Yesterday was so very beautiful. After work we celebrated a family birthday at Shively Park with a picnic supper. The trees there are big and old and have the feel that they are holding the world together. Two beech trees on either side of the park have covered the ground with their burst open little spiky three petaled fruits and spilled out nut husks. The tops of the shaggy barked hemlocks and mossy big leaf maples were highlighted with golden evening sun. I was scolded by a tiny squirrel – she had a lot to say.
We arrived separately, I walked up after work – the others arrived via automobile after errands. I arrived first, and it was one of the rare occasions in which I lamented not having a cell phone. Ought I stay near the parking lot and wait, or spend my time strolling in the park amongst the trees? I did some of both, and it highlighted how much I am motivated by a desire to be in alignment with the expectations of others – even if I don’t have any way to know what those expectations might be. In the presence of such unknowing I simply make up expectations that seem likely. This creates tension within.
I have been pondering a lot lately how my thoughts give clues to my inner puppet shows. By observing that I was not living in the moment yesterday while I waited, a clue to understanding a particular puppet better was revealed. I waited in tension because of a self imposed sense of obligation to be visible to my family when they arrived, not because my family had any such expectation. I also witnessed how I was even trying to determine the expectations of some strangers who arrived in the park to walk their dog. I limited my joy, by letting go the opportunity to be fully and deeply present with nature during that unexpected time alone in a place that I love.
Yesterday was a step forward, I was able to observe my thoughts – Yay meditation! I have known for a while that I have a deep groove in my thoughts and behaviors around waiting. Yesterday I was able to see how this groove is entered via my newly named Fulfill Expectations Puppet.
This might be a good place to define Puppets – these are behaviors that rise up from the subconscious as a means of meeting a need. Strategies that have become habitual – and likely stem from some wound in the past. I am not talking about voices in my head, or feeling possessed.
Though in a way I do think we are all somewhat “possessed” by our own habitual thoughts. Because we think them so frequently they come to seem logical. We start to believe that they are the Truth or Reality. They might be stories that we have made up, or roles that we have played over and over until they are easy to mistake for ourselves.
Yesterday I was able to step back a bit form this particular role. While I was not able to set down the puppet completely I was able to observe it. This lessened my anxiety enough so that I was better able to be present for the picnic. Puppets are like portals away from the present moment. A predetermined plot line, rather than the improvisational experience that life is when it is at it’s best. That When is always in the present moment. Puppets transport your attention to the future or the past.
This morning my three-legged cat came and curled up next to me on the bed, She was purring like mad, and receptive to being pet. It occurred to me that I was being granted a healing session from a reiki master. Her loud purrs seemed to resonate through my whole body. I chose to stay with it for a few moments – to soak it in. That is until a worried thought – that I needed to make sure our two college boys would get out the door in time for their 8:30 classes- rose to prominence. A few minutes later they were on their way with no help from me. Another example of leaving the present moment for nought.
Today I am going to try an experiment to check in with the present moment throughout the day – to witness any other puppets that might be about. I am hopeful that this is part of the rewiring process, a step towards greater awareness and happiness.
May your day contain a plenitude of joyful moments – and perhaps a few revealed puppets.