Every now and then I get a glimmer of how this whole life thing works when fear is released and I am able to experience the one precious moment…….right here and right now.
I have a history of making myself miserable in thinking and in action taking care of everyone. I have caused myself a lot of work and grief and resentment ….. with the best intentions, obviously…but living blindly thinking I know what is best for my friends and family and then proceeding to do everything in my power to see it through to be sure everyone is happy. I know this is a learned behavior from my childhood…if someone is unhappy, hurt or angry, I feel the need to make it ok…..it’s exhausting!
Being human, I still often think I know best. It’s those moments when something unexpectedly just work out and I have not had an opinion, judgement, fear or hand in it, that I realize this is how it works. It’s not easy to release control when fear is served up frequently. Digesting fear and reacting from fear gives the illusion that somehow I actually have control. Nope, nope, nope.
Staying in the moment. Not reacting from judgements of the past. Not spinning the dial to figure out the next move for the future. Quite the contrary… just stopping and feeling the right now. Centering with 5 things I hear, 5 things I see, 5 things I feel. Right now…being in the present…where this is no fear of the next minute and no history to react from.
No planning, no commitment to do better, no promise to stay in the moment…just being aware when my small self starts thinking and planning and judging. That’s the moment it’s possible to just stop and center!
I fully recognize that I am not in a gentle place right now. I’m not doing my morning centering, meditations and I miss that contented 2020 peacefulness. That’s not to say I didn’t have a thin thread of fear running through my head about COVID but I settled in to experience those early months of the virus without the busyness that is overwhelming me now. He and I were content to just “be” in this house together…doing what felt right in the moment. We talked several times about how good it felt not to have a schedule, and not to have commitments. It was the first time I really understood that everything is vibration and energy. In simple terms, I understood the concept of sitting in the center of a room and watching my thoughts play out on screens around me. Those thoughts are not me, they are only visual concepts that change from one moment to another depending on what gets my attention.
So wah wah wah, I’m circling back! I’m releasing commitments and responsibilities that I chose for the wrong reasons. I know I must discern when my attention is drawn to those movie previews in my brain that apparently are causing me to “feel” uncomfortable, unsettled and irritable. I know that by focusing on the negative; by attempting to rationalize everything, I will experience instant karma serving it all back on a platter to me. I am what I think. Knowing I am capable of following my North Star, recognizing my emotions when I feel them….sitting with them until they subside and then with gratitude for the “I AM” soul that is me. There is nothing outside of myself that needs to be concerning or considered as I move forward in peace with my intuition and my knowing.
Why do I think everyone else’s life is better than my own?
I know that these thoughts usually only settle in when I am feeling irritable without a cause or irritable with a cause. So…irritable.
Or when I’m feeling sorry for myself…without a cause or with a cause.
Or when I have committed or not committed to do something in the future that I am often unable to follow through when the moment is now. Actually this particular situation has taken care of itself, for the most part, because I am learning the lesson of NO.. just say NO because it is not something I want to do at this time. Often after I have said NO….I feel very empowered. Standing up for myself…even if I can’t respond immediately because in the moment I don’t know if it’s a yes or no, I do understand that in the next second I may have an answer. I’ve accepted that I have quite a vocabulary and a mouth and I know how to use them.
Often when I’m driving in a new neighborhood, city, state, country – especially on a vacation – I think..ya..I like this area, I could live here or No…I don’t even want to eat ice cream here. Those memories seem to live in my consciousness so I can pull them out when I’m feeling irritable, sorry for myself, put upon, not appreciated. I USE THEM to compare my present moment with the illusion of the moment in my memory. It’s hard to remember the difference between fantasy and what I’m experiencing in the present.
But then…I can find myself when I’m sitting in solitary on the deck watching the water ripple on the pond, see the gentleness of the geese skimming across the water, an occasional ruffled feather, hear the birds tweeting in the wren house above my head, feeling the sun on my skin…reality sinks in and I know that I wouldn’t trade THIS or my life for anything. Which has me questioning sentence number 1 above:
Why do I think everyone else’s life is better than my own.
The good news is I’m starting to understand…understanding my little habits and attachments that eventually cause me pain and negativity and dis-ease. Actually I feel like this is a big step in the big picture of my life in the 6th decade… Just because I learned it as a child…perfected it as an adult and continue just mindlessly riding the wave …. does not mean I cannot change my thinking, my attitude, my habits!
So the Way I see this is it’s all me…it’s all my choices….its all the difference in my thinking…or lack of thinking. I either live life big and in the moment or I continue doing what I have been doing while lamenting the unfairness of life.
and I must say that once again I have been pulled into memes on social media including those that I just liked but did not take the time to check sources….but I decided to use this even though apparently Albert Einstein did not say it….its a mantra I have been rolling with for a couple years now and in my mind, it actually says everything that needs to be said.
I have never been a morning person, although most of my adult life I have been “forced” by my choice of employment to embrace the morning…either as an overnight employee embracing the sunrise just before bedtime or waking with the sunrise to begin my day. I can think of a handful of sunrise moments where I truly appreciated the early morning bursting light as a comfort representing divine order….that the sunrise, without fail, is a sure thing…a constant in my life.
I watched sunrise unfold this morning from my office chair…I watched it from first breath of the new day to its unfolding and I embraced the comfort. The comfort in the universe…the understanding of a greater power, a knowing that what we do here on earth today seems very important to us but we are but a small seed in the universe…in the big picture.
I spend a lot of time either agreeing or disagreeing with other humans. There are times when I’m neutral. But often I say in my head…what are they thinking? What are their demons? What happened to them? More like what the HELL happened to them? Thankfully I’m also able to say, how did I get so lucky with friendships? In spite of the the events in my life that I considered negative at the time, how did I get so lucky? I am grateful for the ability to now recognize Peace of Mind?
Laying in bed trying to get a nap in before work, I was focusing on my chakras because I have been feeling out of alignment…or to be honest…I’m tired, have been experiencing some fear and entertaining bitchy thoughts. While laying there I had the image of an older woman with large, lipstick decorated lips. My thoughts went to what would that be like to have well endowed lips. Would I talk differently, would I enunciate words differently? Would I look in the mirror and notice my beautiful lips first…or would I be focused on thin hair or tired eyes? What would it be like to look different? What would it be like to even have a different heritage…say black or asian? Would I be the same person inside..looking in the mirror but seeing a different face?
Of course I would be a different person inside having different life experiences. But, what if we could trade out bodies for a day? Would I understand the difference? Would I be less judgmental? Would I “get it”? Would I be the same after walking in someone else’s pumps?
Looking outside the box. Think differently, unconventionally or from new perspective.
Drawing from negative space. When drawing, you need to forget the “name” of objects and what you think you “know” about them and simply see them as shapes among groups of interlocking shapes.
My “A Course in Miracles“ Lesson today is there is another way of looking at the world. The idea is to shift your perception of the world in both its outer and inner aspects. Apply this idea the instant you are aware of distress. Close your eyes and think of your life…be aware of your thoughts …. the things that right now…this moment…are causing you stress or anger and repeat THERE IS ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT THE WORLD.
Today’s lesson follows…I am not a victim of the world I see and I have invented the world I see.
It all has to do with our own perspective and the daily choices we make …. in our own heads…of what we see, think and feel!
It hasn’t been that long ago…although definitely pre pandemic time….HE was telling a story about a dinner staple when he was growing up…his mother putting a canned peach slice on a plate topped with cottage cheese. I made the well known gesture of pointing to my throat meaning “gag me” because I was reliving the same memory. My mother often dressed the pineapple or pear slice up with a slice of banana along side the masterpiece with a maraschino cherry on top.
Many decades later, during this pandemic, I found a can of sliced pears in the pantry and just happened to have some AE brand cottage cheese in the fridge. I did it. What I tasted was my past….the comfort of my past…when I took my first spoonful I realized that if my past had a taste…this was it. I have never liked maraschino cherries…in fact, I have never understood why Restaurants find it necessary to top your huge ice cream delight with a little bitty cherry on top WITH A STEM attached.
Just one of those things I was thinking about while eating my bowl of pineapple chunks and cottage cheese on this rainy day…and because we are all sheltering in place and many of us alone today, this would be a good time to comment with what your past would taste like!
I find my living in the moment mind amongst the rubble of life by simply realizing what is happening right now…at this moment full stop. Using this mind certainly does not happen easily in our instant gratification world. Simply, it is the mind that must be used to heal the angst and the pain we allow to control our lives every second of the day.
Here’s the on-line instruction manual with directions for how to use this peaceful other mind: ask yourself what is happening right now…right this moment! Interpreted….If I’m not thinking and living the past while constantly being triggered to react to present moments by how I felt when…what someone said …. what someone did TO me… how I felt about the last conversation or the last person I encountered. Or the future…what I have to do today while at work…the stress of grocery shopping or meal preparation … how am I going to lose weight…OMG I have to do this or that. Nope…right now in this moment. In this once in a lifetime present moment, if the mental chatter stopped, if the stories we tell ourselves stopped, right now WITHOUT all of the fears we carry…with this breath I’m breathing is everything ok? Quite frankly, I am seldom able to live here in this moment all day long because, of course, I have figured out an excuse..I have 60 plus years of habitual thinking and over thinking to stop and like everyone else, I have that persistent, incessant talker sitting on my shoulder distracting me.
But what I have found is once I find the discipline to quiet my mind, I realize that my anxiety, my angst, my fears are not from things happening in the present. They are the thoughts of my past or fears of my perceived future. There is absolutely nothing I can do about the past…it’s done and gone unless I keep my version of it alive in my mind…and the future hasn’t happen…I really have no control of the future in spite of my obsessive thinking that I can control it.
A short exercise to bring my mind to a screeching halt is to STOP! Take 3 deep breaths and say to myself….3 things I see right now, 3 things I hear right now and reach out and touch three things I can feel right now. If I practice this every time I am aware of anxiety, irritation, dislike or fear, soon I realize that what is going on right this minute is just fine…is peaceful and this is where I’m going to live….but just like having a push ups goal, it takes practice.