By Amy Hautman Bates
I just reread Tolle’s The Power of Now for Katherine Ninos’ Consciousness I class. It has been ten years since I first picked up Tolle’s book and I was struck by how much clearer it seemed this time around. I think I used to be trying too hard to “get it.” I may still be far from “enlightenment,” but I now have frequent glimpses into that state of quiet bliss.
I moved across the country to New Mexico in September. I had the perfect life back in North Carolina, but I wanted to study Art Therapy at Southwestern College, and I had the freedom to go do it. So we moved. I quit my book clubs, my teaching, my art groups, my daily painting, my family care-taking, my baking, my gardening and my home improvement. I just dropped it all. And, remarkably, for the first time in my life, I feel like I am doing enough!
Every morning I look at the glorious sky and the awe-inspiring mountains and it takes my breath away. I am here. I have a profound sense of gratitude for everything. (Well, almost everything… when I am present.) The landscape here is spectacular, the skies here are different, but so am I. Having stepped back from raising teenagers and managing a demanding art career I see a glaring contrast between my scurrying mind and my quiet mind.
My husband, Rog, and I love it here. We plan to stay. Soon, I am sure, I will add many of the same old favorite activities back into my life. But it will be gradual and with intention. That is a whole new way of operating for me. I will add things because they are in line with what is right for me and not what I think I “should” be doing. I will paint, but I will not BE an artist. I may show people how to paint, but I will not BE a teacher. I will tend plants, but I will not BE a gardener. I will just be.