving and building our businesses this year, we have our budgets geared toward exciting new things. The funny thing is that the sad news is the same exact thing. Sometimes we can’t get everything we want at the same time. Sometimes we have to move on without physically moving at all. This has been my gigantic lesson for the past 6 years. So much has changed, there are so many wonderful things to celebrate, and yet I still live in my parents’ house. It is my karma, and my dharma both. It is both the effect of my choices, and the path in front of me, and today, once again, I took one giant step onto the path I am already on.
It would have felt much more glamorous if the step I took led me into a wonderful, high ceilinged 2 bedroom home with an amazing fireplace and extremely low utilities because everything is so well done and environmentally balanced, but alas…..no. The step I took doesn’t really look like anything different, but it is a recommitment to my and our goals, and right now that is the only thing I can do and feel 100% good about.
In Sanskrit there is a word Aparigraha which means non-grasping, non-attachment. This sounds really great when you are seated in meditation at the beginning of a yoga class, but in real life it can be a heartbreak. What do we do when we really want something? We usually think about it all of the time and maybe obsess (over all of the natural light, 2 gorgeous bathrooms, and the kitchen….) a little. When we want something and we don’t get it, we often have a reaction. Maybe we get crabby with our loved ones, or maybe we have a bit more road rage than usual. We might cry or have the urge to eat chocolate. Basically, we suffer.
When the Buddha came out of his long meditation and taught that life is suffering, I don’t think that he was saying, “Life basically sucks, just get used to it.” I think that he was describing what it’s like to be a human being. We want things, and the more energy we put into wanting what we don’t have, the more we suffer if we don’t get what we want. He didn’t say, “Life is pain.” Pain happens often out of our control, but suffering is what we create from our attachments, from our grasping onto how we would like things to be.
This is the kind of thing that I have to remind myself of on disappointing afternoons like this. Luckily for me and for all of us, our self-made suffering is a wake up call. Every time we are in a slump, we can use that to remind ourselves of what it is we really want. Most of us just want to be content, and contentment is free. If you have to ask for forgiveness in order to buy your contentment back, that is hard, but it’s possible. If you have to let go of hurt that you or someone else caused, that is really difficult, but it is possible. If you wanted to finally move out and found the perfect house that could have really made sense if you had a completely different budget than you do…..well, contentment is free, my friend. Just let go to the idea that anything other than this moment is what is going to make you happy.
Years ago, before I moved back to NJ, I went through a rough transition and basically got really depressed and fat. I am not using the word, “fat” lightly. It wasn’t that I had a little belly, even my mom will say that back then I was pretty chubby. Of course, she didn’t tell me that then, she just bought me new clothes because I was broke and didn’t fit my old ones. Once my life shifted and I lost weight, I remember her laughing one day, and telling me that she couldn’t believe how heavy I was when I got off the plane….but that’s a story for another day.
So, I remember looking in the mirror and just being really unhappy with myself. One day while I was looking at my enlarged self in the mirror, I thought back to when I was thinner, and realized that I was never happy with myself then either. In that moment I made the decision to learn how to love myself fat, because if I couldn’t do it then, being thinner wasn’t going to change a thing, and I did. Also, not surprisingly I started taking better care of myself and I lost weight, but it was because I had already accepted myself the way I was.
Anyhow, today is another example of that very same thing. If I cannot be happy and save my resources now, I am certainly not going to do a better job of it if I am somewhere else. I need to learn how to love this life, and from here I will move onto the path that is before me.
Here is the link to the house in case you know anyone who is interested in purchasing or renting. The owner is wonderful, and I know she would love to have another yoga practitioner in her home. Everything is new and beautiful.
Now, go outside and enjoy this beautiful day just the way it is! That’s what I’m going to do. :)