It's hot outside. The gorge is on fire. In fact, much of the NW is on fire. The air is too unhealthy to breathe, so the house has been shut up tight for two days. No cool(ish) evening breeze coming through the windows as the sun goes down. No window AC unit to blast arctic air into our bedrooms. Not tonight.
Just when I'm about to start fussing about being hot or the fact that I'll probably get less sleep in these conditions, I think of the families who are currently displaced, waiting and hoping their homes aren't burning down. I think of the firefighters who head straight into the most intense heat and danger to save us, our homes, our beautiful and sacred land. I think of the animals. I can surely suck it up and sleep on top of the covers.
But this wasn't intended to be a post about attitude adjustments or how gratitude shifts our energy, it's about...
What happens when our crutches are removed? How to we handle it?
What came up for me last night after I stopped feeling sorry for myself, was the awareness of how much I rely on creating "ideal conditions" for optimal mood stability. In that moment, I recognized again how much I pad my environment with routines, supplements, accessories (clothing, furniture, the perfect mug) in order to maintain a good mood. A stable mind.
Don't get me wrong... I'm all about self-care not self-deprivation, so if you love a certain pillow by all means, don't put it on the floor to deprive yourself! I'm all about knowing what your mind and body need to be efficient, awake and aware and being grateful for the blessings we have. What I'm talking about here is what happens when we have to go without?
Perhaps there is some room in our very wealthy, very comfortable lives to notice what we miss out on when we are continually supported in our melatonin-taking, soothing-cool-bedtime -showering, perfect-comfy-jammie-wearing, arctic-air-filled-bedrooms lives.
What comes up for you when your crutches are removed? Do you rush to find another thing to prop you up? (Where's that fan?!) Or do you take the opportunity to stop, notice what feelings are arising and inquire as to whether there is another way to be with the feelings?
It is in these moments... and life gives them to us all the time if we are paying attention... where we can get a glimpse into what we are feeling underneath. What we are really made of. Who are truly are.
So I invite you to consider discomfort or inconvenience as a way to go deeper into yourself. To experiment with this self-inquiry and who knows, you may just get some insight into a habit or belief that has been holding you back in more ways than you realize. And that you can be grateful for.