If DC summers were like this summer, I would never complain. We've had plentiful rain, but also lots of sunshine and dry air. There have been beastly days, but not too many of them. It's kind of a miracle.
As usual, the weather predicts me. My "work" this summer is to enjoy, savor, delight in the great weather. I surely am!
Likewise, I'm trying to remember to appreciate my good health and the fact that my wits are more or less intact, and to marvel at how lucky I am to live in a beautiful apartment on a grand street in a wonderful village. I'm a little unused to this approach since, historically, my life has been overfull of drama. Last summer was a perfect example of the sturm und drang I became accustomed to long ago. Stalkers, mildewed clothing, mild traumas such as visiting the Holocaust Museum and getting a tattoo, and such, are situations I am better acquainted with than lovely, peaceful, healthy environments like this summer. I know that my life's adventures have helped me become wiser, kinder and more compassionate, but facing character building challenges such as last summer's is not fun.
Pema Chodron says that when she mentions neuroses as she's teaching, she'll see heads nodding yes, yes among her students. Everyone knows about being neurotic, and in fact, according to Pema, we practice being neurotic. It's interesting to think about.
When she mentions compassion, she says many of her students become incredulous or look confused. They are not used to practicing compassion, hence it feels inaccessible. They believe they don't really have it in them.
In my work I must practice compassion. The metta prayer is also a part of my daily routine, has been for many years. I agree with Pema and other teachers that it's not as hard as it seems like it should be.
My habit is crisis mode - or maybe I should say that used to be my habit. This summer I am able to practice being calm. I have plenty of energy to extend to my clients. It's not hard to be generous and compassionate because nothing hideous is demanding my energy and attention. It's a great opportunity to practice that which is both harder and easier than I would have imagined. This summer has been graceful.
It could all change tomorrow or even later today. For now, right now, life is good and I am grateful. Shalom.