I’ve been practicing “understanding” and “releasing what doesn’t serve me” for the last 5 years. (This, after 60 years of trying to rationalize my unhappiness, frustration and anger). I, now, recognize that my mind usually grasps for must-know what will happen in the next moment so that I’m safe. Relying on the illusions in past experiences to determine the worthiness of other humans…the judgments, love/hate/right/wrong about people/things while living from my head rather than my heart. I still struggle quieting preconceived notions about how I’m supposed to live and love…right and wrong…acceptable and unacceptable.
What I know in this moment is that I THINK TOO MUCH. I “think” because I “fear”. My expectations, my never ending scenario building, my panic when faced with the unknown seldom comes to fruition….
I have been mentally exhausting myself staying busy…doing, doing, doing…after awhile it turns into resentment, resentment, resentment. But don’t we need to keep “doing” in order to be productive happy humans…or at least to make others happy humans? NO!
I first had a whisper of what was going on a few months ago when I said out loud, I am so sick and tired of living by the calendar. Why do I continue to over commit myself doing things I might enjoy doing if I had time to enjoy them…but instead believing I must stay busy to be valued.
It hit me yesterday as I took my walk amongst the trees, watering the flowers and the garden, sitting on the deck reading with a cool beeeze while the sun warmed my skin. I realized I was doing something…exactly what I wanted to do. My heart was happy, my brain was silent and I understood the beauty of the heart vs the brain. Doing nothing is doing something…attending to myself from my heart instead of my mind/ego feels courageously gentle.
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.
There is often a huge crevice between expectations associated with our choices and Reality… Capital R – Reality. Simply put, I’m in the drive thru of my favorite coffee shop, waiting for my turn to order, I make a snap decision and choose to get a large calorie laden coffee with caffeine, sugar and real whipped cream rather than my usual healthier choice of a regular decaf brew. In that moment of choice, I may set into motion a day of regrets and negative self talk because of the one moment (monumental?) decision. I’m hung up on the little jagged edge in the crevice as the the self talk…the disappointment in my choice…. morphs into the inner voice screaming why did I do it and why do I always make the wrong choice….this negative self talk and self irritation continues on and on even into the next morning as I step on the scale, not knowing that this one little coffee choice may be forgotten, but has become a building block for the next second, day, year, lifetime.
Sounds a little over-dramatic that a cup of coffee could set your life on spin but how many times do we make a choice, a decision that seemed right in the moment, but find out as life happens that it might not have been the best decision…..but…..oh how we fear intentional change…we fear the unknown. Like the wrong career choice, the bad marriage, the wrong investment, the wrong doctor. These “moment” choices can set our life on a trajectory of angst, hardship, anger or mental self abuse? When, actually, in any moment, we can make a different choice. Life doesn’t happen to us…We choose in each moment and each breath! We can step back and ask ourselves….hmmmm, “How is that working for me?” and then make a change, or a different choice by ordering the planned regular decaf brew!
The way we view our life is one drama after another drama or a sitcom after sitcom or an entire How-to HGTV day perhaps seeing other colors to use as our background. The choices and decisions are ours to make. In my life I have lived many stories. I’ve told myself and edited narratives while identifying with each story while also including play by play -free of charge- to anyone who would listen. It’s not an easy habit to break, but I realized that I created the monsters and the beauty of realization is that as soon as I “open my eyes” the monsters disappear. Until I actually believe they are real, they do not belong to me!
I call it working knowledge…all of the encounters, judgements, observations and a lifetime of the resulting lessons that I draw from over this lifetime aid me in traversing through this human experience as I navigate the cube I live in.
I choose the word CUBE here…like ice cube. Throw an ice cube in a glass of warm water…it eventually melts into something else….liquid form…but while in the glass together with other cubes, we trust and rely on each other’s energy to sustain life as an ice cube a little longer. Eventually though, we morph into another form…water….liquid…we have no idea where or how our journey continues… nor do we have any control….in that moment, we are BEING an INFINITE drop of energy….a drop of water.
Sitting on the couch this morning, I “felt” a small tremor….like when several cats on a mission jumps off the back of the couch or someone drops a heavy object in another part of the house or like when dynamite detonates at one of the two nearby quarries…..I sat for a moment waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop…and it didn’t…no truck running into the house, no apparent earthquake …all seemed to be well in the moment.
Which lead me to >>>>just another lesson in fear….as I waited for the thinking and worry to start “omg what was that” to mess up my Friday morning, …my thoughts were on high alert….what might happen, what might that have been, should I check Facebook to see if anyone is talking about it. I could have lost a whole second, minute, hour or day by allowing my mind to go totally unsupervised with all the possibilities that are “possible”……you know….with some imaginary event that has just not happened yet! This minor or probable catastrophic event that will change my life, make me sad, irritate me, scare me to death or cause me great hardship.
I am becoming aware that all the things I plan for or try to get in front of never happen…every day I go through life stepping over mole hills that never turn into mountains. Putting my nervous systems….all body systems…..on high alert….ready for the saber tooth tiger.
How many times do I have to jolt myself back to reality…back to JUST STOP! Just breath! Just change your thoughts with a hard stop and recalculate like the GPS on your phone. Logic tells me that by practicing this new way of just accepting what is actually happening without drama or color, it will become easier to navigate daily experiences with my body relaxed and my mind at peace!
I woke up this morning thinking…okay…it’s Friday whew. With my first cup of coffee I contemplated why the Friday relief seemed to mean something to me…I am a retired woman with virtually stress free days. By the second cup of coffee, my subconscious apparently had the time to answer the question…I’m still running on rules and schedules that I either adopted, inherited or expected of myself for 65 years prior to today….and
The big and….if I don’t make the choice to change that thinking, I will live out my life thinking…ahhh Monday a new start (what can go wrong) until Friday (whew glad that nightmare is over).
From the inner work I’ve been doing, I know that just realizing the error of my ways and deciding it’s time for change does not mean that Monday I will wake up “healed”not even realizing it is Monday while experiencing the day only each moment in its moment. Chances are without practicing this “in the moment consciousness”, I’m likely to be controlled by the future… in an hour, tonight, next Tuesday…and the past…can’t do that remember what happened last time! It takes practice to bring myself back to the present each time I recognize I’ve stepped back on the craziness treadmill!
Then I read the daily word. Dailyword.com
The second paragraph got me!
Divine order holds everything together, even that which appears chaotic or without reason. I may not be able to see the entire picture, but I TRUST THE STRUCTURE THAT UNDERGIRDS ALL LIFE. When I behold this symmetry in my life and in the world, I feel the comfort and security in divine order.
The whole “chore” of washing sheets (it’s not like I had to use a washboard in the stream) and remaking the bed became a mindful experience for me. Instead of focusing on the facts associated with this chore, I was shockingly finished and walking out of the room without thinking “why am I the only one who knows how to wash sheets in this house”. This takes nothing away from all of the things He does on a daily basis…it’s merely an historical triggered reaction.
Right after I rejected the common habit of yelling down and asking him to help me so I don’t have to walk around the bed myself 4 times, I recognized that this was another facet of the poor-me trigger I had learned so well. The good news is while putting the pillow cases on, I realized that I really did have a valid reason for not making my bed everyday because seriously, how does the bed go about breathing and airing out when covered with sheets, blankets and comforter all day. You are welcome…you may use it!
As I was walking around the bed on an unexpected trip (making it 6 times) to measure the distance of the top sheet to the bottom of the mattress on each side, I realized that every time we make the bed together, he gives me a reading of the sheet level to the mattress on his side…and, of course, this irritates me. Because it is an historical triggered reaction to those times when we slept in a small bed with smaller sheets and every time someone turned over, it could mean one person lost the sheet. As the victim in my own story, it was always me!
So, I share this insight as encouragement for bed makers out there to use the experience as a calming, counseling session with yourself. Finding gratitude in the mundane daily activities….even making the bed…..CAN be a spiritually enlightening experience……
I woke up loaded for bear this morning (not something I need to mention…waking up soft and gentle would be actual news). THIS morning, I went quickly to writing my Morning Pages which has become easier this week because I recognize the need to get “whatever it is” outta my head and down on paper so I may release it! what I learned was….
Last year at this time, I went from traveling Mach speed around the curves with mind numbing constant thoughts and activity which were framed in worry and fret about absolutely nothing TO Oh Holy Shit…what is happening. For the next year and some change, the reality of required solitude and living within the parameters of “just being” was odd….and then it became my new normal….and I was peaceful and comfortable and just felt right. He and I worked on our relationship, we read books together, I went to bed and got out of bed when I wanted. I had groceries delivered, I read without guilt, I didn’t clean house very often and we saved a hefty amount of money ( with the shameful realization that being frugal was not even one of my vocabulary words).
I will not go back to normal. I don’t even have the desire to go back to whatever normal is. Post vaccinations, I begin to feel myself being pulled in different directions, I also realize that those commitment I make now are of my own doing….my choice. My quarantined personality had one of its best years of my life…Now I know what “just being” feels like. My only job here is listen to myself…And do what feels the best for my soul in each moment…with each breath.
If it weren’t raining for day number 40 of 40 days and 40 nights, I possibly would be in a better mood. Even though we have had a few days….and I mean VERY FEW days…. without rain since our unseasonably cold days, I fear that little scream that has been bouncing around inside my head will somehow escape and scare the birds away from the feeders quicker than my shadow passing in front of the window. *rolling eyes
On a brighter note, yesterday I had a kind nurse poke a needle in my shoulder….my second COVID vaccine. I was mildly concerned that this one might result in flu like symptoms but thankfully I just couldn’t lift my left arm to remove my sweatshirt and I went to bed early because I was either very tired or just felt foggy. I was having some difficulty in comprehending what I was reading.
After a family IMessage with the daughters this morning I think I was just tired last night because it was quietly inferred that apparently my level of comprehension often wanes. Like watching the movie, Frozen, that we watched while visiting our Iowa family a few months ago. Now I find out that I must have missed the point that the parents died in the beginning which would actually be the premise for all of the other sadness, evil and pain of the children’s movie…..I have to admit I was just into it for the music anyway!
So ending this on a grateful note, we need rain to begin the growing season…yay….birds are cute, loud and chirpy, music soothes my soul and I’m now vaccinated and feel the darkness lifting….Namaste
Or at least I think its Friday…quite frankly, I really have no idea what day it is anymore. COVID quarantine on the heels of retirement joined together with a personality that was always busy living my job and filling my day’s off with sanity recovery, chores and rules. One would think having no rules, no need for sanity and time on ones hands, one might do all of those things I complained I couldn’t get done while I was working. I frequently go to bed and have stress filled organizing dreams because I don’t really want to go to bed…I have things I want to do… I work harder in my dreams that I do during any other time of the day.
Some might say these unstructured days are good for the soul and I don’t argue that point. The difference is when I fail to do the things I want to do because I have an overactive mind and the glimpse of something shiny has me googling, shopping and looking for books to read on Amazon or scanning Twitter and Facebook, watching YouTube videos and in the blink of an eye clicking on my next second of unstructured entertainment.
Today while doing the recommended “homework-exercises” from my Heartmath.com class from Saturday mornings, I was able to go within using a technique “Heart Math Point 0”. Asking my heart “What clearing for a mental, emotional or physical healing would be fulfilling to invest my energy at this time”. Writing down my hearts intention became this blog post. I will endeavor to go within and listen to myself on a daily basis. Listen within to quiet the monkey mind and fill my day with intentional joy rather than being controlled by the next sparkling thing that passes before my eyes into my ego mind.