During Uncertainty, Rest in Groundlessness

Over a month ago my family and I embarked on a major move. We headed from our 4-year Rocky Mountain family retreat back to the California coast and Redwood forest that is my birthplace. There were many factors that went into the decision making process but the biggest one that trumped all was educational options for my daughters. We all want the best for our kids. But often times the decisions that bring about radical change can be hard ones, both to make and to execute.

When our daughters Waldorf style preschool closed its doors my husband and I understood we needed to look at alternative options. During our weekly ‘date night’ we began the conversation of, “Where next?”

Being born and raised as a Californian, I somewhat ignorantly had taken for granted the diversity and liberal mindset that shaped my childhood and adult life. In many ways I assumed there would be just as much, and maybe more, in a small mountain town. But having grown up in a sea of culture, and diversity as well as a healthy respect for all races and sexual orientations, I felt our options were too limited.

Moving day arrived but the girls and I were well on our way to California. Matthew had stayed behind to pack up and drive our dogs. As gentle as our entry back to the Bay was, after the first week my oldest daughter Jade was ready to ‘go home’. The girls wanted what they thought of as a family ‘vacation’ to be over. They wanted Colorado.

In moments like these it’s hard to hold the place of knowing. Of calm. Of reassurance. But that was and is my job as a mother. To be able to acknowledge and say, “Right now IS hard but it WILL get better’.

We as adults can know this because we have experienced it. But to be present with our children and allow them their feelings is so very crucial. It’s only fair and right. There was no intellectualizing with them through it. There was no big talk that would make it better. Their minds and hearts don’t rationalize and work like an adults. They’re not supposed to.

Now things have begun to quiet and settle. The girls are now immersed in a new world; one of the preciousness in organic farming life. We have lavender fields to play in and the four hens we’ve inherited have been named. When there’s talk of our home in Colorado it’s with smiles and not tears.

Life is full of change and uncertainty. We experience it on a daily basis. Sometimes it is unbelievably hard to sit in the discomfort of change and not knowing. But how very powerful to allow ourselves to rest and soften when we feel the triggers of that tension. In Buddhism it is called ‘groundlessness.’ This life of ours IS groundless and I discover each day that one of the best practices we can have is to rest in this groundlessness and accept it.

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