Abby Seixas, author of “Finding the Deep River Within,” compares practicing presence to building some INNER boundaries. Just as we might opt to let our voicemail pick up when we see a 1-800 number (meaning telemarketers), we can do the same with the inner distractions. She quotes Mary Oliver who explains this kind of disruption:
Bust just as often … the interruption comes not from another, but from the self itself, or some other self within the self, that whistles and pounds upon the door panels and tosses itself, splashing, into the pond of meditation. And what does it have to say? That you must phone the dentist, that you are out of mustard, that your uncle Stanley’s birthday is two weeks hence. You react, of course. Then you return to your work, only to find the imps of the idea have fled back into the mist.
I love that. Because I so relate to that. Except it wasn’t about Uncle Stanley. What nagged me was that I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember my goddaughter’s birthday! Thinking of mindfulness as INNER boundaries offers me hope that one day I will be better at mindfulness because there was once a time, not so long ago, that I felt that outer boundaries would be impossible, too. And I’m just now starting to succeed at them. Yah!!