I let go of my plan and found myself, by Krista Tippett
Looking back if I could change something. I wish I had been kinder to myself self all along a year or so ago. I was telling someone this story of my twenties and they said Ed. How did you get to be so brave and I realized I never give myself any credit for being brave. I was always second guessing myself or planning ahead to do next. I didn't give myself credit for how far would come and all the experiences I had and I think it was brave and I need to honor the bravery of myself so I can honor it and others. The bravery is not about being fearless because I wasn't fearless but in walking with fear and through it when everything I thought I knew turned out to be flimsy and questionable and as as I walked through it all there was revelation and there was confusion in there was discovery where for you is the most beautiful place in the world for Krista Tippett is a Spanish island village in the Mediterranean Sea Krista Tippett is a journalist former diplomat and the longtime host of on being today. She shares a story of when she took a break from from the intensity of her life and just stopped to check in with his half in this series. We planned immersive Fest Passing Stories With Grief Myth mindfulness pumps from me. I'm a guide on this episode of Meditative Story <music> before we begin this episode it gives me great joy to acknowledge sales forces sponsorship and belief life in Meditative story while you may know salesforce for bring companies and customers together by delivering personal experiences customers love. Did you know that they also dedicated to bring positive change in the world on a human level. They believe that sharing stories is a powerful way to spark change within us. Mindfulness has been a core part of sales forces culture for years through experience. They know that joy and happiness is a key ingredient individual and business business success and happiness. Our joy is related to how we perceive on experience. How we see the world these biases of how we see the outside can radically change how we feel on the inside? There's an idea in psychology cord negativity bias which means that when we're faced as something positive and something negative our minds tend to fixate on the negative given the chance our minds will become pupae with worry and other difficult thoughts later in the show. I'll share a micro step. You can take to encourage a little bit more positively in your day no matter what else is happening around you. Thank you salesforce else force for being a part of Meditative Story. We admire your commitment to doing well by doing good. Let's take a moment to check in to listen to ourselves. Just letting your inner life be what it is in this moment and knowing having it just as it is the body relaxed the body breathing your senses and says open your mind meeting the world <music> <music>. I spent most of my twenties and divided Cold War Berlin. It was the Nineteen Nineteen Eighty S. I was a thoroughly political person. I went there as the New York Times Stringer but for my last year and a half I was chief aide in West Berlin to the US ambassador to West Germany a nuclear arms expert a Reagan appointee and I'm sitting around tables with people who move thousands of missiles around on a map of Europe as though it were a game board arms experts and foreign policy specialists and people who have the ears of world leaders and who are defining policy around these weapons of mass destruction. I'm very close to genuine power and I'm aware of it in this room. It's kind of incomprehensible. There's an exhilaration into it and there's a seductiveness to it and there's an emptiness to it at the same time. It's very exciting when I first walk into the room with these people but then the longer I stay at some level. I am profoundly bored by all of this. I don't think this is how I should feel on the other side of the wall. In East Berlin I traveled to visit beloved friends in their apartment on the shelves as draw a legendary street in Berlin history. They live in this apartment building. Where famous dissident had lived it has the history of East Germany in it and then it also wears a history of vanished Germany's if feels ancient and a bit tumbled down in this chapter forty years into communism <music> my friends are artists in the apartment is crowded and overflowing with half finished paintings and musical instruments and and the world of their daughters and just full of life and chaos it's warm and alive and everything in here your mattress everything we talk about really matters friendships and words the Food and pleasure and whatever joy you can extract together in the Living Room. There's a life if sized bust of a mutual friend of ours a poet who became so uncomfortable to the government that they banished him across the wall. He's twenty minutes away away from us but they believe and I believe that none of us will ever see him again. So there's grief in this apartment to and longing and love it makes me realize that I've come to the end of what I can get out of my work in West Berlin <music>. I long to get away and think all of this through politics. It's extremes and its limits. I don't actually you have space in my life for this literally or even contemptuously on the one hand my life here is full of ideas but on the other <music> handed is at full of a depth of thoughtfulness. I've had an incredible experience here but it's time for me to move on they. Do you ever feel like you don't have space. paps joined a phase of your life with as true right now if it helps take a moment to feel your feet on the ground open out your chest. Uh relief is available in every moment when we remember Tanto it <music> <music>. If the summer of nineteen eighty eight the year before the wall comes down no one can fathom that and is desperate as I am to step away to make sense. I think I have to do something. That sounds impressive. I give myself a four to five months stretch before I plan to head back to DC in more politics in the US and I set off to write an awful. I decided to go to the most beautiful place I've ever been in the world this little village on my Llorca called day. It's not overrun by tourists. It's a really eccentric hard to get to artists colony with a lot of ex patriots. I found it through a journalist friend and fell in love with it <music>. It's so lush and fragrant. There's so much collar so many flowers <music>. You're crunching almonds under your feet as you walk around. The beach is a mile hike. No Oh road goes there and it's amazing in my memory. The journalists house is kind of like a castle and I have have this romantic vision of going there to settle into myself and be creative and reflect. I'm going to write my novel here but then shortly before him to arrive. The charismatic journalist dies suddenly of a heart attack. His widow offers to find another a place to live and she does but my head. Illich vision is shattered. I had the perfect plan and now it's coming apart. It all feels doomed and I feel very alone and Adrift but she connects me with this man named Robert who has a room in his house for rent. He's an English accountant want to retire today to tend his garden and restore rare books. I arrive and take a taxi to Roberts House. It all feels very very disorienting. I have the directions for worms post to go but it's just a spot on the road. There's no driveway or mailbox. The car stops ops and Robert is there to meet me. He appears to me this first time I meet him as a grizzled man. He looks bedraggled old and a little bit unsafe. I think he's missing a tooth or two and he has buried US stands on his chin and his clothes <music> and there's not exactly a path to his house. We kind of fight our way down a hill beneath road through the brush <music>. I think who is this person. I'm where am I what have I done. Uh We finally reached the house and it's so simple that really smart and sturdy nothing fancy but elegant amazing really. There's a nobility to an peacefulness do it. It's just falling off the side of the mountain. I don't actually know how it stays attached into the earth. The House is just an add on to the garden which is wild and magical because Robert Sleeps in a hammock on the porch outside his bedroom every night and I stay in a very simple room at the other end of the house. Everything is stone nothing fancy but it's perfect love it. I have a nice bed a little desk and tiny window. My view of the mountains is like a postcard and it is exquisite <music> the minute I walk in the very first time I think to myself. I'm going to be really happy in this room. <music> and I am <music> <music>. Can you catch the fragrance of the flowers in the garden the mountains and majesty keeping everything in perspective effective take ten foment <music> <music> India. I realize how exhausted I've become and how I hadn't been letting myself feel that this stranger Robert in his mid seventies kind of the nurses me back to health. I didn't know I needed somebody to do that for me. He bakes bread from scratch every day and he makes everything out of his garden. These incredible salads where every ingredient is plucked straight from the ground and there's always a little dirt left in <music>. He recommends books. I've never read. It gives me a cassette tape. Beethoven's late quartets uh it becomes the soundtrack of my summer. I write all day every day on a schedule but at lunchtime lunchtime and in the evening I sit looking at the mountain and listening to this music. I get quiet for the first time at about ten years. I started to pray without calling it better. I it takes me a while L. to figure it out but eventually I realized that sitting in this garden is actually the whole point of being here. This place is in on any of the maps folks that I've been dealing with in Berlin but it's real and it's solid and it matters people are creating lives lives here that are as significant as those sitting around a conference table. It's a relief because I think part of the reason I wasn't able to imagine life beyond that career is it felt like if I could do that which was so important then. How could I walk away away from it sitting here. I remember that the world is complex and strange in that. There's importance. It's all over the place different forms of important coming out of that getting quiet. I began to open up to my inter life again. I asked the questions I need to ask about that world of high policy and why it's wrong for me. It scares me to imagine the future differently differently but I like myself so much more and I like myself in my body so much better sitting in this garden. It's not about power in that sense. Being here leads me on to this whole other way forward. It leads me what I do now when I was in Berlin when it was all very exciting diplomatic dinner parties adventures halfway across the world but also long long long base of work. It was very intense. My work absolutely bled into my life. There is no separation and absolutely no oh value placed on the rest of my life or in ever getting away. What's so striking to me now. When I look back is how completely really lacking in self awareness I was how in that life I was leading. It would have felt nonsensical to question it wearing myself into exhaustion. Austin was inevitable. I was so focused on accomplishment now amidst the incredible beauty of the natural world day up with this completely unexpected person in my life and his generosity and kindness the power of that it's an experience chance of hospitality a human presence that has no interest in ambition for goals of impressing MHM. It creates this space for me that I hadn't been in that. Maybe I'd never let myself being. This is my turning point <hes>. I don't think I would have walked the direction. I walked later. If it weren't for the time I spent in Roberts Garden <music> I wasn't expecting it and I wasn't looking for it <music>. What would it take each to something unexpected. How do we find the courage average to do the things we really need to do. It's always worth being in silence asking yourself that question and listening closely to the result. Maybe can do that later today. Uh and there was something in that experience that flowed into everything I've done since I wanted to make that possibility of reflection and respiration and life giving running both with more a part of my life but also more visible to others more accessible no <hes>. I think I had been asking this question all along. What do I want to do with my life. What kind of power do I I care about exercising. What do I want to manifest in the moral looking back if I could change something I wish I had been kinder to myself all along a year or so ago. I was telling someone this story story of my twenties and they said how did you get to be so brave and I realized I never given myself any credit for being brave save. I was always second guessing myself or planning ahead to do next. I didn't give myself credit for how far had come and all all the experiences I've had and I think it was brave and I need to honor the bravery myself so I can honor at and others <music>. The bravery is not about being fearless because I wasn't fearless US but in walking with fear and through it when everything I thought I knew turned out to be flimsy and questionable and as I walked through it all there was revelation and there was confusion in there was discovery. Now I see that I was on an adventure all along and I think the thing I did right eight was that I kept directing that adventure in generative ways. I wish I had been able to be a little bit more pleased leased and relax a little bit more into it and just enjoy it when it was fun to take even more pleasure in the good days in the excitement of the questions and the excitement of discovery I had stumbled on this strange mystery and reality not that the only real power that sustains us we find inside ourselves and in the care and company others <music> <music>. We've reached the end of Christie's story in just a moment. I'll guide you through closing meditation after that. I'll share a mic Chris. Step that you can take into your day inspired by the coach of mindfulness that our sponsor salesforce drinks their you work. What inspires me about Christa Story. It's her ability to simply stop. Which of course is not simple at all coming from the intensity of a time in Berlin to the quiet to Roberts may or can garden she still held onto the idea of writing a novel about plan soon soon vanishes Chris that truly stops trying to achieve. Let's go and opens up. The same can happen in meditation. Even though it's most associated with relaxation and letting go many people still bring the mindset of achievement and goals to their practice and while that can take you some way the comes a point we have to let go of all that comes a time when you have to let go of the idea of a meditation technique and that's what we're GonNa do today no technique just meditation no technique just mindful will awareness. That's what this meditations all about pure simple meditation practice and just taking a short while to settle yourself in for it closing the is safe to do so relaxing. The is if you'd rather have I'm open eighteen back tried you head sitting elegantly upon your neck letting the belly be relaxed act the belly soft and fluid committing yourself to the short period meditation enjoying the luxury sugary of time dedicated to mind for us and in this meditation will drop technique job the need you to do anything in particular and just be here. Beware you are aware alert and alive nothing to do but be here and to be aware just him knowing what's happening while it is happening. Shopping all ideas of what meditation should be like just being present and knowing what that's like not making anything more important than anything else just here letting mindfulness just do its job putting thing everything be known if you feel your mind is one of the way remember remember that because we're not looking at anything in particular does nothing for it to wander away from just wakefulness and what is known by that weight on us. If you feel your mind has wandered away again and then you remember you're meditating noticing saying by in that very moment. There's mindfulness my first reestablishing itself without you having to do anything all you have to do is be here doing nothing alert and aware everything known nothing left <music> out knowing what is happening as it happens without judgment and if judgment arises allowing that knowing that however your body is simple relaxed open aware just here not doing anything just here not chasing after experience just here leaving everything alone and if thoughts arise no need to go out to them and get caught up no need to give them any more fuel just interesting and letting everything happened just being aware just watching whatever there is to be watched enjoying stillness of just being here enjoying whatever silence there might be and when there's noise knowing knowing that too and letting it be him celebrating the fact that you have awareness. Nisa tool and letting it be free just here upright relaxed relaxed and allowed dropping or techniques jumping on notions of what meditation should or shouldn't be like just resting in awareness not doing anything enjoying non doing simple here and now and if mind from slips away noticing that the very moment you noticed that my furnaces right there a rising by itself a natural quality of your mind just here allowing all experience nothing special everything special. No everything's special garden <music> <music> earlier. I mentioned how valuable can be to encourage our minds too bright in positive UH sponsor salesforce US practices mindfulness as an essential part of their culture and as such. They've asked me to share a tiny yet powerful mind from his trip. You can use to achieve that and the trick is that whenever you experience something pleasant to pleasurable during your day really tried to soak in that experience draining as much out of it as possible letting the positive feelings fill you up it could be the in a sense of a job. Well done a compliment from a colleague. All the won't the the sunshine on your cheek. Whatever the pleasant moment might be you. Don't just move onto the next thing. Just take a few moments to soak it up. It's so kitten doing say gives you a great chance to turn your mind towards the lovely and thus to combat the tricky foe of negativity bias and with that simple action of gratitude goes out to salesforce for supporting storytellers who opened up something within US turn us towards the lovely spock the kind of positive change that cascades out into the world <music> <music>. Meditative story is a weight what original in partnership with thrive global the show is produced at the studio inside S. Y. Partners in New York executive produces a devon trip June in current Arianna Huffington and Dan cats. Our producer is Sabrina Fai. Our supervising producer is Jaipur giambi curator. Ah cary Goldstein original music and sound design is by the holiday brothers mixing and mastering by Brian Pugh special. Thanks to an sex Julianne Stone some Matisse Monakali Madison Odenberg Lindsey Benito Connell Libby Duke Mm Smith and Sarah and I'm GonNa take our creator of the beautify meditation APP and your Host Visit Meditative Story Dot Com to find the transcript of this episode on the next episode of midst. If story I imagine the splendid seen up in those mountains <music> surrounded by lush forest the guerrillas ambuhl out into a clearing in case into the Vista the surrounding hills come in and out of view as a gentle breeze pushes the mess through the trees and dense underbrush in my mind the photograph spectacular <music>.