I woke up around 5 this morning, chatted with a bestie on line, tried to read a book which I’m not finding fascinating but I feel it does enhance my language skills since I’m not talking very much. There are a few big words in it which I hope I would pronounce correctly due to the fact reading written words is much different than wrapping your tongue around them. I knew the book could not satisfy me like a good sunrise on a clear day….and then I thought…I can be at the grocery store when it opens at 7 and avoid all of the angst of people.
It was freeking depressing. There were a few cars in the lot and every person in there other than cashiers were my age and older….and everyone looking like they did exactly what I did. Grabbed clothes hanging on the end of the bed and off to the store. Depressing…because I could feel it and see it in their faces. It was a totally different experience than a trip to the store during the heart of the day or after 5 pm.
There were no smiles, no nodding of the head. They slowed down on approach and actually stopped. I considered turning my cart around and going the other way so they would be more comfortable…but I realized this would not work looking at the big picture.
I tried to avoid everyone the best I could. I kept a smile on my face, love in my eyes and blessed everyone in the confines of my life in that moment. With the frequently blasted death sentence of the corona virus, older folks are genuinely scared and we need to respect that and love them with everything we have.
……and by mental, I mean what is the story we are telling ourselves. As I wander around the house seeing things that need to be done, I tell myself I don’t really want to do them. These are the exact same things I had all kinds of excuses for back in January and February…you know….the good old days.
Now because the “powers that be” have instituted new rules to keep me safe, I feel like I’m being disciplined. This is in no way a Pollyanna commentary that everything is just fine…there is a lot of suffering. But I am trying to just watch the back-of-my-mind running narration telling me that if this was my choice….a stay at home vacation….needed down time from the busyness, I would not be complaining at all. I would be breathing in the solitude…I would be enjoying the guiltless time to read a book, catch up on TV series I had recorded, settling in for an afternoon movie. It’s not like we are without any options for our leisure time.
Is it safe to say that the angst, anger, boredom in our required downtime is more the story we are telling ourselves than reality…saying “I can’t” rather than “I won’t”. Because of the fear of “catching” the virus and the uncertainty of available health care or for me….mortality, I choose to not have any physical association with others. But if that were not a fear… I have the choice …. like so many others are doing …. ignore the rules in order to satisfy immediate gratification. Theoretically this makes it my choice!
This may be activity day for the egoic voices in my head. This thought pattern was only the first 15 minutes of coffee in my hand, on the couch, waking up….buckle up!
I think we learn fear…I really don’t think it’s just natural to be afraid of things, everything, hyper vigilant in our fear, smothering fear. I’m not a disciple of the past life-reincarnation theory. Actually I fall right in the center…some things I hear or experience have me on the right -maybe- side of it. Then I walk along one foot in front of the other thinking naw…don’t believe it…..and with that little tangent about my belief system…there are times that I wonder if my fears “could” be the result of past karma, past life experiences…noticing fur on the ground while looking for nuts and the next thing you know, the saber tooth tiger is chasing me toward my cave entrance.
I was born from, raised by and fought off the fear that seeped from my mother’s pores. As an example, when my first child was born, my mother was standing in my kitchen comforting the crying baby. When I walked into the room, she told me I should take the child to the doctor and have her tested for cyclic fibrosis because her skin tasted salty. My very first reaction was 0 to 60 rage…my mothers terror was always a recognizable shadow…always with her.
Which leads me right into taking your shoes off when you come in the house….inspired by a Facebook share bestowing the fear of what is on the bottom of the shoe…including a bacteria which can lead to nasty infections with symptoms raging from diarrhea to potentially fatal inflammation. OMG and here I was only worried about the China manufactured disease killing hundreds of thousands along with eating hamburger that has been in my fridge for three days….and number one on the list…the mental illness from which I suffer…the fear and disgust of other people’s bare feet…especially when those bare feet are visible to me in my house or close enough to me that I can recognize them as actual human unclothed feet.
It’s no wonder we are a society of fear, hate and discontent..we are afraid of everything. It is contagious and it is the most dangerous Illness of all!
Until next time…
When it comes right down to the bottom line…most of the crap I give energy to in my day absolutely does not matter….often the rapid ego crises fires off one after the other as I move on to another earth shattering decision I need to make about my hair or what shoes to wear with my jeans.
On my journey, I read and think I have absorbed the difference between thinking with my ego brain…the fear brain or my spirit brain. That fear brain full of I’m not good enough, what if, this could happen, what do they think, if I do that, why is she such a bitch, why is he driving like that, why would she wear that, what will they think if I do it? And the difference in brains. My spirit brain which is fueled by love but most importantly, my spirit brain only recognizes what is happening right here…right this moment. If I’m not thinking about the next moment with my fear brain, I can be in the moment right now where life is happening and it has nothing to do with what if or what they or should I. It’s right now. What do I see, what can I feel, what do I hear right now.
This blog wrote itself after a text from a beloved about an E.R. visit. I went full bore into OMG mode, what if. Irrational fear gripped me until I recognized the behavior. Stop, breath in and out feeling every breath, center myself to what is happening at this moment…right now…..right now all is well.
Hope this helps someone else in crisis mode!
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.
The difference in the thought process and the decisions I make in my life are based solely on which brain I’m using. Oh….and I certainly don’t speak from a tone of arrogance here…I don’t share this because I always listen to the right brain…but I’m speaking from hours and hours of study….I eventually figure it out and know the difference in which brain I’m thinking WITH. Kind of comes down to my “knowing” brain just knows that I ended that last sentence with a preposition. As soon as I typed it, I knew it was going to be the last word in the sentence and I knew that grammatically there was “someone” out there who learned the old school rigid rules about prepositions and would think…she just ended that sentence in a preposition “tsk”.
….and then she/he might really examine my other sentences like…OMG she just started that sentence with and…then…same person might go back to a time in school when they learned about past participles or prepositions or to spelling tests and perhaps compare themselves to a sibling who could do difficult math in their head or remember when they used to get in trouble for day dreaming and by the time that whole thought process was over, this person felt like a total failure….all over a preposition trigger. This person who first noticed the idiot woman’s blog that ends her sentences in a preposition just triggered a lengthy egoic or “personal” mind process that left them feeling inferior or insecure and in all probability introduced a mindset of being snippy with someone..sent them to the kitchen to eat their insecurity away or had them ordering something on Amazon to make themselves feel better.
This is just one of the minds we think with. The mind of fear. After many years of driving accident free, one traffic accident-fender bender might have you afraid to drive on the interstate. Having a cancer diagnosis upon returning from a long trip out of the country might have you afraid to travel again, an early life of worry about not having money to feed the kids might have you fearing poverty even with a bank or mattress full of money. The egoic mind. The mind that you fear with, compare yourself to others with, feel insecure with…the mind that provides a free-of-charge little voice on your shoulder that chatters incessantly through out your day telling you that you are not ok.
There is another mind…
Because of my upbringing which I can sum up as do what you are told, no need to have a mind of your own because this is what you believe and this is what you will do, it took me a long time to realize that I was going to begin stepping out in my own direction. I still followed rules and, for the most part, laws, but I learned through experience that if you continue doing what you’ve always done and think with the same mind you used before, then you will have the exact same outcome. BUT…if you pay attention to nuances (which I now call intuition), speak with respect, do your homework and intelligently defend your case, then sometimes rules will be changed. I also learned that if the rules don’t change, you can either suck it up and follow the rules which MAY be the appropriate behavior or more likely for me, I would get mad…scream and holler in my head …. then organize like- minded individuals and go at it again…. being sure to attach some negative emotion to it so that in 20 or more years later, similar emotions about similar situations can rise up and before you know it you are overwhelmed in anger and hatred and vengeance which will probably be overblown for the situation…ie:road rage. There are many years and many experiences that have occurred before which exploded this workable problem into a full blown battle in your head. When they rise up, you will be reacting and responding the way you did 20 or more years ago to a completely different situation….the cycle just continues throughout life.
What did I just read or hear the other day..something to the effect….you can’t fix a problem with the same mind that created it.
My opinion as to the answer is not going to come from me in a 3 paragraph blog, or quite frankly, from me at all…I’m learning and all I can really share is what got me from there to where I am now sharing my thoughts on my blog, but I will credit the PRACTICE of meditation, the book Mastery of Self by Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr…his daddy wrote the Four Agreements, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer or A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
Until next time…
Are we just harming ourselves? I’m not sure yet if I believe in the karma theory but I know in the past from my mental flapping, I’ve entertained lots of negative hopes for those who have been on the other side of my personal battle line. It is starting to sink in that you are what you think…in other words…negative attitudes and gossip or bad mouthing others is nothing more than a show of your own personal insecurity. Continually trying to drag someone else down with your words and attempting to incite YOUR jealousies in others really only feeds your own negative agenda. ESpecially if your opponent is wearing the shield of love and their own personal acceptance and self love. It’s unflattering and harmful only to the person doing the bashing!
We have no control over how we were treated and loved or not loved as children. We have no control over how other people treat us. But we do have total control how we receive the information and more importantly our reaction to negativity. After a conversation with a friend today AND my own personal experience, I’m convinced sometimes we must just cut ties with those people who hurt us with their words, actions and intentions. As a people pleaser, it is often hard to stop the cycle of trying to force people to love us and respect us. For the most part, these relationships bring us pain, sadness and personal retreat in order to save ourselves! These relationships are not worth the angst experienced in your mind and in your heart!
Until next time….
GroundHog commented on yesterday’s blog “Empty Houses have no soul” that he also felt there were evil trees….I was quite taken aback by his comment because I’m a tree hugger and never, ever been in the presence of an evil tree. He expounded on it in his blog this morning and I understand what he sees….and feels?
I have always soaked up a lot of peaceful energy from trees. Years ago, we planted two weeping willow trees and because of the awesome wet soil, they became massive weeping willow trees in just a few years. During many of my high anxiety moments, I would walk down to the trees, stand under them, gently stroke the leaves and just feel. I felt peace and healing. There was a willow tree at a camping spot at Red Rock Lake that I used to lay my head back on the lawn chair and just let the peacefulness soak in. I’ve always used this picture I copied from the internet as my blog profile picture.
I think my Dad had a similar love for trees; but, I question that he would admit to their healing power. My dad loved to plant trees in our backyard when I was growing up. My mother, of course, used to complain that there were too many trees..I interpreted her words for dislike and I didn’t like her for it! I was shocked many years later when he had a grove of trees bulldozed out of the family farm in order to make more room for crops. This was my grandma’s farm and he rented out the farm ground so I understood the reason for losing the grove of trees…but I didn’t like it!
….and just to pass along a little family joke….One year we were on vacation…I have no idea which state we were driving through but we passed by a grove of weeping willow trees. I made the off hand remark that you just don’t see weeping willows trees very often…sometimes it would be wiser to just keep my thoughts inside my head…to this day the family remembers…and they always point out weeping willows to me with the words…you just don’t see weeping willows very often…and to this day, I always give them the “side look”.
Until next time….
I’m not even sure I know who I am anymore. He is in having his colonoscopy and it is too cold in the waiting room so I’m sitting outside on a bench….on the most hot and humid day so far this year in KC.
I have never been too cold except one year during an Iowa winter….oh and the Chiefs game we went to last season. Weight loss? Kidney loss? Old age?
While he drank and purged yesterday prepping for today’s activity, I cooked myself up linner or was in dunch….something I knew he would detest and not hunger for. Salmon pattys and sweet corn. Actually I was going to do peas but the corn at the grocery store looked awesome and it was!
Back to the labeling…I’m becoming one of those people who does not like to leave the house. I’m totally content in my habitat…that’s not to say I don’t want to go outside…it just means I could go for weeks and not leave the house and its surroundings..
In fact….*long pause…. I have a little anxiety when I have to attend a social event.But ask me to speak at a social event in front of an audience and I’m energized. My girls insist that I’m an extrovert and they, like their father, are introverts. Their father who talks to all the neighbors, knows where they all work and the names of their dog…..I know who has the friendliest wave from the end of the driveway.
So. Where do I fit. I fit in no little box. I am me…I’m comfortable being me and just like everyone else, I can participate or not participate. It is my choice….and quite frankly, I’m probably the only one who is questioning this? Or am I?
Until next time…..