“The next message you need is always right where you are.”

Ram Dass

I am 46 years old and not sleeping through the night is a regular thing now.

I keep imagining my zen-self just rolling with this new aging issue but I just want things to work the way I want them to work.

I have been trying for at least 30 years to figure out the magic formula to be comfortable in my own skin and by now I should realize that will never happen – at least not the way I’m approaching it.

Read this book, try this exercise program, wear these clothes, make this amount of money, talk like this and act like that, marry this type of person, live here, lose these habits, reach these goals, and do everything you can not to sit still.

I tend to Google and follow every stranger’s advice for my life except mine. It seems that my advice is hard to hear because it’s been edited by my saboteur which has been the one listening to everyone/everything else since I could think, speak, hear, taste, and touch.

I start so many practices- drum practice, writing practice, vegan food practice, no alcohol practice, exercise everyday practice, meditation practice, positive thinking practice, reading practice, be kind to myself practice, no tv practice, try-to-stop-smoking practice, use my voice practice, say no practice, say yes practice, earthing practice, and practice for every-fucking-thing practice.

I reach these boiling points inside myself where I feel irritated. I want to be somebody that I’m clearly not. I keep striving, mentally-emotionally-physically-spiritually, to be someone outside of me. Sometimes I don’t even know who I am without my doing and striving, without my googling.

And so I come back to stillness. Again. I come back to acceptance. Again. I come back home to myself. Again. Just as I am.

My practice right now is to sit in stillness every morning for at least 20 minutes. To clear my mind, to come back to self, to embody my real experience as a soul first and then a human. My most important practice right now is to show up for these 20 minutes every day and not have any expectations of how it will transform my life. Just show up. This is my most important ritual.

This always brings me back to BEING.

Photo by Jill Sonsteby