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.




See past the bathrobe

There is a woman who walks with her two sons to the bus stop every morning.  She wears a faded, puffy pink bathrobe and carries a mug of hot liquid.  She has the kind of walk that makes you think she’s got attitude, like she doesn’t give a shit what you think of her; she’s comfy and that’s all that matters.  The first few times, my internal eyebrow shot up and I thought she was ‘one of those women’ that blabbered to all and sundry about achievements and what she’d been up to and generally just being nosy.  I judged her, I admit it.  Because I’m the opposite.  I would never been seen outside in my bathrobe.  Perhaps if I lived in England still, I might be seen opening the front door to retrieve a pint of milk on the doorstep before sliding inside with a panoramic glance to see who might be watching.  I am not that visually comfy sort of person.  And because this woman was so different, I turned my nose up and away.

It nagged at me, my reaction to her; she kept invading my thoughts.  This morning, as I bent over to dry my hair, I brought it forward like a subject to his master and decided to consciously process my reaction to her presence in order to find the love instead of perpetuating the cycle of mental sneering.

Today, I waited with my kids and she sauntered toward the bus stop, sans hot liquid but still fully swathed in the bathrobe.  And, today we had a conversation.  It began with the flyers for the lost kitty stuck on all the lampposts then moved to the roofers who had come to fix and repair all around the community, and finally ended with her asking how my weekend was, very sincerely. We commiserated over the never ending loop of laundry, soccer practice and matches, housework and food prep.  She explained the circumstances that allow her an hour of freedom every morning after the kids get on the bus and before she has to go to work.  I bonded with the fact that I have the same hour after work but before the kids get off the bus.

She is a genuinely nice woman.  Chatty, open, warm and welcoming.  Not the sauntering, know-it-all, community gossip I had pegged her for.  Well, maybe she is, I don’t know her that well but in taking the first step to blowing up preconceptions, I am closer to being happy in myself.  And I am loving that.  So much.

However, this does not mean that I shall be walking my kids to or from the bus stop in any kind of clothing that should be worn prior to or after bedtime and shower.  Just so you know.


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.

Coming into awareness

ListenSometimes it’s a fleeting thought after the fact: “I must stop doing that.”  After doing, saying or thinking something that does not serve a soul well.   But that’s all it is; a thought.  It’s not placed in front to be addressed.  It has come and gone and nothing shall be done about it until true awareness accompanies it.

For an hour and a half on a Wednesday night, I join others in group meditation.  It is a most serene thing and I love taking part with my whole heart.  We hardly say a word except to introduce ourselves and if we wish, share.  It could be how we feel, it could be about an event that affected us, anything at all.  I met a woman this past Wednesday that I connected with instantly without words.  It felt like a thin click through eye contact on a spiritual level.  It’s happened to me only once before and that woman and I are still friends.  In fact, we call each other butterfly sisters.  On Wednesday, this woman shared an awareness she had come into that day of a mental habit that was not helpful to her and I admired her openness and mindfulness.

We walked out together and chatted, scratching the surface of a mutual liking and as she was talking, I could relate to what she said.  However instead of listening, I jumped onto her train of thought like an enthusiastic stowaway and interrupted.  In a second, I saw the effect of my habit:  She had to stop what she was saying and pay attention to me.  Right then and there, I came into awareness.  I was embarrassed, and wondered how many people I’d offended in varying measures with my rude sentence hopping over the years.

That I see this and I have brought it to the forefront means I am now able to work at making it less troublesome.  And all I have to do is keep my mouth shut, my eyes in focus and ears perked until it is my time to respond.  I’m happy to put this into practice going forward because it can only make me a more loving person.