“The Buddha realized that suffering arises from grasping, and non-suffering is revealed when there is letting go.”
~Kittisaro and Thanissara
I felt my body twisted like a slinky as I perched at my desk ready to plan out my day. I took another sip of coffee and looked down at my notes for the next Yoga class I was to teach. Shit. I had a tornado of ideas earlier in the morning, but in the flurry of getting ready I neglected to write them down. My mind is sometimes sharp as a tack, but I do rely on sticky notes quite frequently. Yikes, I found myself in a tug of war. Searching for a theme and reaching for something just outside of my awareness. It’s like being in the driver’s seat and trying to grab that last item in the second row. Oh, so close. I know I can get it.
I wanted to impart a monumental message. Like the kind that knocks you back into nirvana. A girl needs aspirations! Something deeply profound. Something that could be a touchstone. I wanted the class to walk away with a nugget that they could carry in their back pocket for the day.
And then my mind chimed in, “Look at how you are grasping girl.”
I scanned through the contents of my overflowing bookshelf waiting for a title to jump out at me. Nothing. I could feel my impatience welling up like a swollen rain cloud. I cranked up the radio as Trevor Hall’s new song, Free began playing. Something about his words made me get up and dance. It felt liberating to move my body from the inside out. That twisted slinky feeling dissipated as I channeled my best inner Molly Ringwald. I danced into a sweet spot where I wasn’t searching for anything other than this moment and then the next.
As the song ended my eyes fixed on a point on my shelf and I discovered the book I wanted to share, ‘Listening to the Heart; A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism.’ It was in these pages that I found an echo of truth to share not only with my class but with my own heart. “When the Buddha was asked what he taught, he often replied, “I teach just two things: suffering and the ending of suffering.”
As I settled into the next several pages of this book, I found myself dissolving into a deep space of gratitude. Gratitude to be able to see that only moments ago I had been suffering and to also acknowledge that in the near future I would probably be suffering again. It seems like a grand human condition. We fall into the trance of desire, happiness, discomfort, etc. and then we eject ourselves from this natural wave of life. The ebb and flow. The Yin and Yang. The dark and light. Ah yes, the dualities of being human.
I’m not a Buddhist, or a scholar of Buddhism, but I am a heart that is fiercely committed to growing past the boundaries of old hurts, outdated stories, and impoverished ways of thinking. This past year I founded an Indie Publishing Company, Cool Creative Press. It is the vision of this company to publish like-minded authors who are committed to the climatic adventures of living. And when I say living, I mean taking the suffering and turning it into an alchemical process. Not bypassing with spiritual fluff, but truly sitting in the midst of the suffering and awakening to a new light. Crafting a new story that inspires others to do the same. Cool Creative Press’s tag line is “Choosing Fierceness.” It is this daily reminder that sparks the spiritual bad ass within!
I’m a 30 something year old seeker who is determined to make this gorgeous life about serving others. And if I have an unwillingness to step into my grasping nature, how can I sit with others when they are grasping within the walls of their hearts? Let me get out my megaphone… “We are all in this together!” I desire to stand in the midst of my outdated beliefs so that I can grow in new ways. How about you? Can you muster even an ounce of willingness? As my dear teacher Yvonne shares, “Seek to know something new about yourself.” Aren’t you curious to re-author an old tale?
It’s my experience that life is continually offering us the opportunity to see where it is that we suffer. Not so that we can judge and condone ourselves, but rather so that we can create a bit of space to see what we cling to. The secret ingredient in this recipe is compassion. There is treasured wisdom in our capacity to foster awareness and space. Space in the body. Space in between breaths. Space in between moments of living.
In my life, I acknowledge that I have clung to people, situations, happiness, results, etc. And I know that throughout my journey of life there is a propensity to ‘wake-up’ and ‘fall asleep’ each moment. It’s a practice not a perfect. It’s choosing our reactions. It’s noticing when we deviate and then offering ourselves the grace to ‘recalculate’ as our GPS systems so easily do.
How about you and your life?
As you breath in, can you feel your stance towards life?
Can you shift your perspective to notice that all is impermanent?
What are you currently fixated on?
How is grasping blocking the flow of energy in your life?
Who are you when you are not grasping?
When I am not grasping, I am a bad-ass, empowered, inspired, creative, author goddess lover waving her wand and creating magic! And I also might just be busting a move to a good tune.
About the Author
Sarah L. Dickey
Sarah Dickey is a lover of life. Her enchantment with words began as a young girl, and she has continued to cultivate this devotion into adulthood. Throughout her life, she has passionately pursued various paths of personal growth and professional development. Seeing the world through a spiritual lens is in the fabric of her being. She believes in dreaming big and living fiercely! Sarah is a heart-centered hypnotherapist, transpersonal life coach, licensed counselor, published author, founder of Cool Creative Press, wanderlust heart, proud auntie, and yoga instructor. Cheers to sweetly seeking and choosing fierceness!