Finding Peace In Impermanence

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“Change isn’t just a fact of life we have to accept and work with. To feel the pain of impermanence and loss can be a profoundly beautiful reminder of what it means to exist.”

-Norman Fischer

From living in a shared community of 30 people being constantly around me, working, eating, learning, growing, together always, and then fast forwarding to now, having made a move back to the house I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, I can safely say has been a whirlwind.

What’s even more interesting to me is that throughout my journey living in the Rosemary Dream community there were some days all I could think of was being alone in my home in the mountains, having my personal space again. I would imagine in detail waking up in the morning in complete silence in my house as I head down the stairs for my morning cup of ginger tea, greeting no one, just me myself and I, breathing in the mountain air for as long as I wanted without speaking to a soul.

Several months ago I took a small break from the community life and went up in the nearby forest, on a 4 day vision quest, aka being completely silent for 4 days, fasting with only water to drink and stepping off an isolated wooden platform that was my entire world on a jungle deck ONLY to go to the bathroom. (Yeah I know it sounds mental, but I like the challenge and they can be quite powerful)

My mind was a constant stream of thoughts during this 4 day period. However I remembered one that continued coming up over and over again. This idea of being alone, time by myself in my house in the mountains of North Carolina, fantasizing about it for hours and hours sitting on this deck in nature in Brazil…

Fast forward 9 months later, and here I am, manifested that picture right into my reality, living that moment I so craved back on that jungle deck. I now wake up in the mornings in just about complete silence, me myself and my tea sitting on the deck taking it all in. This I absolutely loved and couldn’t have been more pleased with, completely blissed out… for the first few days… until I began noticing ever so subtle thoughts creeping in, craving that morning greeting, that meal I would cook for myself and then 3 others join in unexpectedly, the random conversations that popped up when you “weren’t in the mood” to talk, but gave the person your attention anyways.

Mornings on Grandfather Mountain, NC

Was I allowing these moments of solitude to be everything I had hoped and dreamed of? Of course not! Here I was in this magic moment, wanting yet ANOTHER moment, different than the one I was in, again…

Humans are funny like that aren’t we? Always wanting what isn’t our current reality. What would happen if I could allow myself to fully be in the moment I was already in, not wanting or wishing for something else, because damn if it’s all changing so quickly anyways.

I think there is a kind of ultimate freedom in realizing the impermanence of our current situations.

It allows us to take our experiences in with a little less judgement, bringing a bit more joy to whatever is happening, even if it’s not so pleasant.

When I start to feel the tiniest bit of dissatisfaction or anxiety creep in, I think of my little reminder phrase, “And this too shall pass,” a very popular tattoo and quite a grounding realization. This gives me some pretty immediate peace of mind and puts me right back into my current experience with whomever or wherever I find myself. And isn’t that what life is about? Fully showing up for whatever is in front of you as is, willing to experience it? If I can’t be present then what is the point? What if I spent my whole life wishing for another moment, other than the one I was in? I WOULD MISS MY WHOLE LIFE!

This may seem quite obvious to you, but it can be pretty profound when you actually catch yourself in these moments, wishing for something else, and then experience the shift that occurs as you change your perception into one of impermanence. I could go on forever about this, in fact the concept of impermanence is quite a rabbit hole from a Buddhist perspective, but that’s for another day.

Welcome to your life, right here, right now.

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