May you be free from fear... May you be free from desire...
May you be blessed with unity... May you be blessed with peace...
May you be blessed with unity... May you be blessed with peace...
The Days of Air
of Fall's edging
of Spring's dawning
For brief days
Twice a year
I love the
Days of air!
Inspired by an awesome poetry site... also got this quote
"And his life will mean nothing…
But in his own mind...
For he lived as he wished
And the same way he died."
I'm talking about really fasting... like zero food or juice or calories... just lots of water and OK... I'm a total idiot but the first day included one pot of caffeinated coffee... today is 3/4 decaf. I'm crazy, not totally insane. I know what a head ache is really like.
The point is awareness without judgement. Walking mindfulness, a constant meditation a commitment to notice the thoughts all the time. It's CRAZY what I think when I notice what I'm thinking at any given normal moment. I'm not sitting cross legged in a quiet, calm space... I'm walking around, interacting, boating, driving, talking, WILD! Much more interesting thoughts show up with so much stimulus.
I knew I was judgmental but I really had no idea how constant it is. I guess "observe and conclude" is the way we operate. The conclusions are just so NOT necessarily true in so many circumstances! The fasting definitely assists in the process by keeping the mind sharp and the focus off food as well as the physical drain of digestion (which is incredibly draining I've come to realize).
I've also observed so many triggers that fire up whole trains of thoughts and judgements and conclusions. I can almost literally watch my pulse quicken as the ideas flash by from past experiences or perspectives on experiences. Chris and I went out on the boat yesterday and as we slammed along (it was wicked choppy) I was truly at choice about how upset I got or not... what I said... was I having fun or miserable. It was crystal clear that in every present instant we are in total choice regarding our PERSPECTIVE on our experience. I guess... we are at choice about our REACTION and ACTION around any situation.
I know, I know I knew this already... at least I thought I did. Peeling that onion, I now know it better than before. Practice provides progress. Observe - take a moment - create distance and objectivity, question your conclusions, in any moment or moment by moment. Is it true? You are safe! Is it real? Nothing is wrong! Does it matter? Surrender! Do you give a fuck? Really?!
Latest book I'm reading... "the life changing magic of not giving a fuck"
The Olympics... a few thoughts
My first recollection of the Olympics is 1976 and Nadia Comaneci. I was eleven years old, bright eyed and bushy tailed, no doubt. I wasn't inspired to be a gymnast, but I was inspired. At this point in time I find the same sensation... I'm inspired again but it's vague and ethereal rather than sharp and motivational. I'm not sure at all what happened to the intervening 40 years worth of Olympic games. I was absent, checked out, not interested or just not tuned in. Wow...
The athlete stories on demand are most interesting to me. Their journey, their enthusiasm and undying devotion. I also enjoy the practical aspects and day to day details of how they maintain. I must say I am curious where the money comes from to support them and their coaches, etc. I'm not exactly clear on what I'm thinking precisely. There's a bit of a melancholy because of old memories and then a whimsical fascination with what the body is capable of. I do notice a hazy feeling of excitement and I look forward to being physically "myself" again soon.
Sorry so nebulous... it's always darkest before the dawn, I'll keep spinning it all around.
Nobody Asked Me...
I realize this is perfectly obvious and painfully clear to most everyone... but the weight of the reality of things sinks in occasionally with a crisp hot sensation. No, REALLY... NOBODY is asking YOU, anything. AND there's nothing wrong with that!
Is that an "ouch" or a "whew"? I can go either way or both directions at once. I keep reminding myself that nobody cares and nobody is watching. I have this ongoing, ever-present feeling that someone or something is watching me. Even if that were remotely possible, at this point there are no apparent consequences that I can decipher so I'm due to give that up. It truly is amazing how the thoughts take on their own life and then go in circles, trigger, circle, spin, trigger, circle, spin... ad nauseum. (I got the idea for a guru image... with a big X through it indicating that is NOT me and I found, just FYI, like 99% of gurus are guys! FYI)
I just started a reading a new book... a parody on Marie Kondo's Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up... it's by Sarah Knight "the life-changing magic of Not Giving a Fuck"
So far it's amazing. She wrote the exact book I was thinking of writing. Organizing techniques to clear the barnyard of you mind of all the crap you don't need to give a fuck about. I really do like the book, a lot! The tag line is "how to stop spending time you don't have with people you don't like doing things you don't want to do."
It's Ok AND There's Nothing Wrong...
I've been trying for years to tell myself that everything is OK... that it's alright... it will be fine, turn out the way it's meant to be. I realized in the shower just this morning that it's more powerful for me to focus on the fact that there's nothing wrong! Essentially the two are very similar but there is a world of difference in how it makes me FEEL... perhaps I've become jaded to the "I'm OK you're OK" thing. (God I miss Carlin!)
I don't need to figure it out. Yeah! Score! I'm just reporting in that there's nothing "wrong"... with the coffee, with my tummy, with my scarf or my relationship or my Jeep or my job or my future. There's also nothing wrong with anyone around me, that I need to be concerned about. I'm quite sure today is not the day a stranger will pull out a gun and shoot me... but if it happens, oh well. I refuse to live in fear of it and be suspicious constantly. It sounds so naive now that I'm typing it out. What the fuck am I thinking... of COURSE things are WRONG everywhere... Jesus, what an idiot.
And yet, I remain yours eternally grateful, not in a hurry and totally convinced that nothing's wrong! Nice! (Weird looking word, by the way!)
I've recently completely gutted and re-arranged my porch - studio - I don't remember what I decided to call it in a previous post. There were photos then and I'll post photos now. Much less cluttered... I've also come to turns with what I will ACTUALLY USE and DO in the space. It's not a home office, writing, workout, reading, music listening, video watching, painting and napping space only. There may be some smudging and meditating going on as well.All the plants have been properly groomed and some re-potted. One particularly pushy plant had actually sent out tendrils and rooted in a neighbor's pot. Imagine my horror and amazement.
Bottom line, it looks and FEELS amazing, inviting and inspiring! I think this is what my clients often feel when we've finished working together. What a nice gift! I'm using things from my upstairs office like my amazingly functional and comfortable Knoll chair. Not sure why this should feel oddly wonderful but it does and I'm very happy about that.
On to another odd note. Not sure how to paraphrase this... my nipples now point downward. I noticed this when I didn't wear a bra a couple days ago. This is a new sagging development. It also generated feelings of compassion, kindness, sympathy and an odd sense of camaraderie. This body has been along my entire ride, of course, but the amount of attention good, bad or otherwise I've provided has been minimal... (well I guess a lot more bad than good if you count all the alcohol and cigarettes...). The point being I'm noticing a relationship presenting... a curious, fascinating, childlike awareness full of wonder and questioning and investigation. What's very different, of course, and ODD is the lack of judgement, criticism, stereotypes, frustration and shame.
I began marveling at women who had kids... most of the females I know, of a certain age. How amazing the process of self discovery must have been being pregnant. All the intense and marvelous physical changes that whole process creates. I must admit also that the journey of one particular wife on a TV drama has had an impact. She has stage zero breast cancer (whatever that is) and refuses to get a double mastectomy. Her breasts are precious things to her (Abby on Ray Donovan). I was quite indifferent to my own breasts until the combination of this show and the downward pointing nipple incident.
That's all folks. Middle age at it's best and brightest! I'm off to question women who had children about the physical aspects of their experience.
Insights & Yutori
I have finally found a way to consistent weight loss... Like my experience with getting smober, no artificial means or substitutes are helpful i.e. drugs or nicotine patches... I guess the same is true for me for weight management... same food and minimal tracking or fussing. I've lost 15 pounds since 5/16 - 3 months. I managed to maintain for a couple of weeks on several occasions but never gained anything back.
Bottom line, I know I'll get there and I'll keep doing what I'm doing. That's no small thing, I wasn't sure at first imagining failure after failure and being stuck chubby forever against my will. My persistence paid off, as it always has!. Maybe this is a great analogy for getting older in general... the same results just take more time and more insight and patience. I definitely have a more intimate relationship with myself and my food. Partnership with Chris has been critical and tracking it on a big post it note each week has been indispensable. I've noticed myself being very tempted to cheat... what's up with that!? I've also noticed a huge pride in my appearance and I am very much looking forward to getting dressed and wearing fun and stylish clothes. I'm wearing cool stuff now but I'm really looking forward to being slimmer and how AWESOME it will be to wear basically the same outfits and have them look and feel differently.
This is the insight I was referring to in the title of the blog. I have never, in my life, ever cared a lick about clothing... appearance... jewelry... etc. I'm tidy and well kept but didn't invest any further effort. For a while, when I lived with DeeAnne in the city, she provided major wardrobe support and guidance. I still didn't really get into it. Lately I've noticed spurts of intentional outfit construction including shoes and accessories. It's also aided by yutori (see below). Anyhow, it's another step to enjoying each and every moment of each and every day and learning to love and respect myself in many different ways.
Astonishing new grasp of everyday normal... like finding and understanding yutori. Awesome!!
TRANSCRIPT FOR NAOMI SHIHAB NYE
ON BEING - YOUR LIFE IS A POEM July 28, 2016
"And a girl, in fact, wrote me a note in Yokohama on the day that I was leaving her school that has come to be the most significant note any student has written me in years. She said, “Well, here in Japan, we have a concept called ‘yutori.’” And it is spaciousness. It’s a kind of living with spaciousness. For example, it’s leaving early enough to get somewhere so that you know you’re going to arrive early, so when you get there, you have time to look around. Or — and then she gave all these different definitions of what yutori was to her. But one of them was — and after you read a poem just knowing you can hold it, you can be in that space of the poem. And it can hold you in its space. And you don’t have to explain it. You don’t have to paraphrase it. You just hold it, and it allows you to see differently. And I just love that. I mean, I think that’s what I’ve been trying to say all these years. I should have studied Japanese. [laughs] Maybe that’s where all our answers are. In Japanese."
Prayer Flags and Auspicious Days
By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
This teaching appears in the March-April, 1997 issue of Mandala, the newsmagazine of the FPMT.
When you put up prayer flags to bring success, if you put them up on the wrong astrological dates [paden tharwo], you continuously receive obstacles. For as long as the prayer flags last, obstacles will continuously arise. This also applies to long prayer flags and to banners. The following are the wrong dates according to the Tibetan calendar:
Even though I did just hang my prayer flags and it is the SECOND day of the EIGHTH month... I don't buy it. I just don't. Like eggs are bad for you. People are just often misguided. My opinion... that's all this ever is... my opinion.
What seemed so important to write about before has mellowed and faded. I'm still breathing from my belly and feel as though the urge to constantly hold my breath has been lifted. Not quite true... it's subsiding - I still have the muscle memory to hold my breath... tight chest, tight abdomen... but now I'm aware of it and slowly, moment by moment remembering I don't have to hold my breath any longer. That breathtaking (pun pun) revelation is now in the past and I've moved on. I do have another session with April scheduled to continue the application process of whatever emotional laxative we managed to create that day.
In this moment, today, I'm aware for the first time of having the flu... or not. Chris' Mom was deathly ill Sunday night. Violent vomiting and diarrhea as well as fever, chills and abdominal cramps forced Chris to call emergency and landed his Mom in the ER. After some intense self diagnosing... this came up on Google:
"The bacterial species, Vibrio parahaemolyticus has been associated with consumption of raw or undercooked fish and shellfish, particularly oysters. Infection by these bacteria can cause symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, and chills."
Sounds right, right?! Wrong... Chris started feeling ill about 3am this morning and he ate no fish at all. So that decidedly makes it a virus, a violent, savage, demonic virus that has my poor Honey in undeniable intestinal and otherwise all over agony for hours now.
So here's the odd part. I feel fine and yet I was compelled to cancel my scheduled work with a client who's moving in today. I actually felt guilty, like I was being dishonest or playing hooky when I texted her. I sat and stared at the text I'd sent "Chris is violently ill this morning. What we thought was food poisoning is apparently a virus. I feel a bit woozy but OK but I would hate to get caught running around (if explosive diarrhea hits). Or expose you. Don't know what to do...." 1 minute pause... next text: "We took his Mom to emergency Sunday night with this thing..." 2 more minutes pass... next text: "You could pick up Val... she could help with the unpacking? I've never seen Chris so miserable (only a slight exaggeration)."
Pam's response within three minutes: "Laurie, you need to take care of you and Chris!! I appreciate your not exposing me. I have dealt with unloading and unpacking. When you are better you can help with what is left."
There is so much for me to "unpack" here on so many levels... I just have to dive in and run with it.
Laurie Anne McCauley
Did that make you feel better?
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!