Everything Is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.


The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

~ David Whyte
From Everything is Waiting for You
©2003 Many Rivers Press

Mild Preferences Free Us

All suffering comes from our need to have things a certain way.

I can hear your protests. I can hear them because I’ve had them, too. I still sometimes have them. “I’m suffering because of this illness or physical pain.” “I’m suffering because someone I love isn’t available to me.” “I’m suffering because I don’t have enough money.” And our lists go on.

When I feel sick or experience pain, even chronic pain, it is my thinking that causes the suffering. “I shouldn’t be in pain. I’m tired of this. When will I feel better? I can’t take another minute of this . . .” When I accept what is, when I allow things to be as they are, rather than how I think I need them to be, then the suffering stops.

I may still be uncomfortable with the pain and that too will shift. When I have a mild preference for being pain-free, then I create more space for the pain to ease or for me modify how I do my day even while experiencing the pain.

When we feel out of control, we tend to have strong preferences. We become very attached to those preferences and when they don’t happen, we feel even more out of control. Quickly, we spin into a downward spiral.

If instead, we can use the feeling of being out of control as the signal to dial back our preference to mild, we then begin an upward spiral. “It would be great if I felt better. And, I don’t feel well at the moment. And, this is what I can do even while feeling this way.”

Last summer, I had an extremely strong preference that this spider hang out somewhere far, far away from my bathroom window. Since he was on the outside of the screen on the second floor, it would have been quite challenging to offer him my typical spider “relocation package.” So, instead, I experimented with befriending him with the safety of the screen between us. I eventually was able to downgrade to a medium preference . . . 🙂

Mild preferences move us toward accepting, even sometimes loving, what is. Because the preference is mild, I’m fine even if I don’t get what I prefer in a moment. My own personal experience of working with dialing back my preferences to mild: what I would prefer often naturally comes to pass. I suspect this happens because I don’t have such heavy, attachment energy involved in the mix.

And sometimes, whether or not I get what I prefer, I experience this sweet vulnerability and aliveness because I have surrendered to what is. In this vulnerability, I feel my connection to the human race and a simple compassion for me and those involved in the situation.

The more I align with what is, whatever that is, the more I am connected – to myself, to life, to those around me, instead of causing my own suffering by railing against what is.

Ah, the sweetness of mild preferences . . .

You Are a Bright Light

Yesterday morning as I was meditating, I realized that each and every one of us is a bright light.

This realization brought a huge smile to my face. The understanding is so obvious and, at the same time, it seems quite easy to find lots of exceptions.

And yet, there are no exceptions.

You are a bright light.

Take that in. What’s it like for you to acknowledge yourself as a bright light?


So beautiful that each of our lights shine differently . . .

Let’s experiment. What would it be like to go through our day today remembering that we are bright lights and so is everyone we encounter?

I love this experiment! I will report my findings next week and I would love to hear yours.

And, in this moment, what are you noticing? Insights? New perspectives?