WHAT CAN I DO?

Sometimes if we ask ourselves the right questions, they can propel us forward instead of sinking in our personal mud holes. I asked myself this morning what can I do. What can I do not to slide backwards? What can I do to become the person I will like? What can I do to be a positive instead of a negative? What can I do? What can I do?

What can I do? was my echoing cry. Not much really. I am not capable of gigantic leaps or heroic deeds. I am helpless and hopeless amidst the shakers and movers of the world. I am but an inchworm inching along life’s path. I am unseen among the shining stars on the world’s stage. So I pound my chest and ask, What can I do to matter?

I hear no answers. There is but dead air. So I scratch my head and think for myself. I have to matter to myself. The next question is what matters to me? What brings a smile to my lips? What makes me feel generous? What makes me want to give of myself? What makes me feel soft and kind inside? What makes me cry? The questions bring more questions. They are stirring the pot within. I feel the broom going round and round inside. Answers swirl within, some articulate and some not. I am not yet prepare to see and acknowledge them.

I have always felt so urgent at fixing things – as if I must. As if my life depends on it. Now I am questioning myself. Does anything need fixing? And is it my job to do so? Can I just leave things alone? I can. I can let the pot full of questions sit and simmer for awhile. Let them answer for themselves. That is what I can do.

 

 

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THE DETECTIVE IN ME

Today I’m still trying to ease my unease. The thing that works for me is to put it onto the page. I like to flex my fingers and let them tap on the keyboard. It’s like inhaling and exhaling. The brain is a wondrous and funny thing. Sometimes tiny bits of information creeps in and fear is instilled. It swirls around and manifests in annoying and debilitating ways. All of a sudden I find myself breathless. There is no air. I can’t expand my lungs. I have to reach back to a memory of another such occurrence. My brain and mind were in cahoots, playing a trick on me. I sit up tall, straighten my shoulders and breathe. I can!

This is what I have to do. Sometimes I have to play detective to find the source. I dismantle and cross out each possible cause. Eliminating stressors and things I am procrasinating about eases the tension in my body. I am doing something and not holding on to my unease. I give a sigh of relief with each one that I do. It builds confidence. There’s no need to be frozen with my anxiety and fears.

So now it is evening. I am sitting here with my lemon grass tea, inhaling and exhaling and expelling the stress of the afternoon. I had driven in the rain, in rush hour traffic at the worse time of the day. I survived the duties of the day. I can cross a few more items on my fear list. I can unfurrow and relax the lines across my forehead. I take a tylenol extra strength. Now I just have to bring in my bedding plants from the deck. It’s going down to 2 degrees tonight.

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BENEATH THE SKIN

I feel anxiety and the blues nipping at my heels. What did I expect anyways? I listened to too many podcasts this morning. I should have just listened to the silence while making bread instead. I could have listened to the dough rising. Instead I listened to Oprah interviewing Tara Westover about her book, Educated. It’s an inspiring story but it’s difficult to listen to the stories of her dysfunctional family. It’s a book I will still read.

After that, it was the episode about the UN biodiversity report of how many species of living plants and animals are disappearing around the world. It’s damn depressing and scary stuff on top of climate change.

“Extinction looms over one million species of plants and animals worldwide, scientists said.”

It’s news I rather not know. But how can we not, even though some proclaim that there’s no such thing as climate change and dispute the facts presented by scientists? These days we are living with unease just barely beneath the skin. I feel it humming through my body and psyche. I could not listen to the next podcast that came up –As permafrost thaws in Canada’s Arctic. I had to shut it off. I am a chicken shit. Now I’m sitting here, trying to tap out my residues of fear and the blues. I no longer try to run away from them. Running makes them come after me. But perhaps I can do a walk away. It’s that time of day for Sheba’s walk. A little sunshine and fresh air are good for the soul but not so for the bogeymen.

 

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SELF ANALYSIS

It’s another Saturday. I’m still on my sabbatical from my Saturday morning swim. I’ve given in to my natural state of inertia. It’s nice to have a rest and enjoy the nothingness of a weekend morning. I was tempted to resist all physical efforts but the stiffness from yesterday’s tabata workout urged me to do my qigong routine. I was happy that I could overcome my resistance. I’m loosened and more relaxed for the rest of the day.

I want to get back into the swim next week or my inertia could go on forever. I am like that. A reminder that I have two big credit card bills coming due motivated me to settle them right after breakfast. It’s a wise move to do the hard things first. It lifts that burden so my mind is not preoccupied with it all day. I have learned some things in April. They’re working for me. I’m gaining small pockets of organization here and there. I am pleased. I have worked hard last month. It’s time to sit back a little and not be so uptight about everything.

But I know myself. I’m a bit anal. I am obsessive by nature. If something grabs my attention, it is difficult for me to do small doses at a time. So now that I’ve identified this trait in me, I’ll probably obsesse about correcting it. I guess it is not a bad thing but I will try to modify myself. I never run out of goals. I’m a self-improvement junkie. I think it is in my genes but at least it is not about drugs.

I’ve really enjoyed the free version of The Brain Change Summit presented by Sounds True. Brain health is another of my obsessions. I didn’t have time and energy to catch them all but was happy to catch the one on the Alzheimer’s Solution by Dr. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai. It was an excellent presentation with no magic cures/pills. The solution is more about prevention. I shall add their book to my list of readings. Enough muttering for now. Time for a little down time with Kinsey Millhone in O is for Outlaw.

 

 

 

 

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AWE AND NOTHING

April 30th, last day of the month and last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I have mostly shown up. I missed a couple of days. I believe in commitment but I’m not as rigid as I was. All or nothing is not good. Prioritizing and showing up when I can is good enough. That is my favourite phrase, good enough. I’m not sloughing off. Really, I’m not. I like being flexible and secure enough not to feel I’ve failed if I miss a day or two. Boundaries and moderation are good practices.

Keeping track of goals is as tough as my mail and finances. I must have a built-in radar system. I do most things by hook and crook. Often I can’t find anything but I haven’t encountered any disasters and my finances are in pretty good shape. That’s probably due to my Chinese-ness. We’re good with money. We know how to spot a bargain. And I am cheap. I don’t really want to classify all my fellow Chinese as cheap. I might end up standing by myself in a corner.

After a month of mutterings I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a square peg. I’m trying too hard to fit into a round hole. I could give up the effort and look for a square one. It would make more sense. I cannot make myself into what I am not. I’m going to give it all up and relax into the nothing, the not doing. I’m tired of  being a gerbil on the wheel to nowhere. Instead, I could focus on the awe of the sunrise, sunset, the moment, the breath.  You know the drill. I can mutter a new song. I can look at the hole rather than the dough in the doughnut.

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WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE

The month and the Ultimate Blog Challenge are almost over. What is it that I have accomplished? And was it what I set out to do? The answer is I don’t know to both. Well, there goes my quest for clarity. My head is as muddled now as is in the beginning. At the same time, I don’t feel a sense of failure. I am living real life one day at a time. Some days are good. Some are not. Some days are a mixture. What I know for sure is everything passes.

This morning I was reading Dr. Larry Dossey’s The Extra-Ordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things. I really enjoyed the section on plants and bugs and how they contribute to our well being. It made me realize how out of touch I am with the natural world. How often do I look up at the sky and really see it? Have I ever hug a tree or even sat under one? Do I pay attention to the creatures that crawl about and fly above? They are mostly in the peripheral of my awareness. I am too much concern with me, myself and I.

Perhaps I should widen my scope and pay attention to the natural world. I felt myself opening and softening up inside as I read the stories of flowers blooming out of season and maggots and leeches healing wounds. I want to be in midst of the green and crawling living things. I want to hold hands and have conversations with them again. I did that once upon a time. Once upon a time I also played on the rooftop of my grandfather’s house in China. I played and talked to ghosts, too. It’s not too late. I can still have all those conversations. All I have to do is open up my mind and heart again.

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TREPIDATION and LEARNING

Saturday

The wind still blows in Saskatoon. No rain nor snow. We sure could use some moisture. It is what it is. Sometimes wants and needs are not met. But our solar panels are producing electricity. April will be our best month.

I am a wee bit restless today, having that feeling that I should ‘accomplish’ things. I try to relax with my new read – Sue Grafton’s N is for Noose. I was not successful. I gave that up after a few pages and took Sheba out for her walk. The wind was cold and wicked, blowing grit into my mouth and eyes. It was not pleasant but we got some exercise and fresh air.

It’s Saturday but it feels like Sunday. I skipped swimming this morning. I thought I would just enjoy the day, not trying to doing anything and everything. I think it was a bust. Some days are like that. There’s nothing I can do except practice doing nothing more often. Maybe then I could be more at home with it.

Sunday

The wind has not abated one bit. I’m a little more at ease with it even though I had gone to bed with trepidation last night. Another shooting at a California synagogue. What is happening in the world? What is happening in us? These things nagged me in the dark of the night and early morning.

Daylight disperses fear. The dawn brings hope and renewed faith. I continue my morning routine of tea and qigong. It’s soothing to move through the ancient movements of my ancestors. They work, energizing me to carry on breathing, living and learning. I’m very excited about the Brain Change Summit. Today I watched The Science and Principles of a Plant-Bassed Ketogenic Diet with Dr. Will Cole. I’m eager to watch the Psychological Impact of Climate Crisis with Dr. Lise Van Susteren next. There’s still 3 more days of the Summit after today if you are interested. It is free.

 

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