Cleaning the beach, clearing the mind

Maui is like a child.  No matter how much I want to be in my head, obsessing about any of life’s drama, it calls me with its tropical splendor, beckoning me to return to the moment.  During this trip, I’ve experienced it often.  I will begin to feel frustrated then follow my thought to realize that it is simply “all in my head”  because otherwise there is nothing wrong here, in this moment, in paradise.  Then to make it more evident, my real children walk up to me, inviting me to play, keepers of the present moment, delightful, vibrant, bundles of life, epitomes of full presence.  A double whammy, calling me to shake it off, breathe it out, let it go and come back to the blessed moment.

Yesterday, I had a chance to see the power of this yet again.  I was walking on the rocks at the park where we celebrated the Fourth of July, with a giant trash bag, picking up used fireworks and other trash.  At first, I was enjoying myself, then after coming upon so much trash, my thoughts began to drift to “How can people leave so much trash on the beach?!” I began to feel increasingly  irritated as I came upon more and more detonated fireworks, plastic cups, wrappers, etc.

Then the crashing waves, fresh breeze and laughing children all around me, shook me awake to remember that I was creating my funky state.  I consciously took myself back to the thoughts I had before this sinking into the egoic mind… How I enjoy cleaning up the beach because I am doing what matters to me. How it is rewarding for me to restore the natural landscape to its primal beauty. And how simply fun and meditative this cleansing action is, like weeding in my garden at home.

As I cleared the landscape, I cleared my mind, and consciously only allowed life-giving throughts to exist there.  Soon I was feeling gratitude and understanding for the people who left their trash there.  Moving my thoughts out of judgment, reminded me that some of the trash left there had to do with the darkness of the night before and the difficulty in cleaning up in the dark.  And even if there are those that do it mindlessly, my thoughts now took me to a grand embrace of the polarity of life, and the role I get to play as healer of the landscape.  Beyond this, I was also reminded of the pure power of standing for what you believe in, instead of being in opposition to something.

Being in Maui is like placing a magnifying glass on the way that staying in our own egoic drama/mind takes us out of each beautiful moment.  We may not all be in Maui, but we can all consciously notice when we have taken ourselves out of the moment with our thoughts (when we begin to feel bad), and allow ourselves to come back to peace by connecting within and remembering the greater wisdom in each moment.

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