In the moment: Non-waiting

“When we release our clinging to what used to be and our craving for what we think should be, we are free to embrace the truth of what is in the moment.”

—Frank Ostaseski, in The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully

Life lessons come to us when we need them. Sometimes they brush against us gently, and we recognize them with a grateful nod. Other times, they clobber us senseless.

Usually they cluster, as if they know that we need more than one of a thing before we’ll open our eyes to important information.

A cluster of lessons about embracing the moment dropped in for tea with me lately.

First came a post on The Good Karma Cabin blog. In The Space Between Karen wrote about recognizing the need to surrender, even when everything around you is not going according to plan.

Next, I spoke with a friend who accompanied her mother in her final days. That’s hard. To navigate the difficult emotions she tried her best to stay in the moment.

This morning I read about non-waiting in The Five Invitations:

“The difference between ‘don’t wait’ and ‘non-waiting’ is like the difference between detachment and non-attachment. Detachment implies distancing ourselves from a particular object or experience. It can feel cool . . . Non-attachment simply means not holding on to, not grasping . . .

Non-waiting is a quiet welcoming, more of an invitation than a demand. When we stop leaning into the next experience by hoping for a particular outcome, or leaning into the past by hoping we might somehow change it, only then are we free to know this moment completely.”

—Frank Ostaseski, in The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully

Here I am, doing my best to recognize this life lesson with a grateful nod, so that it doesn’t feel the need to clobber me senseless before I get it.

It’s better to live in the moment in the mess than to miss the moment by focusing on why it’s not good enough.

Yellow daffodil in bloom
In this moment, my daffodils are blooming

10 thoughts on “In the moment: Non-waiting

  1. Ally Bean

    Your thoughts and your daffodils are beautiful. Years ago I learned the saying clinging leads to suffering. It’s kind of along the lines of detachment and non-attachment [a word I’ve never seen before]. I try to not cling to an outcome, but it can be difficult. Living in the moment is better.

    Reply
  2. marianbeaman

    I am having to learn this lesson AGAIN lately. Detachment from a problem while doing our best to solve it is a better solution than clinging to a particular outcome. Why can’t I learn?

    Timely post, Arlene: It’s hard to be human and want to be in control. 😦

    Reply
  3. karen

    Beautiful post, Arlene. “Clobber me senseless” made me chuckle – the human experience involves a pro-level involvement with this! You have introduced me to a new way of thinking about non-attachment: non-waiting as a quiet welcoming or surrender of outcome.. absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

    Reply

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