The old year didn’t end strong for me, nor has the new year been the best so far. In the midst of all this turbulence, my meditation group has provided stability through our practice and topics we are exploring.
The worst thing to distress me was self-evaluation and feeling I'm a failure. Does anyone stack up to what they expect of themselves? Our meditation leader had me look into the concept of the joy of insignificance. This doesn't mean we should give up, but to find value in the ordinary.
A podcast exploring this topic is from Ten Percent Happier with the guest Dr. Ron Siegel, a part-time assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and a board member at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy.
In his talk, Dr. Siegel discusses being kind to yourself and your expectations, being useful rather than successful, and how being special is a burden. Concepts I need to take to heart to get out of my personal rut of feeling I'm a failure.
Another article on the joy of insignificance assured me that we don’t need to do something extraordinary in order to live a good life and that we should avoid comparing ourselves to others.
The idea of not surrendering your spiritual authority was also suggested as a way of being true to yourself. This isn't a religious concept, rather it is about the truth, beauty, purity, and goodness that is and always has been you, and allowing it to flow effortlessly through you to radiate out into the world. Embracing this approach gives me comfort in being my genuine self.
Finally, a poem by Martha Postlethwaite, Clearing, gave me additional peace and comfort and helped me find my way again.
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself to this world
so worthy of rescue.