Maitri: the Buddhist notion to be best friends with yourself, even the parts you do not like.
As I have grown older in years, I hope a bit of wisdom has sunk into this grey and white matter of my brain. Perhaps yes, perhaps no.
However, this I do know: it is easier to love myself, all of me, even the skinny ankles, small green Finnish eyes, and apple plump rosy cheeks.
Do not forget the pancake bum that flattened like a hot cake more than a decade ago. I did get part of the bum back with diligent strength training—still a mission with gravity though.
My solitude embraces me more and more, even though she has been a shadow part of me since I was born. No wonder I loved that childhood rhyme about my shadow. “I have a little shadow…”
I have zero interest in gossip, never did, but more so now. I have no envy for what my neighbors have, and I wish them well. Fancy cars, McMansions, sparkly jewelry, and designer clothes were never a need nor a want and far less now. I once shopped in thrift stores that I took items to and also bought from department stores. I do have a taste for eco-friendly, safe dyes in my clothing these days but still buy clothes that seem reasonably good for Momma Earth and the folks who make them—however my single closet contains few items, and I wear them until they become pajama tops or cleaning cloths.
I have learned that trying to give back, in however that serves us individually, is far more important and gratifying than any monetary reward. Yes, trust me, I know I need an income to support my basic needs of shelter, food, clothing, pet care. I am learning to know where to cut back. I do love, and have always loved, learning new things. Some I can easily do through books, Internet searches, asking questions of others, and doing.
Community is vital. I had that, and since 2020 have lost the in-person aspect, but I am embracing the community richness from Elephant Journal, Ayurveda trainings, some on social media, and chatting with neighbors, cashiers, baggers, strangers, and more. There are three of us who met through Ayurveda school who Zoom twice a month for 90 minutes, and that time is spent with love, laughter, and exchange of ideas.
I have connected with a relative and we email and also Zoom, but I am missing the ability to have face-to-face video chats with more folks—however, I need to reach out more on the importance of face-to-face distance chats. And now, that said, I will reach out.
I just finished a short online Qi Gong course on Commune taught by Mimi Kuo-Deemer who said regarding the practice of the Eight Silk Brocades: “You train for the next 10 years of your life.” Although it negates the principal of live in the now, it seems apropos to my journey to embrace the aging with grace and ease.
I leave you, for now, with my latest haiku:
Effort with ease, please.
Let go of the struggle.
And dance with the wind.