Last week I had the pleasure of visiting New York City. I heart New York. I love feeling as if I’m in the center of the world. I love the diversity, the forward thinking, the subway, the street performers……all of it.
Granted, my friends and family in NYC are super-hip and cool. That probably colors my experience. If I stayed in the Trump Tower with pompous investment bankers, I’m sure I wouldn’t like the city as much.
This trip consisted of two extremes.
1. My family in Brooklyn has two very small children. I watched my patient and loving cousin manage to cook, clean, console, breast-feed, and negotiate almost all at the same time. I remember those days when Raffa and Marcella were small. It seemed interminable. I hated those locks on the cabinets to keep them from breaking all the dishes and drinking the Drano. I suffered through the sleep deprivation, the constant challenges of sibling rivalry, inappropriate pee-ing on the plants, and terrifying attachment anxiety. Parenting toddlers is paradoxical. We are passionate to raise and love conscious citizens while secretly we desire to put them out on the curb with the recycling on Tuesday.
2. The other extreme was heading into the West Village to see my friends’ band, Lifted Crew, play at the legendary Café Wha. They are all twenty or thirty-something musicians who have devoted their lives, careers and hearts to their music. They are extraordinary people with a deep reverence to the subtleties and complexities of “real” music.
I, being the indefatigable entrepreneur, asked my friend Yvette if there was the possibility of being discovered there, like Jimi Hendrix. She smiled and said, “Yes, we have gotten a lot of interested people, but I try to just forget about all of that and do it for my love of the music.”
I’ll admit, that made me feel like the dorky tourist. I felt a little bit slimy for assuming her only pursuit was stardom.
It had me think about how often we do things only as a means of getting something or somewhere. Doing so however, completely robs us of the joy in the process. It robs us from actually experiencing the present moment. And not just for musicians, this applies to so many things in daily life.
- If I focus on writing in a way that I think will get the most traffic, or likes or shares, I rob myself of the pure joy of expression.
- When I meditate to get an answer or because I “should”, I rob myself of the simple bliss of divine connection.
- When I talk to my kids because I want them to do something or be some way, I rob all three of us from sharing our vulnerability, our hearts, our humanness.
- When I do yoga, because I skipped the gym, I don’t relish it like I do when I do it just because I love it.
- When I make dinner because I have to, and unload the dishwasher and send texts as the same time, I miss the satisfaction I feel for cooking for my family.
I’m hard-pressed to find many things that I don’t do without an agenda. Most things seems to have some purpose to further my career, accomplish something or make something or someone better.
Hmmmm……..I wonder what it would be like if I was conscious enough to remember to just enjoy it?
I think I’ll put a sticky note on my mirror that says “What if you just enjoyed this?”
The minute I read that, it sounds like a sex tip for women. But if you are one of my people, you know I don’t like to tell anyone what to do. We’re all on this earthly trip to discover stuff. I just happen to have an affinity for to bearing my soul in writing. I do it with the intention of having you feel less alone, less weird and less crazy. I do it to have you know that someone else out there has a voice in their head (mine is named Molly) who says and thinks dumb things. I do it because when we can all recognize we are dealing with the same machinery in our brains….maybe we can find more compassion for one another.
Next week Dennis, the kids and I are going to Italy and Spain for 5 weeks.
I am going to be in the inquiry of:
Is it possible to just enjoy life? Exactly the way it is and exactly the way it isn’t?
I will be doing a blog series to share with you my discoveries. If you aren’t on my email list, and would like to get my musings, enter your info on the right side of this page.
Until then….sending love and light….