Archive for September, 2013

Sep 14 2013

Unshakeable Tranquility – #103

My husband Tom told me recently that he is aiming for a state of unshakeable tranquility in his life. That got me thinking – I realized that, to me, tranquility is unshakeable only when I’m unattached to outcome, when I’m willing to roll with whatever’s happening. “Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.” Resisting is what causes my suffering and shatters my tranquility – resisting pain makes pain more painful (not to mention, what I resist persists!)

This is an ongoing learning for me. Everyday I go for a nature walk behind my house and enjoy the peace and beauty along the way…that is…until I get to a certain house where a scrappy little dog often charges out into his yard, with teeth bared, fiercely barking at me. When I get near that house I start to cringe and thoughts creep in like “I hate that little devil dog! He destroys my peaceful walk!”

Then I catch myself, I take some deep breaths and affirm: “I am willing to hear the dog bark. I am willing to feel whatever feelings come up about it. I am willing to be present with the barking dog and all my feelings. I am willing to feel peaceful even if the dog is barking.” My whole body relaxes.

That little barking dog is training me to enter the state of unshakeable tranquility. He’s not the devil after all, he’s my little furry adversity angel. And my daily walk is not just a peaceful foray in nature – it’s a soul workout where I’m learning to relax my resistance and strengthen my willingness to be present with whatever’s happening.

This is my continuing learning on my cancer journey. Three years ago after completion of my chemo and radiation treatment when the doctor told me the tumor had been reduced but not eliminated, I wrote this: “Right now I’m in a place of willingness – I am willing to be present with whatever comes up. I am willing to feel whatever feelings are here. I am willing to experience complete healing. I am willing to experience death. I am willing.”

The ultimate freedom from suffering is being willing to chill with any ill, AND being willing for everything to work out even better than I can imagine (so far, that has been the case).

I’ve always had one foot out the door of life, not fully committed to being here, mainly because I wanted to avoid and escape suffering. My cancer diagnosis over 4 years ago was a wake up call – “Are you IN or are you OUT?” I thought I had fully committed to being here, but I realize I still have had a toe out the door.

My eyes had gotten blurry with cataracts and my world was disappearing around me. I was reluctant to have them removed because, with my cancer uncertain, I thought I might just be rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

But this month I finally went for cataract surgery and lens replacement in both eyes. That was my statement to the Universe, “I am willing to be here, to feel fully, to see clearly, no matter what is happening.” Now my world has gotten crisper, brighter, more colorful, and more solid. I’m seeing clearly the beauty of this life, AND I’m seeing all the cobwebs and dust bunnies and wrinkles that had been obscured before. But, I am willing to be here with ALL there is, learning how to live in a state of unshakeable tranquility.

In Love,

Janet Jacobsen

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