On becoming more like a donkey

I can’t say specifically what caused this feeling of the upsweeping to come over me. Not that I’ve been truly on the downturn. Well, perhaps a few weeks ago for a day or so but not for any length of time. Perhaps it was a plateau I had been on, yes that must have been it. Perhaps for two weeks I stood on the plateau taking in my surroundings; looking behind, which I know does no good (there are a bajillion affirmations telling me so after all) but sometimes I do like to remember, to reflect, be a bit wistful. As long as I don’t ‘go down the rabbit hole’ as a dear friend said recently. Of course, going forward is the only other option. And what a vista before me; a slope that beckons to be ambled up. For, as I am constantly learning, these steps in life are to be ambled and bimbled. Tripping ahead, dashing forward would mean missing out on all the things.

And so I find myself forsaking, but not unfeeling the forlorn to bring on the new. New season, my favorite season. New plans in place to run in harmony with what I feed my body. With that point of view comes positivism and a renewed sense of calm from more time spent on the cushion. Financial niggles still…niggle, but I trust that things will work out okay (barring unforeseen circumstances).

Creativity stirs. I know myself in this area fairly well and judging by the number of great starts, I have been collecting an awful lot of sand. I write as my personality dictates; rushing out of the gate like a thoroughbred horse. Except, I haven’t been trained very well and I live on a diet of ice cream and cakes (no, I don’t really but you get the gist). I gallop with gusto for the first quarter mile but shortly thereafter, slow down until I am found, out of breath, out of energy and out of ideas. So perhaps (I consciously say) you take this little kernel of an idea and really really try to write a little each day. Really, really take it slowly. Allow things to grow. Allow characters to take shape. Nurture the storyline.

I’ve been here before and I feel a little like the boy who cried wolf. What makes this point in the journey so different? Why should I believe me? Who’s to say that by this time next week, my little kernel won’t have popped into an old maid, forced to find space on an already crowded shelf?

Like I said, I can’t say specifically, but between this:

577925_176781039176354_1068669251_n

and what E. L. Doctorow said, “It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

…I am coming into awareness that this is one facet of my life that must be slowed down. Only then can I get done what I want done.

Not so much the thoroughbred horse on a sweet diet, more like a donkey with a bag of hay.

And, here I am, laughing at so much the last few days:

SI Exif

Gridless

You know when your mind feels overcrowded, distracted, and preoccupied?  Constantly electrified with technology and communication?   It goes on and on and you deal, meddling in the bits and pieces that take you to so many places until you reach the summit of the feverish noise and the swell.  I broke through the top of the mountain sometime yesterday afternoon, reaching up with both hands outstretched, mouth agape and ready for fresh air, gazing at the blue sky with its lazy clouds while all around down below, the hustle and bustle seamless black moving parts of every day.

I decided to disconnect from the giant grasping hand of Facebook.  It was more of a slipping away really – no fanfare, no coy update or attention-seeking.  I simply…vanished.

I had deactivated my life from Big Blue last year but got sucked back in after only 24 hours.  So far, this time I’m doing very well indeed and patting myself on the back, enjoying the freedom, the looseness, the relinquishing of the hold.  I am free and cool – as in temperature cool – an odd sensation attached to an arms-wide grin.

I am enjoying my life in the present.  The extra internal dialog that usually runs alongside, like a friendly dog is fairly quiet.  I don’t need to tell everyone that I figured out how to drive a forklift this morning, all by my ownsome and that I really have a knack for spatial awareness and driving things.  The posse of my friends does not need to know that I had a good run today and stopped to take a great picture of the misty morning with its foggy bottom and pink hues.

I love it.  My husband would twerk an eyebrow at the very admission because I am usually a constant Facebook checker, check-in-er and updater.

I don’t know how long I’ll be disconnecting but quite likely, for some time.  From Facebook that is.  For without the mind redirected, I am resolute in cultivating other talents.

misty

 

Riding With The Dog

During the recent spell of distraction, I failed to notice the dog named Ego covertly slip a collar around my neck and take me off for a little trip down memory lane, up angry road, through the woods of confusion and on across the meadow sea of resentment.

Old patterns restitched themselves into familiar places and I bounced around in their quilty arms, thinking thoughts which fed the feelings which led to tears.  And on and on.  And all the while, Ego panted happily beside my floppy, unseeing Self.

I began yoga a week or so ago.  I never thought I could be that kind of person; I’ve tried classes and apps and DVD’s over the years but it felt too strenuous; not enough movement for my restless spirit.  I used to find solace on the crossramp with my legs going a million miles an hour to thumping club music.  These days I have found a peace in running too which admittedly is more like Phoebe-running.  Although I do not enjoy getting out of bed at the obscene hour that I do (thanks to husband for that), I do love the misty morning feel, the dark, the cool, the solitude.  No music.  Just me, just my feet, just breathing.  On the days I don’t run, I do yoga.

During my session this morning, I came into an awareness that I had been dragged along of late.  I had been preoccupied with the film I was helping with and instead of living with my heart open and being conscious of thought and of love and space, I had retreated to my old ways.  Certain situations that I know will take years to sit comfortably with, rose up and roared.   I did not fight them, I didn’t observe and let them be.  I ignored them.  And in that rejection, they bred.

Ego yelped when I opened my eyes this morning and stopped; he was still galloping with destinations dark and thorny for me but I took off the collar, wagged my finger at him and turned away.

Ego, exasperated, would say, “how many times do I have to do this?  This back and forth with awareness?” and the answer, with an equal amount of displeasure, would be “who the hell knows?” but that would get me nowhere.

I understand fully that this is what the journey is about.

It’s about the opening and closing of the heart, the learning and learning, the turning away and being sucked into old mental pathways followed by the returning to the self.  The loving openness of each return which holds no judgement or harsh feelings.  And, of being able to sit with whatever is going on, be it joyful or painful.

Tara Brach has said that there is beauty in a heart that is ready for everything.

Perception and Judgment

Last Thursday I went for a run, well, it was more of a jog really. It was a lovely, albeit bit of a breezy afternoon but I enjoyed the still of the tree-lined streets, the soft sound of Heart Meditations radio flowing into my brain. The feel of breath coursing in and out of my body. Really feeling my feet connect with the ground. It wasn’t easy going though because it’s been about six months since I exercised with any regularity so there were quite a few times I stopped to walk before picking up speed again.

I used to criticize myself for doing that and would always feel that people in their houses or people driving by were privately deriding me for walking, so I’d wait until no-one was around before doing so. Now I try to allow myself the grace to admit that I’m older and I have been remiss in taking care of myself physically so I need to give myself time and space to return to where I want to be. It’s a tough pill to swallow; the feeling of inadequacy, failure or dread – they can be real moodbusters. So, I’m making my way around the houses and am aware of these thoughts but am not squishing them down because I know they’ll just pop right back up again like a bunch of Whack-A-Moles. Instead, I do my best to allow them to come and go and I counter them with positive thoughts in a gentle manner. If I need to stop to walk, I break the notion of stranger derision by just stopping and walking. No matter where I am or who’s driving by. I could feel my ego recoil in horror every time. *smile*

And then, as I was headed out of the lovely tree-lined estate, almost done with my jog, I saw ahead of me a young couple also running. I noticed her hair first of all, which was perfectly parted and highlighted and pulled back into a pony tail. She wore a short-sleeved light blue shirt over black pants. And big sunglasses. In a split second of judgment, I saw myself as a middle-aged mother of two wearing her husband’s long-sleeved shirt because she had nothing else warm to wear, a thin hoodie wrapped around her waist, strategically placed to cover her ass, and shiny black pants. Also scraggly hair that had not been professionally cut in a year and no sunglasses. I thought she had me pegged.

Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. I couldn’t tell since her sunglasses were so big and we really didn’t greet each other as we passed.

However, it really was my perception of myself that bounced off her and back to me. And I knew it as they passed by. I judged her and me and was aware of it in the space of about two seconds.

Isn’t it amazing how snappy the mind can be?

I felt vaguely unsettled for the remainder of my time outdoors and it was one of the things I brought up to my husband when I got home. Even then, I felt sure that this woman had judged me. My ego kept throwing up her image for me to compare myself against.

It’s only today, four days later that I’m admitting what I did and thought and felt. And being ok with it all. Because isn’t that what our journey is about? Experiencing these thoughts, becoming aware of them and accepting them. Learning that the ego has its place in all of us, that our shadows are all part of us and how we can become aware of their role in our soul on a daily basis, isn’t that all part of finding our truth?

I love my soul. And the “bigness” of it. How there is so much more for me to dive into and explore and observe and accept.

Lisa…