During my recent travels I visited Moustier St Marie in Provence. There I did a meditation on a hill overlooking the town and a crackin’ storm blew in. Now I realise this sounds very faux atmospherique, but I’m trusting that you know I don’t drop such deus ex machina stunts into my stories very often. Anyway, as lightening flashed and warm raindrops thudded the earth, I suddenly got overwhelmed with the idea of “stay”.
Which was funny, because I was about to take off again for another town, another country the next day. But, for some reason, on that hot afternoon in Provence, stay meant something else. I’ve been pondering it since. Playing with it.
Stay means to stick with exactly what I’m doing right at that moment, even if in that moment I’m moving onwards and upwards and outwards.
Stay is to sit in the mire and to not flee from myself.
Stay is to accept and hold what’s happening – whether it’s pain or discomfort – and move through it. Not around or over it. To smile at it, not reject it.
Of course, often my constant moving onwards and upwards and outwards is about me running from pain or discomfort. I know this. But it doesn’t have to be.
I chatted to a psychic – Kristine, who I’ve consulted for a number of years – the other day about all this (yes, I’m getting very woo-woo today and I’m now bracing myself for an Australian Skeptic to join the comments below; yes, I chat to psychics sometimes). She reiterated the stay message. I was tormented by anxiety and insomnia. I call her to talk things out with someone not vested in me. It works for me…maybe not for you.
She suggested I get curious with the anxiety. And instead of battling it and fleeing it, that I see what happens if I just sit in it, like a kid who just sinks into the warm mud of a puddle. “Be courageous enough to stay,” she said.
The courageous bit and the curious bit – they both appealed to me. A mission!
“The key is in the accepting (not the rejecting) of your reality even if it is what you find intensely uncomfortable and challenging to feel. If we contract we will feel pain and suffering more intensely than the pain from the actual accepting of discomfort.”
I liked this bare fact. She went on.
“Dive in and you may actually discover that the true happiness you seek lies within your greatest despair… Let go of the idea that you must work hard to be happy.”
I’ve been sitting with this idea. It doesn’t seem such a bad one, even for a compulsive flee-er like me. I’m hoping you can take something from it, too.