A dream come true has landed in my lap. A stunning north Berkeley home with an expansive, beautifully landscaped garden, has been gifted to me as a home base for a month. A month! It was exactly the vision I put out last year, then as part of my personal practice, I completely let it go. I am learning to follow the thread of the Tao, the non-doing, non-planning part of self, and surrender to Life. And honestly, it can still scare me, even when an opportunity for expansion arrives. I feel fear when old conditioned stories arise, or replay old hurt from past hopes, never met. I consider work demands at the practice. Then it dawns on me my son is NOT a garden guy. I think about: the mango tree ready to harvested, the avocado & gardenia need feeding, there are 5 pineapples ripening and may need staking, a saline pool which needs to be monitored, bird feeders to fill, compositing protocols, and all of my hand watered potted plants. Part of me hears, “blah, blah, blah,…” but there is another part that feels like a middle path can be found.

    Musing Centered Expansion

    By healing, I don´t mean problem-solving the details, but Being with the resistance in the body, as details are replayed mentally. Becoming aware of the constant mental worry train without hopping on, and continually surrendering whatever is moving through the body-mind. “Being” capitalized, (or any other word) points towards that state where you are “with” what is. An inner atmosphere of “yes” to whatever life brings; experiencing it, witnessing it, being at peace with it, and a deep Knowing “this too shall pass.”


    Centered Expansion

    This doesn’t mean there isn’t engagement with arising challenges. And in this case, the challenge is how to be grounded and expansive at the same time. By saying yes to the opportunity, the mind kicks in. Can I trust? Could I be OK with my fruit on the ground? Could I leave my patients who had just returned to the office? What if an early hurricane comes? So, I decide to fully open up to this opportunity, and do the following processes:

    1. Notice and sense what arises in the body-mind
    2. Ground in honoring legitimate concerns
    3. Sit with, and feel, each concern through
    4. Take the action that generates the most peace

    This helps me identify which is a lesson in letting go, or which would be worth opening up to a solution.  I approach it from the razor’s edge of what feels balanced; neither rushing nor avoiding. The barometer of what feels in alignment with the Tao/Center/Witnessing Presence, seems to be Peace.  Expansion often generates resistance. For some, it’s freezing or feeling rooted in place, unable to make a choice. For others, it’s leaping as if the thrill is the only way; then either denying potential issues, or mopping up after the fact. But the Tao is the center between the poles, honoring that expansion and contraction are part of the same cycle. Neither pushing away, nor grasping/clinging.

    Is my choice completely clear? No. So far, I’ve got a plan for the garden and yard to be attended to by dear friends. My son can learn other details. Not sure about anything else yet. I’ve surrendered to taking this one, peaceful decision at a time. With this approach, the heart expands and the gut relaxes. I feel both expanded and grounded. It’ll be interesting to see what shows up next.