Well, here we are. We did it! And we got a 30-second-long earthquake as the celebratory party favor and noisemaker! Whoooo-hooo! (Those of you in the L.A. area know what I’m talking about)
In all seriousness, when I first started this, I asked a friend if he’d do the fast with me so that I could have a support system. He came on board enthusiastically, and so I want to thank Ross Wright for being so willing. He actually started a few days after me, so he’s still going at it. When I called him to check in on my last day, I told him he was free to stop if he wanted. And he said “no, I’m gonna see this through,” which made me smile. What I never realized, by blogging about this adventure, was just how much of an extended support system I would end up having. My running joke has always been that I wonder if Bindi Girl Chronicles even exists, if no one tunes in. You know, that whole bear in the woods things? Because I’ve tended to feel the presence of the wasteland here. Cyberspace can be a cruel mistress. So, imagine my surprise to discover a genuine rooting section, as I’ve peeled away each layer and each day. Some even feeling the inspiration to try something like this themselves. My heart is incredibly warmed and humbled by your presence on my quest. Which is why I shout “WE did it!” So, not only do I thank my friend Ross, I thank YOU.
Today has been a good day. Contemplative, as you might imagine. Wondering about all the shifts and changes, both internally and externally, physiologically and spiritually, overt and covert, instantaneous and yet-to-be-discovered, that may have taken place during this time of privation, fortifying, prostration, and inward-turning. It hasn’t necessarily been a quiet time. Especially emotionally. But it has been an astonishing time.
When I looked back today over all the blog entries of this journey, I wondered if the shorter entries were because I just couldn’t get inspired, perhaps was downtrodden that day. And then I realized that the size and length did not necessarily correlate with a good or bad day. Quite the contrary, some of my longest entries were about very taxing days. In fact, my shortest entry had been a peaceful day. All systems were go. The engine was running smoothly. And therefore, there simply wasn’t much to report. Then again, my most buoyant day beget the longest of the entries. No rhyme or reason, kind of like life itself, in all of its magnificent abstract and bebop free form.
Today’s juice was beets, beet greens, spinach, and cucumber. It tasted so lovely that I could almost picture it as a warm beverage for a cozy evening.
My meditation happened later in the day today, and the theme seemed to be compassion and equanimity. When I’ve referred in past entries to the “themes” of my meditation, I haven’t been referring to anything I’ve deliberately set out to ponder before I close my eyes. I close my eyes, and these issues, themes, lessons, whatever you want to call them, show up. Sometimes, no theme at all shows up, and I’m merely meant to quiet my head. But today, compassion and equanimity were definitely floating like a haze over me, and I know that I have been challenged in that area of late, so there’s no mystery as to why it would make itself present.
What have I been hoping for this observance of Lent to do for me? I think, slow me down a bit in certain areas of my life. Areas where beauties are missed, where stress and hyperactivity rule, where over there is more meaningful than right here. And in other areas I’ve been hoping to speed up, show up, get into action. Areas where complacency or fear have clinched my ankles and caused me great frustration and despair. Wanting to appreciate impermanence. Wanting to be made weightless by non-attachment to outcome, and to recognize the beauty and wisdom in creating for its own sake. Wanting to love exactly who I am, without judgment and chastening. Embracing imperfection, and finding that a little perfect. A tempering of narcissism. Having the ability to listen to and honor every voice and every story, and to really get that someone else’s isn’t rendered valid ONLY if I can claim the same experience. Center. Ground. Clarity. And letting go. And letting go. And letting so.
So, have I achieved any of that? Have the plate tectonics shifted at all? I guess I’ll see, as my life goes on and I operate in it.
But what I do know for sure, today, is that I’ve set a groundwork for ongoing self-tending and soul-tending. Let there be no doubt about it, I am on the precipice of profound self-awakening. I am completely geared for an embarrassment of riches. I find beauty in everything. And I express my gratitude to the Source everyday. The tools are in place. So bring it on. Whatever it is. The blessing and the challenge. I am ready for the responsibility of my Buddha mantle.
Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light comes in.
― Leonard Cohen
Here’s wishing us all vigilant healing and constant transformation.
Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD. Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.