Capturing the Essence of Meditation and Inspiration

© 2001 Michele Toomey, PhD


April 17, 2001

When we are active and healthy, our lines seem to revolve around doing Our lists are endless. There's never enough time to accomplish all that we need and want to do. We can get overwhelmed, resentful, anxious at the prospect of all there is to do. We can also get energized, turned on, excited as well. But, the primary motivation is still the act of doing. It is the central force in our lives.

Then brain damage enters the scene. Energy level is minimal, duration is limited and stamina is sporadic. memory is impaired and sequencing is difficult. Our world is not defined by doing in the same way as it was. Now the activity revolves around functioning. What do I need to do for myself in order to be able to do an activity. I am not free to just "get going" and "get doing". There are preliminary steps, there are ongoing steps sand there are conclusionary steps. Prior, during and after "doing", I must "be", be present to myself and to my needs. For me to function well or safely or at all, I must be self-reflective and in touch with what it will take for me to perform whatever tasks or activities that are on my agenda.

Again, the paradox. There is a gift in this limitation. Without the capacity to just efficiently and effectively "do", I am forced to "bee", and in the being, I become more reflective, more meditative, more grounded in my own essence. I am less heedless, less superficial, less distracted. less focussed on achieving and more available to being intimate with myself. I am slower, repetitive, forced to endure arduous effort for seemingly simple tasks, but, I am in touch with myself as I do them. My life is becoming my life. Not life, not tasks, but my life and my relationship to tasks. My responses, my reactions, my fear,s my desires, my effort, my accomplishments, my ability to "deal with it", are now my focus. I am not an anonymous does of my life. I am a known and intimate participator in my life. No wonder musings are such a treasured piece of writing for you. They capture the essence of your relationship to yourself, your disability, and your life. They shine a light on the invisible connection and give expression to the innermost depths of your being. They capture the awesome nature of essential oneness and help you recognize where you are and help you sustain being there.

Meditation and inspiration have become your oxygen and your nutrition. Sustenance on the spiritual level feeds your soul and in turn, allows you to care for your body. Liberation psychology contends that the spirit forms and informs the body and the body forms and informs the spirit. Most people take that phenomenon for granted and however it happens, it happens. You, Marlene, have been forced to attend to it, note it, and if you want any quality of life, embrace it. In so doing, you are becoming more spiritual, more meditative, and more capable of being inspired. You are choosing to respond to the disability by dealing with it at its essence...choosing to "be" intimate and at one with yourself. In return you have found essential truth and inspiration in its awesome integrity. Thus the gift.

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