A lovely sunny Saturday morning. I will try not to let it slip away on me by useless redundant thinking and scrolling through the Internet. I love the early morning light as it dances through the sunroom. First it is the faint orange glow of the sunrise. I look up to see if it isn’t the ceiling lights. It isn’t. It is as if I’m on a stage as I move through my qigong routine. Things are sharper and colours more vibrant. I am at ease. I watch as the light turns more golden and plays along the walls. Soon it is gone, to return later in the day.

I have to be present to catch these precious moments. It is the time of day when I am opened and freed from the cares and despairs of our modern world. It is a good time to fill myself with hope and optimism. This morning I am reading Larry Dossey’s The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things. The title speaks for itself and to me. I am a huge fan of the ordinary. I’ve experienced a few Eureka! moments already just in the first part of the book. I’m more awake to understand and question things as they are. So much for my wanting not to do these very things.

I might as well give up trying to fight myself. I am who I am. After all, my maternal grandfather was a teacher and principal. I believe I got my high principles, stubborness and stern nature from him. Like they say, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree even a generation removed. It’s hard to disregard your genes. It’s not as if I chose to be serious. I would much rather be gay and the-devil-may-care. I would  rather have fun than the way I am. A coworker once accused me of always reading ‘strange’ books. She called me ‘eccentric’. That’s the kind of family I come from. On my mother’s side, that is. When they get together, they talk about things that matter, family history, village history, the way of the world, health, what food to promote health and exercise.

I suppose we are an eccentric bunch. But it is all good stuff, don’t you think? We’re always thinking and learning on how to do things and live better. My mother continues to fine tune her soups for maximum benefit. She consults her book of soups for ingredients. What roots, what barks, what berries for this and that. It’s no wonder I am the way I am. Like mother, like daughter. I gotta like that.

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How do you start the day? I don’t have trouble starting the morning. There’s the getting up, dressing up and then showing up. What do you show up for? What alot of silly questions you might be thinking. You’re right, of course but lately after waking up and showing up, I do wonder. What the hell am I showing up for?  Sometimes thinking too much is not good for the soul. But once I am on this road, it is hard to stop.

I am trying to re-orientate myself. I’m not interested in re-inventing myself. I think I like myself just fine, thank you very much. But I am stuck on what am I showing up for. What is my purpose? What tickles my fancy? I don’t have any answers for my questions. Nothing really knocks my socks off. Not even money or diamonds. Pathetic, you say. I concur.

I was tickled to find The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck in my OverDrive bookshelf this morning. Mark Manson is very entertaining in his story telling. And to tell the truth, I love the word f*ck. Naughty me, eh? Uttering it releases so much stress. I’m proud to say I seldom use it now that I am no longer in the work force. I have just finished the first chapter. I might get tired of the word as I read further. No doubt it has earned him a poor rating on Goodreads.

I love his story of Charles Bukowski. He was a loser and a drank heavily most of his life. But he kept writing despite rejections. He didn’t give a f*ck. He didn’t realize his dream of being a poet, novelist, short story writer, and columnist until he was about 50 years old. Despite his success and fame, he was still a loser, showing up at his poetry readings hammered, being verbally abusive to the audience, exposing himself in public, and trying to sleep with every woman he could find. I’m quoting Mark Manson here. Don’t sue me. The epitah on his gravestone reads: “Don’t Try”. This story alone made the book worth reading for me.

I stopped thinking about my questions. I stopped trying to make my day meaningful. I tackled the job of brushing Sheba’s teeth. It was a no go with the long tooth brush or the finger brush. She liked the peanut butter flavoured tooth brush. She was ok with my gauzed wrapped finger. It was better than nothing. Next on the list was cleaning her ears. It brought forth sharp barks of rebuke and snapping of teeth. No way was she going to let me put ear wash down her ears. I had to settle for wiping them with wet cotton balls. Good enough. What the f*ck, eh?

Not an earth shattering day. No excitement at all. But it is sunny and warm. The solar panels are going crazy, making electricity. I am pleased. I started the cukes, squashes and Chinese gourds, each in its peat pots. I seeded some lettuce, spinach and onions outside in the raised beds. I was motivated to rake up some of the dead leaves blown here and there. Then I took the fur baby for our afternoon walk. There was no trying anything today.

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Day 18 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I am empty of ideas and words for the page. To tell the truth, I am weary of challenges and trying and plodding forth. In this space and time, I would like to give everything a rest, not to give any thought or effort. In other words, I want to vegetate. But I know it’s not something to strive for. I’ve been spending some time there already. It hasn’t good for my mind. It leads to laziness and not living my best life. I’ve been sleep walking through my days.

I feel sleepiness tugging at me as I sit here tapping away. I sit up taller in the chair, realigning my head and shoulders. It’s as if I’m preparing for meditation. I hear the children’s voices from the daycare two houses away. I can see them playing through the fence slats. The sun is out. It is a beautiful day. I am now awake and in the moment. I’ve been missing too many of such moments, immersed too much in my own thoughts. I have to let in more of the world around me.

I’m struggling to tap out words and thoughts, the things I said I don’t want to do. But the effort is worth the struggle because the goal of this month of April is to see clarity and make progress. Neither is possible languishing and not being home in myself. I see now that I have been absent, not taking responsibility, making excuses, trashing myself, blaming circumstances. I could go on forever. I can see and understand a little now what is meant by fear of success. The fear is also about living up to that if, indeed, I do succeed. It feels safer to be in failure. But I no longer want to dwell in that valley. I can survive a little fear.

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Life is strange sometimes. The more I try to change, the more I stay the same. Perhaps I am trying too hard. Perhaps I’m trying in all the wrong ways. Perhaps I should give it a rest. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps. Nothing is of certainty. Has it always been so?

I am doing it all wrong. I research, read and google on the how of things relentlessly. The information remains the same. I know it already. I have difficulty putting them into action. I am stuck on go. I forget this over and over. How many times have I been in this place already? Many. Are you tired of reading it? I am tired of writing it.

I am not completely hopeless. I have made some improvement in overcoming being overwhelmed. There are a few positive steps I have taken lately. It’s a long time coming but better late than never. It’s been exhausting the way I’ve been all these long years. It’s wonderful to find a way out.

  1. I try to stop berating myself over what has happened.I see that nothing can undo the already happened.
  2. I know fretting over it will only waste more energy.
  3. I breathe and try to let it go.
  4. I practice these steps each time that I regret what I have done or not done.
  5. I am trying to stop looking for more information when I know what I need to do.

It’s been a good day. I’ve learned that I can be patient and listen without interrupting. In doing so, I see that there are many things that I don’t have to say or ask. They don’t add to the conversation and I know the answers to the questions. In being in the moment, listening in attention, I am saving time and energy. I am bringing calm and clarity to myself. I think it is call discernment. A breakthrough if I may say so.

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I have a confession to make. You probably know what it is already. I don’t handle stress or change well. I sweat over the small and big stuff. I go into distress and fret mode. I obsesse about it. I exert more energy than it is necessary. I tire myself out. I’ve been observing and paying more attention lately. It’s a by product of my morning meditation that I’ve come back to. If you listen to a recording enough times, the drill comes back to you. So I hear Mark William’s or Jon Kabat-Zinn’s voice telling me to sit erect, at attention, being in the present, watching as each moment unfolds, with no need to change anything.

I find their voices and instructions very comforting. They play in my head as difficult thoughts and situations come up. I tell myself to take each moment as they come. What do I need to do in this moment,  the next moment and the next one, to make things work for me? It is in the breaking things down in small do-able steps. It frees me from being immobilized with overwhelm. Then I can problem solve and see that it is not that difficult. I am not efficient at it yet. I still first go into overwhelm. I am stuck. I breathe and then the instructions play in my head. Then I do one step, then 2, 3 and so on.

Man, life sure is tough though. I relive this scenerio time and time again. I think this is for life. I see it as a thought in a cloud, drifting by my window. It is passing. There is no need to do anything but observe. And so another day in this challenge of living my life.

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Funny how much more time I have when I’m up before 6 in the morning. I’m still on that stretch of disturbed sleeping. The good thing is I was able to drop right off. There’s no point wrestling in the dark when I wake and can’t get back to sleep. So what even if it is just barely 5? Out of bed I tumbled after a bit of tossing and turning. By the time I got all the business of going to potty, washing my face, brushing my teeth and hair, it was almost 5:30. I listened for the clicking of Sheba’s nails as she follows me. Surprisingly, none was heard.

Ah, well! The fur baby was still sleeping, having been up at 3 am to do her business. Apparently I was still dead to the world at the time.  I was a little miffed at her not getting up with me as usual. I set about to make my morning cuppa. It was nice to have to have some quiet and peace. No dog under foot whining for her breakfast. I was moved and soothed by the soft almost morning light. I did my qi gong movements waiting for the kettle to boil. After, I sat with cuppa in meditation, guided by my breath, watching my thoughts like clouds floating across my universe. It was so refreshing. My mind became a clean slate.

Then it was almost 7. I was happy that I had this time to myself before dawn. The noise and busyness of the past few days dissipated. I feel rested, relaxed and almost normal again. I shall hold the feelings of the moment in my mind to come back to again and again in times of stress. Beautiful Sunday.

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I have to tell you, I’m having more than a few hiccoughs in 2019 and it’s only April. There’s 8 more months to go but who is counting? I’ve been here many times before. I’ve learned it’s best to accept the hiccoughs instead of fighting them. It takes some effort each time. I’m accepting that, too, because that’s how I am. It’s like doing the backstroke in a rocky swimming pool. There’s no smooth gliding. I’m tossed about. I’m not a good swimmer and I start panicking when water floods my face and up my nose. I have to rein myself in from  thrashing wildly about, gain control and float through the waves.

I’m doing just that through this recent hiccough. Who knows what poked the tip of the iceberg. Do I still have hormones? Then there’s the weather, the clouds, winds, dip or rise of temperature along with the atmospheric pressure. Whatever. It does not matter. I’m out of balance, my mood can change on a dime, I can’t sleep, things don’t get done. It feels like weeks long but it is only a couple of days. Life feels like a wreck. I feel like a wreck.

I sound like a wreck, too, but I’ve changed a thing or two. I can almost stop my thoughts and feelings on a dime. I said almost. Now whenever those bad thoughts and feelings come up, I see a stop sign coming at me. I feel that hand pushing me back. STOP! And I do for a minute or two. Huh! I have to roll that around my mind and decide what is best to think, feel and speak. Sometimes the best course of action is no action and no words.

Well, I do hope I can sleep a little better tonight. Maybe I can practice doing the backstroke in my mind to send me off into dreamland. But what will be, will be. The future is not ours to see. Que sera, sera.

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