being human,  embodiment,  writing

The Insistence of our Own Demands

“… what interferes with our living a contemplative life is not the busy, noisy, confused demanding, harassing world in which we must earn our living and care for our families. We like to blame this environment, but that is not really the source of the disquiet. Even if we could go to the country, have nothing much to do and no threats to our comfort, we would take our own noisiness with us. We would make problems out of trivialities–as happens in contemplative monasteries where the opportunities for distress have (by the standards of the rest of the world) been considerably diminished. Let us recognize where our problem is truly lodged and then confidently release it. We can be peaceful, even in the midst of the demands of contemporary life, because what is really pressuring us is the insistence of our own demands. Once we are convinced that these demands can be let go, everything will begin to look very different.” From Radical Optimism: Rooting Ourselves in Reality by Beatrice Bruteau (Crossroad Publishing, 1993)

Wow did this land as capital T truth to me. The mind is a tool for good AND a massive mess-maker. I realize I talk about embodiment a lot here but I honestly think it’s the key to … a lot of things. We can sit in our minds, obsess, create problems that don’t actually exist, and force ourselves to do things that cause more angst than good, or we can go to our bodies and know the truth within.

I don’t want to say much more than that. If it suits you, sit with Beatrice Bruteau’s words above. They are powerful. Indeed.

(Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash)

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