The mornings are still dark at 7:30 but when I step outside, I see it is not total darkness. There is light reflected back from the white of the garage and the garden fence. Then there’s the Buddhas, sitting in prayer and contemplation under the spruce trees. How peaceful and stalwart they are through all the days and seasons.
They are good examples to emulate. I am not so peaceful. I’m testing my fortitude in this year of doing different. The thoughts in my head are like a bag of worms. They’re wiggling and squirming everywhere. I worry, fret, catastrophe, project, fear, so and on and on. On some dark mornings, I’m afraid to open my eyes and face the world. I’m nauseated by everything before my feet hit the floor. When I open my eyes, reality is not as bad as the stuff in my head.
I’m choosing to sit in meditation with Melli Obrien and Jack Kornfield this morning. I’m sitting to quiet my mind and open my heart. I’m learning to sit with the fear, the anxiety, the anger, the boredom and what have you(s). I’m getting to know them through sitting with them. I am not past the flight mode into stillness.
I don’t mind telling you that I have trouble sitting still with it all. I have trouble accepting things as they are. I have this twitch in me that I should fix things, fix you, fix me and our relationships. I feel that everything is my fault. I know, of course, that I am not all that powerful. But knowing and feeling are two different things.
I have this twitch that makes sitting with it all very difficult to do. Sometimes I have to get up and make myself a cup of tea. Other times like today, I get up and take Sheba to the park. I went missing for a couple of hours. Eventually I have to return to the heart of who I am. I cannot fix everything. Some things are not fixable. Some things are better left broken – till they are ready to mend on their own.
My urge to fix is gone. It’s okay to let things unfold without interference. I don’t have to rush in. I can just sit. I’ve lived through that moment of needing to. They will get easier with each sitting with nothing to do and no where to go. Just sitting with my breath and my mindfulness teachers, Melli O’Brien and Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Our October days continue to be grey and dreary. But the solar panels are soldiering on, putting out some electricity. I harvested probably the last of the rapini for lunch. There is light and greenness amid all the gloom. You can surmise that I don’t do well under the circumstances. I might not be home free yet, but I think I’m past the most difficult stretch of days.
I’ve been ruminating about the past for the last few days, feeling regrets and sorrows about what could have been, if only I had. My head and heart really hurt from all that. And I have to let it all go. There’s no shame really. I am but human. We are built to wonder, doubt, regret and mourn for what we think we have erred and lost. It’s only right that I do acknowledge those feelings. But then to let them go.
In this year of trying to do different, I am keener of the tricks of life, of my and others foibles. I am trying to learn to be let go a little more, to be kinder to myself and others. I am trying to learn about forgiveness – what is it and is it possible. Difficult tasks but at least I have them in my awareness. I am not sleep walking through my journey.
The world did stop and I stepped off the grid for a few days. Life was spinning too fast for me. I pressed the pause button for a breather. We can do that, you know. I am not/don’t want to be an EverReady battery, going on and on. I get a headache when I see and hear the drummer boy toy soldier beating his drum. Rat-a-ta-ta! I am happy to be a human being, flawed and stalled – for a little while.
Getting a recharge is wonderful – like a coffee/tea break. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been struggling through this last week of cloudy October days. I’ve kept a stiff upper lip and my chin up. But enough is enough already! God heard and gave us a sun shiny afternoon yesterday – a respite.
A little respite, a cup of tea is enough to put that tiger/growl back in my tank. It can bring me back to my keyboard. It is soothing to feel and hear the rhythm of the tap, tap beneath my fingertips. It feels good to sit in the weak October sunlight. A little dab will do me. I will put on my makeup, put on some earrings and smile.
Another day in a year of making changes. It is a better day. I made it so. I closed my door to the noise of the world and lived in my own sanctum. Just as no man is an island unto himself, there is such a thing as too much connectedness. Too much of anything can lead to toxicity. For maximum happiness everything in therapeutic doses.
So no watching or reading the news for me today or tonight. I was drowning in the cess pool of the American election, the wars, the hurricanes and the errors of prescription filling. The last brought back bad memories and feelings of working as a nurse for over 30 years. I have to turn the world off and rest for awhile. It is a good thing.
Some days I do wonder at the futility of what I am doing. What significance does my action have in the grand scheme of things? Dangerous thinking and feelings. I know that it is the lateness of the hour. I know it is too much news about the U.S. election. Too much Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Too much world news. It is very toxic for my mind. Yet I’m addicted, can’t stop watching. Thus – how I am feeling now. How is it affecting you?
So on this day and year of doing different, how am I doing different? Was I able to get out of my rut? Hard to decide as I am still the same person. I am still struggling with energy, following through and getting things done. At the end of each day, I’m feeling I haven’t moved anything off the mountain. So let’s not talk about conquering. I’m feeling disappointed with myself and the day, vowing I would do…tomorrow. In the morning, well I’m still tired. I can’t grab the tiger by the tail.
I feel like a broken record, spinning the same song over and over. I wonder if the song is true. Am I really as lazy, incompetent and full of excuses as I sound? It feels real. I do feel that tired. But I have done a thing or two today like running around the dog park in the morning with Sheba, walking her around the neighbourhood in the afternoon and slicing 7 trays of tomatoes for the dehydrator. I need to stop talking about getting things done. Maybe I should just breathe and be. Change my thinking, change my talk, change my life. Have you heard that one before?
It’s late. It’s time to go to bed. Tomorrow is another day.
It’s later than I thought. The days are always full. It’s a good thing, I guess. I’m not languishing in idleness. It is still cloudy and grey as can be. Despite that, our solar panels are still making small electricity during part of the day. I’m seeing my glass half full. I’m making progress. My attitude is improving bit by bit. I am pleased that I am able to push past the greyness though it wraps itself around my head. It fits me like a hat.
It was not pleasant to work outside today. It was cool with the clouds pushing down. But once out, I had to do something. The carrots need to come out of the ground. The likelihood of warmer, drier weather seemed remote. No more waiting. The snow was gone from the raised beds. One of them was cleared and ready for planting. I had good success from seeding spinach and lettuce last fall. I had beautiful greens for eating early in spring. With some effort, I prepared the rows and seeded the bed with spinach, mesclun mix, romaine lettuce and radishes. Sheba was supervising.
I’m feeling stronger. My morning aerobics three times a week are paying off. It’s not easy. It makes life busier but it is building my core strength. I can feel the strength in my stance, in the handling of activities of daily living, in decreased stress and anxiety. I am not getting any faster or neater, though. I am not in a race. I don’t think Good Housekeeping is going to check up on me.
Another day complete. I am happy with the changes I am making. It’s mostly changing the way I see things. Time for bed.
The day was cloudy as cloudy could get. It was difficult to summon up the desire and energy to do anything or go anywhere. It is good to have dates, commitments and challenges to fulfill. They get me out of bed. I dress up, make up and show up whether I feel like it or not. I now have enough experience to know that once I make a start, the rest will follow. Of course not all starts are equal. Some are harder than others.
But once I start, like now, tap tapping on the keyboard, the rest will flow. There is a rhythm to it. I am soothed by the letters and words as they march across the page. I love the silence that I am working in. My senses are irritated and nerves jangled by all the drama happening on the world’s stage. At the same time, I am intrigued and fascinated by it all. I wonder how much of it is true. But enough now! I have to stop all that noise and make sense of my day.
Despite all the grey and dreariness of the day, I am feeling fantastically well. One cannot help feeling it just saying the word. I was able to haul my ass out to the dog park. Sheba is always eager and willing no matter what the weather. I am learning from her. She is a good teacher. If only she could speak a little softer.
Life seems to conspire against me but I’m not going to let that trip me up. It’s a gentle reminder to look after things, otherwise the next reminder might not be as gentle. There’s nothing like a leak with things getting wet and water running onto the floor to wake me up. Even though I was tired and getting ready for bed, I investigated and dealt with the leak. I wouldn’t want to have a flood on my hands, would I?
It took longer than I thought. It was a bit messy. I hated doing it but I had to. I hate dealing with almost everything. It’s easier to let things go in the short run. It catches up and is harder in the long run. But my lazy brain likes the immediate easy. My seeing different today is I need to deal with all life’s leaks as they come along. Better to suffer the discomfort now than to experience disaster later.
It is late. I shall dispense with the photos. All I have tonight are my words. They will have to do. I’m learning to be flexible. I am seeing my path clearer each day. I breathe a little easier with each step. Some days I can almost sing Hallelujah. I am not slip, sliding away.
There is a bit of sunshine this morning. Thank the Lord for small mercies. I am feeling a little blue and discouraged. Too much in the news and social media last evening and this morning. How do you not pay attention to what’s happening in the world? You would want to know if disaster is coming and prepare for it, wouldn’t you?
The question is, What do you do in today’s climate? Our world is a minefield waiting to be detonated. Which way to go? It is likely that we all are tiptoeing carefully in our personal domain. We are careful and silent till the explosion goes off. I am tired of it all, aren’t you? I am tired of the Trump-Clinton dramas, of the media circus, of the corruption, racial slurs and inequities, of personal conflicts. If only I could vomit it out. I guess that’s exactly what I am doing!
Please do not worry about my state of mind. It’s my writing mind and my fingers tapping out what is in my body. But are they true feelings? It’s helpful to put them on the page and let the light shine on them. I have been accused by many people that I say what most people would only think. That has puzzled me. What is wrong with what I say? They are not vulgar. They are not lies. I do not gossip. Others have said I’m brave.
I do not feel particularly brave. I love words. I love their sound as they fall from my fingertips. If not for them, I would find it harder to breathe. I would find life more difficult. If not for life’s adversities, I would not be as adept with my words. As I am now tapping, I hear the Byrd’s lyrics.
To everything – turn, turn, turn There is a season – turn, turn, turn And a time to every purpose under heaven
Yes, sometimes it is hard to watch what is unfolding before me – chaos, distrust and hatred. But I have to believe in purpose and the beauty in our lives. Sometimes I moan and groan about Sheba, but if not for her, I would miss a lot of nature’s beauty, the stuff that can heal a battered and disillusioned soul. She insists and drags me out to witness skies, blue or grey, to feel the wind rippling my hair, the rain on my face and in my shoes. She’s like a bunny hopping through the snow, a little black seal in the river …. She brings me utter joy.
But now she’s barking. Enough already! It’s time to go for our walk.