On January 27, 2019, my partner and father to our daughter left our house to meet up with work associates. He was going to meet them downtown Sydney for a few drinks, stay downtown for the night and be home the next day for dinner. He never made it home. Instead two armed guards came to my house 7 am the next morning and informed me that the man I loved was ‘deceased.’
The shock of that moment you cannot imagine. My entire world crumbed into a zillion pieces, which I am still trying to glue back together today. The world and the life that I had known ceased to be with the utterance of that one terrible word.
But if that moment was not bad enough, imagine looking into the eyes of your nine year old innocent child and telling her that her beloved Daddy was never coming home again.
That moment destroyed me.
Months went by in a blur, coroner, police, lawyers, trying to be a parent without my co-parent by my side. Trying to manage the household and pay bills with money that wasn’t there any longer.
I was adrift in a stormy sea, lost, not knowing how to survive.
Yet I did. Slowly I navigated the storm. Slowly pulling myself through the darkness.
Each day I took as it’s own. One breath, one step became my motto. I had no expectations for myself other than to glide through the day focusing on each moment. I learned to listen, really listen to my body and honor what it was saying. Some days I had energy to go shopping, for example, other days that was too much. I spent time in bed simply listening to the birds singing, focusing on each present moment. I let go of judgment, which was a very challenging thing to do for an over achieving Aries. Yet there is no place for judgement during a time of grief. Grief has no rules and some days allows us to move forward and other days screams for us to pay attention to it instead. Listen to your body and honor what it says and if it is saying stay in bed and simple BE, then simple BE. Your body knows best.
I learned to be truly present for my daughter and taught her, too, to honor where she was at each day. Some days she went to school. Other days she stayed in bed with me, being held, feeling safe in a world that had become suddenly unsafe. We nourished each other and through the practice of mindfulness, we both managed to survive the first challenging year.
This practice of mindfulness has been my anchor then and now. My partner’s death has taught me that each and every moment is precious. We simply do not know what is around the corner, so why not value the moments that we have. Nothing is guaranteed in life. Nothing. Nothing that is except this moment, this Now moment. That is truly all we have.
When you are truly present and honor each moment of your life, then problems melt away. There is no striving or achieving, no doing in the Now moment. There is only that moment and what it brings. We are the ones that define a moment as ‘good,’bad,’ or other. Yet a moment simply is. If we live in the moment and are present for each moment of our life, then it simply IS.
How can you create a mindful practice in your own life? Start by drawing your thoughts to the action before you. ‘I am drinking a cup of coffee’, for example, not allowing your mind to drift off to thoughts of the future of past. Pull your attention to what ever is happening at that very moment.
Kids are home and disrupting your silence? Be present for them. Give them all of your attention and teach them, as well, the value of this gift.
The gift of a mindful life is the gift of Life itself. To zip from one task to the next, always living in your head and thinking of past or future, robs you of really being present and honoring your own Journey.
I cannot think of a better gift that my partner has left me with then this daily practice. Because of his passing, I am able to be fully aware and alive for the days that I have left. And for that I am most grateful.
Namaste- May you glide through the moments of your Journey like water over a stone, effortlessly, peacefully and mindfully.