Posted by: Tess (Piyadassi) | May 20, 2011

I’m here now…you?

Lately I’ve been finding myself slipping into a wistful melancholy aching for my days of partial employment when the most pressing part of my day was my bum on the yoga mat. Yes, yes, I know I was sans money in those long ago days (hmm, could it be just a couple of months have past since those desperate times…) and my angst about how to pay the bills was rising with the foam on my lattes. Yet I was blissful and happy most of my waking hours, meditating and contemplating the present with joy and faithful witness to the gift I was being given.

Rejoining the full-time working populace has caused me more than a bit of consternation and grumblings when the alarm goes off at 4:45 a.m. and I return home about 12 hours later exhausted and wringing the last bit of  myself out to the “FEED ME” wails of my cats as I slump through the door. I know, I know, poor me, having to work like the rest of the planet. And trust me, I’m eternally grateful to be able to pay my bills and buy food, really I am. It’s just been a shock to my system and I’m finding a real test to staying present. My ego is having a heyday in convincing me that my job is below me, that I deserve better, that I should be writing blog postings every day and living over a bakery in Paris. Huh?

There’s an ancient Zen adage reminding us before we experience enlightenment we must chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, well, more wood and water. A simple reminder to be present with whatever we are doing. Walking to work yesterday I noticed some words painted on the sidewalk. They said, quite simply and accurately “You are here.”

That was all I needed to make a shift and see that the work is not in dwelling in happiness as if it were a glass castle, but in finding the beauty in all tasks and moments, whether they be watching plump clouds float by on a sea of blue sky or facing the coarse mundane with as much attention and grace as we would give to a beloved child. Every breath is a chance to begin again, to start over with an axe in one hand and a bucket in the other. Wood and water. Warming and quenching. Here is where we are.

Put your heart, mind, intellect, and soul even into your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” ~ Swami Sivananda

Image: by Chokola



  1. Thanks for the reminder T, my ego has been telling me I should be living in a little plantation house on some remote stretch of beach in Hawaii…sigh. Okay, off to my second job now!

  2. Dear Tess, I’m taking a moment away from my internet search for a perfectly unsuitable horse ranch near Duncan to read your post. “Heart hunger” writes my Zen teacher, reminds us that “we are fundamentally alone.”

    So I suspend the external search for now and turn inward — welcoming loneliness as another passing sensation. See:

    thank you.

  3. Tess,

    I sympathize with you, 12 hour days are long. It is only human in a moment of exhaustion to wonder “why am I doing this?”, but soon enough one of life’s moments call you back.

    “Time on” teaches me to value more deeply my “time off”.

    Take good care of yourself,

  4. Wonderful words Tess. Reading your posting has brought me back to finding the beauty in the moments here without the offerings from other places such as Victoria. I’m not working for a paycheque….I’m working for my soul and I work on holding that moment to moment and task to task. May your weekend away replenish you with blissful moments.


  5. […] Express. Or drink Dom Pérignon. I may not squeeze in one more visit to California or spend those six months in Paris living over a bakery or win a Pulitzer, Tony or Academy award.  When you reach my stage in life a lot of the things you […]

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