Monday, August 26, 2013

Quiet your mind...(without checking, I think I have used this title before, Mea Culpa)

 "soak it all in, it's a game you can't win.
Enjoy the ride." -- Zac Brown Band

I have been reading a bit about the ego and the ego mind, and how my thoughts are just manifestations of my ego. How they are not reality. How, if I just stopped listening to them, I would be at peace.

I know this. I think most of us have been exposed to enough new age-y meditation-y stuff to get this, in the abstract, at least. 

But when I listen to my internal dialogue, I am so convincing. How can what I am thinking NOT be true? And if thoughts are meaningless, then what else is there? How do we put one foot in front of the other? How do we go about our days if we can't trust our own thoughts? (How can I be writing this?!)

I am not good at quieting my mind. I mean, really. I can't quiet my mouth, so it's not a reasonable expectation. I totally suck at meditation in the traditional sense. I just don't get it. My breathing is not fascinating enough to hold my focus. Even heavy breathing.

I understand the joy of being in the moment. I am just awful at staying there. I am compelled to evaluate the past moment and to anticipate the next moment. In my head. With varying degrees of intensity.

We all have internal dialogues. Most of the time, (if we are lucky,) they are the innocuous and helpful kind that help us to get through our day... lists of things we need to do, internal evaluations of past events, and plans for upcoming activities.

But what happens when the evaluation of yesterday's disagreement becomes an ongoing dialogue in your head? And you start staging a new argument? What happens when you attempt, in your mind, to rewrite the past, or manipulate the future, over and over again? I will tell you what...


You are still in exactly the same place, except now you are angry or upset about things that have not happened. And are probably not even likely to happen.

So I know that this new age-y, meditation-y, "in the moment" stuff has merit.

And at least during the time I am writing this or am engaged in a creative activity, I am here, and not there. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sweeping the cobwebs from my blog...

Yaaaawn.That was quite a nap.

So the big news these days for me is that for the first time in exactly 30 years, I am without a job. I realize that means I am both old and fortunate, to have had steady work for all that time.

I was laid off recently, and I am learning a lot about myself in the process. Change teaches us so much about ourselves that we fail to recognize when we are just going through our regular daily routines.

Change forces us to notice things. It makes us face our fears. It makes us ask ourselves questions about our lives, our dreams and our goals. It makes us summon our strengths and admit to our weaknesses.

It's been just short of a month since my job was eliminated.

Week one came on the heels of vacation, so I spent it doing laundry and yard work and all of those domestic chores that one needs to catch up on after being away.

Week two was not as good. I was grumpy, lethargic, aimless. I had lots to do. Anyone who both owns a home and is looking for a job always has plenty to do. Now I had absolutely no excuse to avoid that long list of things that I could justify not getting done when I was working. Yuck.

Week three I came to the realization that I need some routines and structure. So that is where I am now. Creating new routines. Catching up with old friends. Trying some new things; using this time I have as a gift, and trying not to waste a minute of it. (Pinterest is NOT wasting time!)

I plan to venture out into some new art territory, of course, and I will share what I can with you, here.  If my art could be my next line of work, that would be outrageously awesome. (Note to local employers who may be looking at my resume -- your job would be awesome too!! )

I don't care so much if the long list of house chores is still there. Really, there is always one more thing to add to that list.

Meanwhile this guy is very happy that I am spending more time at home...