Mental Salmon

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I do not think that in the seven months I’ve been meditating (give or take the last two months) that my mind has been quite so rackety with thoughts during the quiet time.  Even as a newbie last year, on the tail end of some very emotional stuff, I did not have half as many visions and scenarios that I’ve had recently.  And it’s almost impossible not to become absorbed by each one.  I realize only when I’m in deep that I’m engaged; I have to bring my awareness back but before long another one steals in and sneaks up my skirt.

Granted there’s a lot going on in the life of this Spiritual Biscuit.  We finally found a rental home and will be moving next Monday but coming up with funds for all and sundry is a gargantuan effort, helped mostly by some very good friends and by family.  Moving was not our choice; it was forced upon us and if the landlord had waited just a few more months, we wouldn’t be struggling as we are.  So, we’re emptying our bank account to move in, to move our pets in (because pet deposit is ridonkulous), to turn on water, to switch on electricity, to turn on cable and internet (which I might survive a while without but with two young children, my sanity depends upon it), to have trash picked up.  And don’t even get me started on a moving company.

This will also be the first summer that my kids have not stayed at home with me, so we’ve been researching day camps too.  *cha-ching-a-ling-ding-ding*.  And beyond that, the lovely task of breaking the news that they’ll be moving to another new school in the Fall.  My daughter is just like me when I was a kid – adaptable, easygoing, friendly and upon floating the subject, she’s all “I’m a duck, where’s the water?”  My son is like my husband, reserved, resistant to change and as evidenced by last year’s switch, capable of becoming so highly emotional that he will make himself sick.  So…yay for that upcoming conversation.

Lots of external clatter makes for much internal chatter.  But somewhere through the chaos and unkempt mind, is a small still space.  I was there for a few seconds today and it cracked a teeny, tiny smile before I got sucked back into the fray once again.  I will also admit that my meditation practice, as mentioned above, has been quite sporadic.  With time and consistency and once we are moved and somewhat settled, I’m sure my mind will calm some.  It’s not as if the scenarios I have are ones that need sorting out.  They are generic, every day themes that I can’t recall after the fact so I’m not worried that I have inner demons to chase down right this very moment.

I’m treading water.  Doing ok for now.  Keeping busy.  And remembering that being mindful is as easy as focusing on scraping the salmon off the bottom of the pan.

Lisa…

What’s on your plateau?

I am not lost. I am not in a quandary. I am not confused. I have simply…taken a step away. Definitely in a spiritual valley, a lower plateau so to speak, certainly not on any part of the journey that slopes upward to a peak affording magnificent views of the land ahead.

I felt it, a certain snapping last week during a particularly hellish emotional time, which bore the fruit of my last post. Initially I had prepared myself for a big change; an impending house move – another move in a long 43-year timeline of moves. Except this one had snuck up early and at first I was a bit out of sorts about it but came back around to my usual, “y’know…it’s gonna be ok, home is where my family is and that’s what’s important.” I laughed at that, my husband rolled his eyes good-naturedly and we swept any concerns about the wheres and the hows under the now, very lumpy rug.

Money’s Too Tight To Mention so sang Mick Hucknall and it has held true for too many years but we could see a light at the end of the tunnel, my husband and I. He had started to bring home a real, honest-to-goodness paycheck and so was I. He had a plan to pay off some very important overdue bills so that by the end of this month, we could begin to put aside funds for the move….deposit, moving company etc.

The most pressing thing was to keep our kids in their current school; we felt another switch so soon after making new friends and finding a new rhythm would be too hard on them, despite their resilience and adaptability. Thanks to a rather nice Delaware education clause named “Choice”, we found out that we could move out of the school district yet still keep them in the same school, so that gave us some breathing room. With that in mind, and now with a sense of urgency, we expanded our search of homes to surrounding towns but it soon became apparent that we were woefully short of the amount needed to move into anywhere. We were also uncomfortably aware that our past credit history would drag behind us like an anvils tied to our legs. It began to feel hopeless. Then my husband delivered another blow which I was totally unprepared for; a possible move out of state to a townhome owned by a builder who knows a business partner of a friend, who knows this guy and is the accountant of that friend who knows his Dad – yada, yada, yada. The feeling of puppetry working all over us, herding and shuffling us around from here to there, forcing us to obediently bow and scrape our thank you’s and gratefulness was the final straw. You see, it’s a continuing theme in our lives – this lack of control.

I threw my spiritual hands in the air; had enough of believing in source and abundance and love. I relinquished it all and have not felt at all like meditating or reading my favorite uplifting blogs or having anything at all remotely to do with wellbeing, mindfulness, love, light and spirit. I am not the least bit interested. Neither am I bothered by my indifference. I know the true me is there, always will be, would never abandon me because that’s impossible. And no doubt I will return in my own good time. I don’t want to admit that “I’m just being” or “I am letting it be”. To say it implies that I am interested when I just don’t care right now. That’s not to say that I’m grouchy and miserable either (although I am on the tail end of the flu, so may be forgiven for being a bit limp) I’m not at all. I’m civil, I’m nice and I’m genuinely kind. I’m…simply holding steady, I think.

My husband would like to see me back on track; he feels a certain responsibility for my current location and I would just like to say that no matter the lowest of lows and the joyous high of highs, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the trenches with anyone else but him, even if I want to flick trench mud in his face from time to time.

And so we wait, almost as if on the precipice of someplace. We wait for news of a place to move into which all hinges on background checks, credit checks, references etc. It’s a nice place that we could afford after a little help getting our feet in the door. And I wait for news of a short story…will be published, will it be rejected?

We wait. And no matter what happens or what direction we go in, we take steps forward together. And I will come back to the spiritual when I’m ready because sometimes, you just gotta take a break.

I have sheep on my plateau!

I have sheep on my plateau!

Ell…

Money, Money, Money

Money.

When you have it, life is good. Even if you have enough to pay your bills, buy your groceries and have a little left over to, oh I don’t know, pick up a little something for yourself: flip-flops, a new nail polish, that shirt you saw on sale at Old Navy last week. Things feel comfortable. You’re not a high roller; big spender. You budget. You try to save. You have enough.

But what about when you don’t?

Money is essential to happiness in the modern world. It’s all well and good if you want to be at one with yourself, to wander fields and oceans to get in touch your true self and be blissfully at peace. Some have left their families behind to do just that and they are fine without a penny to their name. But in reality, love and abundance from the Universe does not care for your children. Or buy them new shoes when the old ones get holes in them. You can create that vision board and stick to that routine but some time passes and slowly, you find your belief fading.

You know that there are people out there far worse than you; starving children, homeless people so you don’t complain too much. But it’s such a personal thing. You own it. It’s no-one else’s life, this is your life and it’s your family’s life and no matter what anybody else is suffering, these are your sufferings.

You live at the poverty line but to look at, you look like you’re surviving just fine. You rely on handouts from relatives, you use whatever money you have to keep the lights on, keep the lines of communication open, keep your house warm, to buy enough food to get you through the next few days. The rest of it, the eating out, the going to plays, even buying clothes at the thrift store, the actual not having to think whether you have enough, has no place.

Money ruins marriages. You run the same track for seven years and it feels like it. You have the same arguments with no one clear outcome, it’s just a cauldron of yesterday’s news, swilled up with today’s headlines, and it creates a chasm between the two of you. Sometimes it closes a bit, some or a lot, depending on current events or the outlook but mostly, it’s always there in some form. In a question “Can we..?” “Do you think…” “Will we…?” “Will it…” In actions and reactions, in the glaring silence of pointless words not bothered spoken, in the counting of dollar bills or the upside down change jar. In the not so subtle obvious facts that really don’t need to be pointed out.

You do your best to shield your kids from the negativity of the situation but sometimes it spills out of your unworthy head because they ask for things that are a natural part of childhood. You cannot provide them, even in their cheapest form and it makes you sad and mad at the same time. You try desperately not to be a jealous person when you see what other people have, when you see commercials for things, when you read about others’ activities. You want to be ok with your lot. It’s not much at all but it’s yours. But somehow you feel cheated. You are tired of the struggle. You have nothing left of value to sell. And you are tired of dashed hopes and fraudulent dreams.

But what do you do? You throw in the towel? And do what, exactly? Leave your husband and children? Leave your husband and take your children? Where would you go? How would you manage still? Why cause further heartache? You love your husband and you love your family.

So you give up the conversation, because there really is no point. You smile and make do. You eat whatever you have left in the house because you know if you don’t, you’ll just be hungry. You pick yourself up, time and again, each rise a little more weary than the last and you keep your family close.

It’s all you can do.