Satya writes: Blackberries. Seek the plumpest, the darkest. Take the glossy drupelets between your thumb and forefinger and feel the squishy give. Squeeze and pull it from its white core, and it will come away happily. Pop it into your mouth. A sweet, tasty juice explosion.
Every December, I choose myself a word to guide me during the following year.
This word has power. Even when I forgot the word entirely, when I look back at the end of the year I can see how I’ve been nudged in the direction of ‘faith’, or ‘enough’, or ‘letting go’.
To choose my word, I think about what I need. I think about what I’m currently working on (am I trying to relax more? be kinder to others?) and I think about where any resistance might be.
The word that comes to me this year is ‘ripe’.
I have a tendency to pull at the blackberries that aren’t ready yet. The ones that are still shrunken, hard.
I think I know better than the Universe about when something is ripe. I think I know how things SHOULD be, and I force them to comply, with manipulation, with impatience, with a dissatisfaction at how-things-are.
I thought that our local Buddhist group ought to be growing a little faster. We had good stuff to offer, and the same half-dozen people were coming. It made me uncomfortable. I put up more posters, talked about it wherever I could, and when people showed interest I tried to ‘get them to come’.
Looking back, I can see now that our little group needed time to be soaked in the culture of our form of Buddhism, and to settle into the practice. There are no short-cuts to this. We are a completely different group now, and new people will have a very different experience. Maybe we’ll get bigger next year, and maybe we won’t. I don’t know if we’re ripe yet. I’ll keep turning up every week and putting up the posters. I’ll take the pressure off anyone who shows interest, and I’ll leave the rest up to the Buddha.
I am looking forward to trusting something else to be in charge of ripening. What a relief. What a heavy load of responsibility I can hand back. I will continue to do my bit – looking after the fruit by watering and feeding it. I can even give the fruit an experimental squeeze every so often. But I am not the one who decides when the time is right for harvest.
What word will you choose for 2014? Let us know in the comments. I look forward to reading them.
I’d like to remind you of this new delicious daily inspiration offering to accompany you during the January Mindful Writing Challenge (FB sign up here). And if you could do with some time out with a slice of cake, my novel The Most Beautiful Thing is 99p / $1.99 today. It’s nearly Christmas after all : )