Wait..Don’t Stop Trying

unwindingDo you meditate and think, I’m just not really good at this? Your mind drifts off and you think about the movie you’d really like to be watching. Might as well be sitting on the couch watching television. Right? Not quite. I was listening to a podcast earlier which isn’t quite related, but did make me think of this, and yes, I’ll explain.

Saints and Prophets

We love our gurus. Pedestals and high statues. India is well known for putting their spiritualists at quite an exalted status. But there are those in other parts of the world that do the same. I’ve heard many in my culture talk about how wonderful Mrs. Smith or Brown is. She never says a bad word about anyone. She goes to church every week and prays an hour a day. Blah, blah, blah. This is usually followed with a self-depreciating, I’m just not that good of a person. If you come to that conclusion, you’ve missed the point.

Games

Most of us grow up living life as if it’s a game. Level up. Goals to beat. Lives to live. School, job, marriage, children, etc. Somewhere in there, we throw in vacations as bonus runs, just for fun, and we call it a good game. If we think we need extra life points, we go to a doctor, a priest, or even a yoga studio. Some of us have gotten into meditation thinking we can add even more health points. There’s some talk that it can give you some super powers, or have you heard? Yeah, be careful with that one.

We aren’t going anywhere

The point is, we in the western philosophy are goal seekers. We want a prize. We get a trainer to get the abs, so we can get the girl, or am I wrong? Let’s get this straight. I meditate to remember myself. Me. To clear away the clutter of everyone else. I can do this by journaling if I wish. I could go for a long walk in the park instead. Anything away from structure and demands. Drawing, painting, sailing, biking, tanning. So if today my mind wanders a bit, it’s okay. In it’s wandering, it allows me the freedom to release and let go. I relax. Then, I return to myself once again, and slip out of the coils that the choke hold of daily life had held me in. And it feels so good to be me again.

The book, Death on Diamond Mountain, is just a glimpse into one of those moments when things go wrong. Take a glimpse. If you’re a Plus member of Mysterious Universe or you want to be they give you an interview with the author. Quite a trip, but it’s not about the meditation that I’m talking about. Peace be with you and Namaste. 

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Does the Dog Walk You?

Walking a dog is supposed to be good for your health. What they don’t say is what type of dog. I had a dog, a 100 pound German Shepherd dog, that was difficult to walk. She pulled at her leash until she was hoarse. I’d listen to her wheeze and cough like she was a smoker, but it didn’t stop her. In my mind it didn’t make any sense. Why would she keep pulling so hard if it caused pain?

Ha! But don’t I do the same. This last week was a busy one, and the week before and so on. For approximately 2 months my office has been working overtime, catching up. Orders need entered and claims must be sent. You know how it is. We pull ourselves up and stop whining. And once the adrenaline kicks in we’re immortal. We can clean the closet, run a race, groom the dog, wash the car, mow the lawn, give blood, and feed the family. Right? Then it stops.

I realize I was like Crystal, my big lap dog of a German Shepherd, who didn’t know when to slow down. When your body and mind finally realized it’s exhausted, it starts shutting down. Some of us get headaches, others get the flu. As much as I’d like to preempt this, I also realize that I’m task driven and if it’s there, I will do. Just like my dog. I will pull at the leash and wheeze and choke the whole way. The best I can do at this moment is allow myself to crash. Ease up on the pressure I apply and like a fellow blogger put so perfectly, The Virtues of Lowering Expectations, 

When we expect ourselves to do everything  “to the very best of our abilities,” where do we think we’ll get more of the time, energy and focus necessary to be ABLE to  do everything equally well and at the top of our game?

  • Some of us will shut down in overwhelm, then beat ourselves up for our inability to activate, which makes things worse.
  • Some of us have discovered how to transform expectation pressure into a brain-stimulating adrenalin rush that allows us to slip into a getting things done perfectly state of hyperfocus that is just as disabling.

We wear ourselves down to a nub long before we realize we haven’t been functioning very well, so not much of anything was actually accomplished.

Finally exhausted, we slip into depressive ruminations when we can’t “make ourselves” keep up that pace.

There’s a book I read years ago called Three Black Skirts. Basically, it’s organization for young women. Keeping balance, it stated, was necessary for being healthy. I used to think that if I was going to do anything, I’d have to do it forever, such as writing 1000 words a day. I realize now that if something is more pressing, such as working overtime, then it’s okay to let up on other things. Balance is the key. I’m not abandoning an activity, I’m merely postponing or minimizing. Less wheezing. Less pulling at the leash. More at ease with life.

The Critic’s Corner

learning
learning (Photo credit: Anne Davis 773)

The issue with letting the critic in, is that I forget to show him out when it’s time to be creative again. I want to present a certain face so I can get the attention I want. I know some of what others want to hear. I’m very goal oriented and I want to line things up in their correct space so that everything is right. Tweaked until the right item is in the right spot. Then adjusted and then moved again. Until it becomes a second nature. It is almost as if we are the ones who are being tuned and learning the rhythm instead of the music being adjusted. I often feel that I am the one who is being calibrated to be sensitive for whatever new job I take on. But sometimes I can be wrong about the right action.

I think that is what I love about new things. I love stepping into the chaos, the uncertainty, and learning the feel of the situation. It’s like walking into a choir practice. The voices are warming up and practicing their various parts. I’m not a musician or vocalist by the way so I don’t have much knowledge of music, only enough to know I know jack squat about music. My dad played by ear and my mom was in a group and sang for a time as a teenager, but I didn’t inherit their talent. Off the subject, but I did learn that my paternal grandfather had a radio show and he would play his ukulele when he was younger. See there is talent in the family. Without a standard in front of me, my obsessiveness doesn’t kick in and I feel free to explore. The child in me wants to play and no one plays well with the critic sitting nearby. So for a time he has to be quiet and go back down to the basement. 

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit;

Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

~ Miles Kington~

 

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