Wednesday, May 6, 2020
This Is What I’m Doing
During a recent conversation with a martial arts friend and mentor, we were discussing our practice. Although we are at very different levels (he is light years ahead of me), we both find ourselves in a time of transition, partly affected by the shutdown and interruption of our usual routines, but that is not the only impetus to change. I was describing my sense of “where do I go from here” lack of clear direction. Did I want a different teacher? Did I want to learn a new form or a new style or a new weapon?
Describing his own shift in practice, he explained that he had dropped the notion of a specific teacher or learning a particular style. Instead, he was going back to fundamentals and exploring wherever his curiosity led him, following the guidance of his body’s wisdom after years of practice. Striking out on his own, everything felt fresh and exciting again. He said without apology or need to justify, “This is what I’m doing.”
Wow. I loved that statement. The simplicity and honesty of accepting ownership and responsibility. The self awareness and permission to not know, to explore, to be curious. To turn inwardly and listen, rather than to continue seeking “out there” for direction and guidance and instruction.
I immediately recognized what he said as the inspiration I was looking for, and I embraced his statement as my own declaration. My practice was reinvigorated, fun, and empowered.
And, as with all martial arts lessons, I quickly appreciated how the idea spilled over and permeated the rest of my life. Going back to basics, trusting our inner wisdom, listening rather than imposing. As MSI wrote, “Life becomes extraordinary in its simplicity – the response to everything that comes to us is the same: acceptance, compassion, and unconditional love.”
“This is what I’m doing” is a call to mindfulness, whatever our activity, a reminder to be aware, to be present, to not be so distracted that we miss our life. It is an assertion of responsibility for ourselves and our choices. It is liberating and empowering. It is grounding in a time of uncertainty and anxiety. It is a reassurance that we are enough.
So as we go through our day, let’s pause and listen, and choose. Then say with confidence, “This is what I’m doing.”
For in the sacredness of every moment, Divine Grace is telling you alone all that is required. ~Jean-Pierre de Caussade