I was out on the deck this morning repotting hens and chicks when I heard him walking through the yard from the trail. 60 degrees…nice breeze….lots of sunshine. Exactly the kind of fall day I would have celebrated from a deck chair last year. It just didn’t happen this year. I regrettably spent nearly an entire summer puttering in the house. At first, I started down the long and winding trail of thought and irritation with myself….why did I do that…what was wrong with me?
But this time, I did not accept the invitation to the pity party. I accepted the fact that I spent most of the summer in the house puttering .. obviously, exactly what I chose to do….and I did not should myself.
But today, I decided that I wanted to spend some time outside. I walked around the pond…I felt the breeze in my hair, got a little warm wearing my sweatshirt….and I realized with a lot of joy there is still a lot of “now” available to me somewhere out there appreciating the beauty of one of my favorite months.
Little surprises were peeking through confirming it’s not over until it’s over!
I’m learning to opt out of participating in human drama whether it be in my own head or participating with all of my senses with everyone else here on earth. This has actually brought me some peace of mind during the pandemic as I have removed myself from politics. I read the headlines in order keep up on what is going on in the country? What I am finding is when I actually “click” on the occasional news story nothing has changed from the last time I clicked. There is only fear-generating expressions of opinions!
Each fall, members of Unity Village Chapel read the same book….individually, then many of us join together in small groups to discuss the book. This one, Embracing Uncertainty Chapter 3, had me overwhelmed with insight. Thus the cut and paste project I worked on last night. It was a very effective way to concentrate on energetic phrases from the chapter to cement them on my heart and in my soul.
“Expectations create attachments…a hope something turns out a certain way”
Often we are unable to let go of our expectation….
“Expectations carry disappointments rigidity, anger, impatience and obsession”
“The moment expectations appear in the form of hope, desire or a wish, close your eyes, take out the imaginary scissors to cut the cord of expectation. Release it like a balloon drifting away from you.”
I really wish I had pictures of HIM crawling around on the floor in my craft room repeating over and over…it’s not under here. It couldn’t get under here.
This was right after I went into a panic because there was a wet spot on the floor under the master bathroom. I moved the trash can to catch any drips. And then I recalled that two hours earlier I had leaned over to plug in my space heater with my IPAD in one hand and my jumbo Bubba cup in the other. Obviously a couple drips of water……
Where is the Roomba
Not under the day bed, not in the bathroom, there’s no way it could get under the desk, not under the craft cabinet…I accused him of messing with me…in his sternest voice he assured me that he absolutely was not messing with me.
Much Later I was cleaning up supper dishes (because there is absolutely no hurry to do them anymore) I was drawn to this cupboard….
No….the Roomba wasn’t in there…
I was starting to feel totally detached from reality. I had no idea what was behind this cupboard door. I’m not sure I have even opened that door since I put the plastic containers in it obviously a long time ago. Those same plastic containers I’ve been searching for.
Rex is sleeping like this
Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my sense of reality and just need to get out of this house…or perhaps just add different music to my playlist. But my music is so comfortable, I don’t have to question what song is next. Don’t misunderstand most of the time I actually feel pretty happy and content but things just feel like they aren’t where they belong….
Oh…the Roomba….he crawled completely under the desk which is barricaded on all sides by important stuff. Somehow It was stuck in a corner. The thought crossed my mind that if that thing had come to life under there while I was working at the computer, it would have been all over!
I am finding that this …….OMG I’m having trouble coming up with words….this sequestering….this sheltering in place has helped my dream life. Interestingly, the dreams I recall from the last few nights have starred people from my past. In other words, I wake up and don’t immediately try to remember what I did yesterday and what I need to take away from the dream!
The one dream I recall from last night involved the totally adult daughter of my friend, Kim. I haven’t seen Amber for a few years but last night she was front and center…with her camera and it seems her pictures would disappear as soon as she took them. I spent some quality sleep time trying to solve this problem for her.
Several times a day, I have to look at my watch to recall what day of the week it is. There’s no stress, there’s no forgetting things to do because there is absolutely nothing I have to do. I still have a bit of a problem with the quiet time when I get a brain shock alert, alert…oh God, what did I forget….alas, I have forgotten nothing.
Sitting in the bathroom this morning, I was contemplating toilet paper. I decided I was going to do a test and use 4 squares and see if that is adequate rather than just unrolling until it stops and ripping it off. Seems that represents a lifetime of wastefulness. I’ve always bought toilet paper in bulk from amazon and before this pandemic came along, I had restocked the closet with papertowels and toilet paper. During a Later bathroom visit today, I estimated how many rolls I have down there…maybe 30? And if we use a roll and a half a week in each bathroom, we will be good for awhile.
So that’s it…welcome to my new life…I’m guessing I could have also just described your life in captivity… I think it is actually new and improved.
It feels so weird to not need to check my phone calendar to see what time I should set an alarm for the next morning…. To not have anything on my calendar in general. Our Monday evening book club met on line last night and we began as we always do with a check in. So far everyone seems to be finding their water line…floating in the nothingness and seeking a new normal. I felt so much comfort realizing that everyone was feeling the screeching halt from a lifetime of getting ‘Er done. I FELT our friend, Carol’s, rapid acceptance…they are bringing wood in for a fire, she is doing her spiritual work and she finally has the time to read the books that have been stacking up.
I am actually feeling some comfort today. There’s nothing I have to do…there is only what I want to do…that thought is so foreign in my mind. I committed this morning to use the skills I’ve been practicing to think about life differently. Each moment is a gift that we live in that moment. We have no control…or our normal perceived control over anything. All I have to do is Be. Be in this moment with a gratitude in my heart.
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.
Hanging at eye level out my kitchen window is this shriveled leaf still attached to its branch. It has survived several windy autumn days, thunderstorms, gentle rain, sleet and a significant snow storm and still remains today while, again, snow flakes fall all around.
Occasionally it will flutter with a breeze but continues to hang secure to its branch refusing to give up…its not time for it to release and softly drift to the ground to join the other leaves. It is a quiet reminder for me about the simplicity of life in nature…
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.
For the last couple of years, I’ve immersed myself in the study of learning to live in the moment. The past is done. There is nothing that can change it…and the past we recall is our illusion of events and interestingly, every time we try to bring the past back in our thoughts, its probably not the same memory from the last time we thought about it. Regardless…it is the past. It is not who we are or what we are right this moment. The future we agonize over and plan down to the last detail is also an illusion. I’m not referring to the weekly calendar or event future, I’m speaking of the worry and planning of our lives such as what happens if I run out of money, what happens if I get sick, What happens if we lose the house, what happens if all the chickens die…FEAR OF THE FUTURE…These thoughts are just a destructive cycle in our thinking that keep us from living right now.
How many times do we miss what is going on in the pleasant, present moment because we are focused on something from our past or fear of what might happen in the future (usually won’t happen in the future). I’m learning to recognize when I have these life robbing thoughts. I recognize when I’m starting to feel anxiety about “something” and to just STOP and get off that thought train. What are 3 things I see right now, 3 things I hear right now, 3 things I can physically feel right now. This exercise which might take 10 seconds will bring me back to where I am right here and right now.
My anxiety, morbid thinking, fear of the unknown and anger about the past is becoming less likely to ruin my day.
This has been a “lesson” I wanted to share today because I woke up with some fear based thinking and writing it down always helps me to retain the information!
I started off my Morning Pages arguing the woulda, shoulda, coulda theory of my life. I think I’m still following “someone” else’s rules…rules that have a home in my ego….rules that I haven’t seen to fit to challenge with the board of directors in my brain!
Today is not the first day I’ve argued that I am very content sitting on the deck, drinking my coffee, plotting death to the cicadas having the intention that I will do nothing today other than read and make notes (bulletpoint notes) about How do I go about killing cicadas).
OMG someday I will be 80 (insert number) and I won’t be able to get around as well and I will regret the decision I made on August 9 2019 at 0900 to just do nothing…what is wrong with me that I don’t want to do anything…everyone else is out there living productive lives and here I sit on my deck doing nothing!
There is a heepa lotta attachment here to shoulda! Then…I thought….I read a lot of books and attend classes each week on changing my thinking….quieting ego thinking and making decisions through the divine spirit in me….keeping my vibrations high, the value of meditating….and I can’t make peace with myself to be content right now…just being in the moment? Right here….right now!
I may just be overthinking…spending too much time outside my head and letting my ego cause me to be off center and causing the energy I’m using on something that doesn’t even deserve a conversation blind me by the steam this useless activity is creating.