See things in a different light.

Get up really early, and watch the sunrise.  Or climb up to Alamo Square at dusk, and see the sunset.  Stay up late and howl at the full moon.  Go into the wilderness where you can see all the stars.

The world looks different, depending on the light.

I’ve spent most of the day avoiding a decision I should have made a month ago.  I keep looking away because I’m afraid to commit one way or the other.  Now I’m just getting too tired to choose — but am afraid of being impulsive and choosing just to be done with it.  I’ve managed to create my own little mental treadmill of anxiety.  Not cool.

So I went to yoga, which usually helps.  It gets me out of my head and into my body, and that usually gives me the internal space for things to shift.  For me to see things in a different light.  What do I want? I asked myself.  What the do I truly want?

Clarity.  Courage.  Forgiveness.

These are the words that surfaced at the end of class.  The answer to my question.  I felt the little muscles around my forehead relax, and realized they’d been tense all day.

And then I thought:

Perception is a choice.

Experience is a choice.

But circumstance is circumstance.  It’s like the raw material that you build with.  Some of it you choose, but some is just given to you whether you like it or not.  It’s like that cooking show, where you’re handed a bunch of random surprise ingredients and you have 15-minutes to make something amazing out of it.  You would have never chosen those ingredients.  But that’s what you’ve got to work with.  Now what are you going to do with it?

Back to my commitment issue, and the decision I was stuck on.

Clarity.  Let me review the circumstances.  Let me acknowledge what I want.

Courage.  Let me have the courage to perceive this choice in a way that invites me in.  Let me have the courage to choose, and commit to that choice.  And then move on.

Forgiveness.  Let me forgive myself for being so conflicted, and for drawing this out so long.  Let me forgive myself for creating so much pain.  (I’m still learning.)

So my circumstances are the same, but now I see things in a new light.  And that changes everything.

Life’s pretty short.  Be curious.  Savor all of it.

A post shared by Kim Nicol (@hellokimnicol) on

P.S. Know anyone who’s taking the Bar Exam in July?  I’m leading a Meditation Study Break series, to help support them in dealing with stress and anxiety.