Has it ever happened to you that you went to a conference and it extended over days? Lots of information was shared at a furiously fast pace. You felt like you were trying to take a drink from a fire hydrant.
And yet, one thing stuck in your mind months later.
That happened to me not so long ago after my return from a conference in idyllic Hawaii.
Picture a power point slide with the single word “Meanwhile” as the heading.
Picture on this slide, palm trees as the back ground, etched against the orange skies caused by a stunning sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
How peaceful and how healing is this image!
What does the word “meanwhile” mean on this slide?
It means that when we face in life the inevitable setbacks and adversities we all encounter at some time, we can ask one question: Meanwhile?
- Now that a biopsy of the tumor was taken, what can I do, meanwhile, to make the most of my days—even before the results are out?
- Now that a patient complained about my care and stomped out of the office, what can I do, meanwhile, to maintain my own peace of mind?
- Now that I had my annual review and the feedback I got was mostly positive, what do I want to do with the one or two negatives ……the part where I was told “Don’t take this personally, but these are the areas of improvement you need to work on.”
As a fellow traveler, I cannot tell you how your “meanwhiles” should be managed. Only you, who know yourself the best, can look in the mirror I am holding up today and only you can report on what you see and what you can do.
But allow me to encourage you.
The reality is we all suffer —as the Buddha once said. There are no exemptions. There is good news: we can alleviate suffering when we figure out our options during the meanwhile-parts of life.
Be it your health, relationships, finances or self-image; be it your darkest moments. Always know there is a meanwhile where you can choose to find ways to look at trouble differently. And may you be so bold as to nourish yourself during the meanwhile moments–regardless of the situation.
Move forward today and do something that uplifts your energy. (I have decided to put out my running clothes tonight so that I am all ready when the sun rises tomorrow to meet the day in my Nikes—even when it snowed recently where I live, and even when the balmy breezes of Hawaii are but a memory)
Spring has not sprung, but meanwhile, before I get back to Hawaii or before Summer finally arrives, I am going to look at what I still have, and I am going to paste these words, penned by Jon Kabat-Zinn, in the Evernote section of my smartphone:
“As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you, no matter what is wrong”