Friday, February 26, 2010

On Problems

My morning began with a mix-up in scheduling that challenged my sense of inner peace. I arose three hours earlier than usual to travel to a medical test. Once there, I was told that the test was cancelled and rescheduled for next week though no one called to pass this information on to me.

Back home I gladly gave myself to my t'ai chi chih practice followed by 15 minutes of tranquil sitting. I sensed that if I allowed myself time for quiet movement and seated silence my frustration and disappointment could transform into something else entirely.

My second floor TCC practice looked down on bright sunlight that flooded the woods and highlighted the stark, dark shadows of trees that stretched across fluorescent snowscapes. Even though I practiced inside the house I felt as if I was standing within one of those shadows; I sensed that I moved from a place that lacked light.

My quiet sitting after practice helped me to recognize that my morning's emotional roller-coaster was similar to the shadows and sunshine, a mixture of darkness and light. Perhaps the rescheduling was an unexpected blessing; now I had more time to ready myself for the test.

I recalled a similar experience several decades ago. An initial appointment for a tooth extraction was cancelled on the spot after my prompt arrival and an overly long wait. That time I used the extra week to positively and proactively prepare myself for the procedure which I insisted be done with local rather than general anesthetic. My guided imagery, relaxation, and t'ai chi ch'uan practices (plus music played through headphones during the extraction) all contributed to a quick, easy, successful outcome the following week.

Perhaps this morning offered me an opportunity. Hmm, perhaps it wasn't a hardship after all ...
   On Problems

Our choicest plans
     have fallen through,
our airiest castles
     tumbled over,
because of lines
     we neatly drew
and later neatly
     stumbled over.
          From: Grooks by Piet Hein

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