Saturday, January 03, 2009

My AiAi


Listen, I'm not picky. I take my wisdom any place I can get it, even if it's from the under two set.

Ivy has this new thing. A thing that could easily drive me batty. She has taken to coming up to me a million times a day and asking me, "Mama, whatchu doin'?" All day long, when I'm putting a spoon in my mouth or getting dinner ready or fixing a toy or writing. "Mama, whatchu doin'?"

After a couple days of this new trick of hers, trying to answer each question as it came, I decided I'd try to turn it back around on her.

"I'm eating/reading/making dinner, Ivy. What are YOU doing?"

And do you know what her answer was?

"My AiAi." Which in Ivy speak means, "Me Ivy." Every time I ask, same answer. "My AiAi."

I think she is saying she is just being Ivy.

What is Mama doing? A long list of activities to fill her day or feed everyone or get her somewhere. What is Ivy doing? Just being.

And that's good enough. I don't have to chase one more page of writing to be successful, or cook better meals or even enjoy each day to it's fullest. I don't have to be supporting my family with my art in twelve weeks or add one more thing to my list of tasks completed. I don't have to worry about what tomorrow brings or what I have to make right. I don't have write the greatest novel in the world. I don't even have to hit all my marks in my Portfolio Project. I just have to be me.

I found that intersected nicely with a podcast from Jen Lee and Jen Lemen on the Portfolio project, where they talk about beginners mind and and giving yourself some space for care and nurturing, and about it being better even if we don't make every project step to be so SIGNIFICANT. Remember it's a game, just as life is.

Here's a good quote from the podcast (although I am not sure which of them said it, since I don't recognize their voices yet and they both had colds.)

"It's really okay just to be. Just breathe. Do your work everyday for three months."
-Jen L. or Jen L.

And that's how it all gets done. It is a tricky bit of balancing, this committing to a thing while still allowing yourself to not be hung up on its doing. I have all intentions of completing it... but along with those intentions I am practicing the release of my expectations.

Oh yes, it's that trickiest of all Buddhist concepts. Non-attachment.

I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

3 comments:

Jena Strong said...

My Jena.

Cam said...

Makes me wonder if the person that started the saying, "Just go with the flow" was, in fact, Buddha. :)

(I am the commenter previously known as 'Journey'. Decided to come on out with my authentic self, so here I am!)

paintandink said...

Thank you for the quote from Jen L. or Jen L... needed that just now.

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