Mai Pen Rai


As I relaxed on my sunny front porch the other day, enjoying the serendipitous music coming from a stranger as he sat on the back of his car playing the cello, I was struck by the myriad of emotions that passed in front of me as I looked out at my neighborhood. There are beautiful gardens to enjoy, kids playing basketball and laughing and bits and pieces of longing resting on my heart for folks from my old ‘hood that I miss waving to.

In front of me is the key phrase.

It used to be that emotions hit me in the gut. Now, with time and compassion and understanding, on a “good day” the emotions come up and pass by. In front of me one moment, gone the next. Mai Pen Rai, I say. It is what it is.I learned of Mai Pen Rai, when I came across the article below. As you will read, “Mai Pen Rai” is elusive in its meaning and description and can be understood to mean any of the following: it’s OK, it doesn’t matter, no worries, or it is what it is.” I loved the way the author described the saying, and way of life, prevalent in Thailand.

No matter the culture, religion, country, etc., there are many ways to hold perspective of situations and relationships. My grandmother used to say in Yiddush, Gumzalatova – it’s all for the good. Caroline Myss, spiritual teacher and medical intuit, says that situations and people show up to teach us what we need to learn. The Bible, the Torah, books of other religions, spiritual teachers, columnists and psychologists all have their spin. The spin hardly matters. What I find important is the peace in whatever piece I choose to learn from.

I love metaphors and often find my home to be a powerful reminder of what I need to learn and what I know. Outsides change – cloudy days, sunny days, we move, others we love move, too. Insides give us the chance to control a little more – rearranging furniture (re-framing), creating a sense of ourselves with color and light (illuminating our insights), making space to sit and welcome friends/family (lessons) and ourselves.

What goes on outside of us goes on. What we do with it inside is up to us.

 How do you MindFULLY learn that it’s OK? Let us know!