Monday, September 30, 2013

For the Month of October

Last Sunday would have been my son's 26th birthday. We had a quiet weekend where we took birthday flowers to his grave. When we left to go there, a song from his funeral was playing on the radio. Also I noticed some flowers blooming unexpectedly beside the road across from my grandfather's old home place. I hope to go back and dig some of them up to plant at our place in the country. I am sure one of my dead relatives planted the flowers there many years ago. At the cemetery, I saw a ladybug as I was arranging the flowers in the vase. And then, on our way home, not far from where the flowers were growing, we saw a turtle coming onto the road. We passed him and then I said something about turning around to take his picture. We turned around pretty quickly but we never did find him to take his picture! All of these sights were strangely comforting to me.

This is the flower I noticed on the side of the road.

The heart in the "Vita Brevis" photo is a piece of paper towel that was on the bathroom floor at work.

There is something about noticing the small things that makes me feel grateful. It almost feels like a gift.

My friend Beth has made a commitment to doing a 31 day experiment in noticing things, to "recognize moments that too easily skip right on by." I think I'm also going to remind myself to be a "noticer" during this month. It's the first month of the last quarter of the year, a perfect time to begin a new challenge.

I'm also going to be working on a 12 week study of the book, "The Artist's Rule." I am not at all sure I will keep up with this challenge but I sure want to. I need more order, and more intention in my life. I am wasting far too much of my time on mindless fillers that really do nothing to enhance my life.

In five months, I've worked on changing my eating habits, eating more mindfully and with an awareness of how what I eat affects me. I've committed to regular exercise, moving in some meaningful way on most days for my health. Surely I can do this, too. We shall see how it goes. . .

Monday, September 16, 2013

Letting Go and Holding On

I saw this quote today and thought it pertinent to my dilemma where I chose to take out my frustrations in a physical way. My friend who works in a floral shop said that holding a rose this way would kill it. I informed her the rose was already dead! But it sorts of illustrates my point, that we can smother things if we are too clingy or try to grasp and hold them with too much force. We have to find that balance, "that fine mingling." I'm working on it!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How to Bloom

I pushed myself and walked five miles tonight! My longest walk ever! And there was a perfectly good reason for pushing myself.

I found myself in a situation where I wasn't getting something I wanted when I wanted it (attention), and I felt the desire to push to get it. The story I attached to the situation was that I was never going to get the attention I wanted, that all was lost, and that simply is not true. But the story made me want to push and possibly attempt to manipulate things so I could have what I wanted.

I've been thinking about this particular situation for a couple of days now and my instinct was telling me that I didn't need to push, that I needed throttle back and let the situation unfold, whether I was happy about it or not. As I allowed my imagination to envision the story of my throttling back and relaxing into my own feelings (fear of loss) and into the situation, my trust returned that the situation would work itself out and was not at all the catastrophe I had manufactured in my head.

But here's the deal: I still had that urge to do something, that desire to push, and I did not know what to do with that. I was annoyed with myself for being so stupid as to worry about the situation and I thought to myself, "Well, this will be a good night to push yourself to walk five miles." Now, at first I was seeing this as a way to "punish" myself for being so danged needy and getting upset, but as I walked, I began to realize it was a great substitution for my desire to push another human being and it truly relieved some of my stress with the situation!

Let me go ahead and expound a bit more. I told myself I needed to face my fear, which is always a fear of loss, and probably, abandonment, in this case.

I've been working on reading Pema Chodron's Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change. She is one of the ones who writes about how we attach stories to things, and get the idea that we HAVE to have things a certain way, when true acceptance is not predicated on whether or not we are happy with whatever it is we are accepting.

I'm smart enough to also figure out that the harder we cling to some things, the more damage we do. My pushing would have been a form of clinging. I didn't want to do that.

And that's another of the advantages to getting out and moving your body. You can expend the energy you might be tempted to spend on pushing other people in an attempt to get what you want when you want it and it really does help to relieve the tension. I "wore myself out" and came to terms with the idea of just riding things out and observing what will happen.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Here I Am, Again

Well, another long absence has occurred! And I need/want so badly to catch up on reading some of your blogs. I've neglected my online friends and I don't know what my excuse is! I was also going so well with the 52 photos project and fell completely off the wagon with that. It's been so hot and I can't say the last time I've gotten out with my big camera to take pictures. Hopefully as the cool fall comes in I will be inspired to get out more.

I am still eating mindfully and walking or exercising at the gym nearly every day of the week. I'm still losing weight. I've added a yoga class to my regime that is offered through our wellness center at work. I'm enjoying that one a lot. I also went to a "body sculpting" class that is designed to tone muscles. That one was harder than I expected it to be! But I suppose I will go back again for some more of it when the time comes next Monday to return.

This is another one I've done on my phone. It was basically a stream of consciousness piece, lightly edited. This is part of the road I walk on when I am in the country.There is just something about walking that clears my head and puts me in a better frame of mind. I don't do it everyday now since I go to the gym and use the elliptical. But on the weekends, I usually get two good walks in, one of them in the country.

I'm doing 10Q again this year. I did them in 2010, skipped 2011 (or just let the deadline pass to get the questions answered, I had good intentions, but you know what they say about good intentions) and did them again in 2012. Reading the answers a year later is an interesting experience.