One day I walked outside for lunch and I noticed it. There was a complete freedom of movement in my body and absence of pain. I looked around and the sky was blue, the air smelled clean, the breeze was soft on my skin. In that moment, I had no unmet needs and no unfulfilled desires. The absences were so satisfying. I could have turned right around, walked back inside the building and continued on with my day, without missing a beat, even though I would have missed a meal.
I've been so in touch with my body's needs and desires on one level or another for so many years. It seems there is always something to attend to whether it is hunger, thirst, pain, hydration, sickness or fatigue. And I tend to get very caught up in catering to each and every bodily need or desire, feeling that it is somehow a measure of the value of my very essence that I not allow my body to want for anything.
Of course, my entire upbringing was a training in how to serve others through self-denial. It is ironic that I find myself once again serving this body on so many levels, never once giving thought to the fact that this activity alone consumes enormous amounts of my attention and energy. Once again, I find myself in a familiar pattern of tending to the trees without realizing I am in a forest.
That day, that moment, was so extraordinary! I felt so free! I just stood there in the middle of the driveway in front of my building so I could extend the moment into minutes. I realized I had stepped outside my normal pattern of thinking and acting and I had noticed my true essence in an instant. I burned the feeling into my body, so I could bring it back up and remember it in my muscles and in my nostrils and on my skin and in my eyes.
I have wanted to write this blog about it for weeks, but either I felt I couldn't do the moment justice, or I couldn't get back to the feeling completely enough to really recreate it in words. Well, there are no words that do it justice, it just lives inside me. But it can't stay inside me if it is to truly have meaning. It has to be shared, and so today I felt compelled to finally write it out.
The old cliché says there's no such thing as a free lunch, but I know better. I know there are spectacular moments in my life when I am fully present, without thought, need, lack, or destination. I know there are moments when I simply am. And those moments are the main meal. They are the feast, the freest of free lunches. Because I don't have to earn them, I don't pay for them before or afterward. That perfection exists in every moment and I all I have to do is walk outside and notice it.