CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- You never know where life lessons are going to come from. The other morning I was recovering from a virtual all-nighter I'd pulled working on a paper for my graduate class. (It had sure been a long time since I'd done that!)
Anyway, I made up the sleep deficit by getting in nine hours the next night (yum), and then the most amazing thing happened. I had such clarity the next morning, and I found myself opening to my heart space.
I even coined a new term for my female -- and male -- readers. Actually, it's just a new definition for an existing term. As I found myself taking in everything more fully, and being gentle with myself, I realized I was in PMS -- present moment sanctuary.
And it lasted much longer than usual. Over the years, I've come to realize that you can't "do" present-moment living; it's a state of consciousness in which you have to "be." And the harder you try, the more you defeat the purpose. (Not such good news for Type A personalities.)
While in the PMS mode, I was much more open to the fullness of what I experienced around me. I realized I gained my greatest insight from a movie I watched that day (not that I didn't learn a lot from the paper, Dr. Burton!).
The lesson in the movie came from a story the main character, Tess, told about an incident in her childhood. She had broken a favorite dish of her mother's and was scared of what her mother's reaction would be. So she tried to cover up the problem by throwing the dish in the trash.
When her mother asked her about the dish, she said she didn't know anything about it. And then Tess said her mother proceeded to teach her one of the greatest lessons she'd ever learned.
Her mother told Tess that she trusted her and then relayed a ritual she went through every night when she laid her head on her pillow. "Before I close my eyes," she said, "I go back over my day. I'm content with where I've been, and I'm proud of who I am."
Yikes! Can't you just imagine how "busted" that little girl must have felt? That simple, yet profound, sentence really made an impact on me: "I'm content with where I've been, and I'm proud of who I am."