Everyday Revolutions

Thursday, February 18, 2016

An Everyday Revolution

     I saw am anonymous quote yesterday that summed the deep undercurrent behind my efforts to continually brainwash myself with positivity.

                       "Things won't get better, unless you think better."

    I can't 'control' my thinking, my mind is a wild lil' monkey doing as it pleases.  I used to be completely at it's frenetic whim, swinging to extremes from one moment to the next, by emotions and physical body flailing behind.  Anxiety, depression, negativity and severe self-judgement were the soundtrack to my days.  I self-medicated and couldn't seem to follow through on tasks I began.  

   It's been many moons since I lived in these swamps of self-inflicted internal misery, I've added many helpful mechanisms to cope with my monkey mind since then, the primary daily practice being a gratitude list.  In the rooms of 12-step recovery it's said that a grateful heart never drinks, uses drugs, lapses into harmful behavior, and I can attest to this being 100% true for me.

   Over two years ago I began writing a daily gratitude list and sharing it via text with some other women who, some, share theirs with me.  Writing these lists supported my ability to understand "how" my thinking could be influenced, altered, and, over time, my general outlook transformed.  Writing, "Today I am grateful for..." sharpened my eyes to look for the beauty in the mundane, to recognize how privileged, taken care of, and blessed I truly am. 
    Listing the aspects of my daily life that I had previously taken for granted; 
running water, hot water, good water pressure in my shower, a toilet, a flushing toilet, food in my cupboards, fresh organic fruits and vegetables in my fridge, working electricity, access to, and ability to pay for precious vitamins and supplements, the list is endless - capacitated me to embrace the feeling of gratitude.

    I continue texting my daily gratitude lists only now I also copy them into a 'gratitude journal'.  I can pour over past dates and like a diary, remember what was happening in my life on that particular day, recall how I responded to uncomfortable, difficult or challenging moments and situations.  I've grown in spiritual confidence, one of my constant initial reactions to life situations now; a flat tire, low on money, hurt feelings, disappointment in someone, not getting my way, is one of gratitude.  This is only as a result of having engaged in a (mostly) constant daily gratitude list, this positive self indoctrination.

       Today I'm grateful for waking up, keeping, my eyes closed, and taking a moment to give thanks and ask for guidance during the day.  For shoulder opening and tension releasing yoga postures, the way breath opens blocked channels, relaxes my belly.
I'm grateful for rain and sun today, for laughing as much as I can and backing down when I felt the resistance to relaxing rising.  I'm grateful to be literate and have a deep connection with words, language, and their power, for sidewalks strewn with plum blossom petals and my sweet little home.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Everday Nirvana

The human mind, my mind, conjures up between 60 to 80,000 thoughts a day. AN exhausting statistic, but one that justifies my attention span. That isolated fact provides plenty of motivational fodder for me to continue nurturing a daily meditation practice, my chosen location for this week being my morning commute on BART. Whether standing and rocking back and forth with the motion of the train, or seated under the shadow of my fellow standing commuter I just close my eyes and go...in.
Whatever happens in these moments is okay
as long as I bring my attention back
to the object of my attention.
It could be my breath, an ongoing body scan to unearth every coil of tension where it lurks; the caves around my eyeballs, in the perfect gummed arches of my teeth, the pillar of my neck, the columns of my shoulders. My attention could be a simple intention, or mantra; inhale stillness and silence - exhale peace. A tonglen inspired focus, inhale chaos, and disturbance, exhale balance-equanimity. Whatever it is I hold it like an olympic marathon runner would her baton.
There are plenty of potential interruptions, annoyances, disturbances, surrounding me and from between my own ears. I get to observe, witness and acknowledge every noise, sensation, thought, and reaction, I refrain from engaging. They all come towards me, passing as a cloud would, coming in, and drifting away. Awareness of stillness and activity, back to the breath, a gentle re-direction. Not ignoring the voices, rustling, bodily noices, traffic, itches, twiches..... Simply acknowledgeing, witnessing, passing through, not pushing, watching, not attaching. I can stop at anytime, I can resume in any given moment, I can carry this with me.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Costs & Benefits of Me, Myself & I...partII

.....as I was saying. One of the great paradoxes of herding and corraling my immaturity and REactions to the world around me is that it's by way of these intense overwhelimg instants that I am most present and reap the softest, shiniest lessons of self love, patience and compassion. I equate internal discomfort, uneasiness, seeking comfort with uncertainty to the pre-school image of squeezing playdo through a spaghetti strainer or garlic press. I'm the playdo, life is the press. I have to come out on the other side and mold and mush myself back together.....


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Full Fall October Moon

October 23rd will host the full moon this month and already I feel the pull of forces swaying my inner landscape. Perhaps hormonal, celestial, tidal, astrological, or plain and simple rationalization, justification or defending of my reactions and responses to people, places and things. In this very moment the emotional levy is cracked and leaking, I'm mourning not having things work out the way I want. This is no way to treat the moon, blaming her for my emotional state. With my back against the stone wall of the present moment, it's impossible to see it's effect, the totality of it's enormity - carved by an emotional ancestral couple of centuries. In the realm of infinite possibilities I could be yearning to recapture a part of my memory, my being I've never known in the past 37 years.
Dig my knuckles and wrists among the stems and leaves of invasive plants to clear the space for more greens to grow, for potatoes, yucca, and other roots vegetables. Awaken, ingest, harmonize and lay head down with ritual .....I yearn for what I don't know, for the parts of my legacy I'm unaware of, for the awareness, tenderness and love of gratitude. For connection, a feeling that needs no punctuation.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Is anybody there?

Lately, I really feel the need to be heard. To be recognized, acknowledged, embraced, cajoled with compliments, serenaded with worship-like praise, offered appreciative shared jokes directed at my mannerisms, habits, likes and dislikes.... Last night I symbolically carried myself to bed as my Papa used to when I was a girl. I stroked my freshly washed curls and wrapped myself in a ball on my side.
This morning the greater power of the world wide web offerd me some words to say aloud, to record in the lobes of my ears, to read and visualize them manifesting, they go somethin' like this; Abundant Universe, I claim my Queendom. Take from me any unworthiness and replace it with the knowledge of my true deservingness.
I open to receive all the good that life has to offer me.
I ask for, and accept the best in every situation.

A shiney taupe Prius,
Ful coverage dental insurance,
A good paying fulfilling service oriented job,
Good physical health, Balanced calm mental and spiritual health
Sparkly magical health
Travel travel travel; Sweden, Turkey, India, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Middle East, France, Spain, Bali, Arches National Monument, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mississippi River.....
All the same for my loved ones.