July 9th – Loving What Arises

Dear me,

It’s funny that I’ve been pondering how people going through changes in their lives and investigating different spiritual theories and methods of self help will refer to “doing the work”. That’s always it – “I’ve been doing the work on myself and…blah blah blah..” Of course I hear “the work” and think it all sounds like such drudgery! I picture someone hunched over a desk furiously reading or writing or crunching numbers with the tip of their tongue sticking out and a deep furrow on their brow. “Gotta do The Work!”

But, I do get it – The Work is practicing new thought habits. Listening to spiritual teachers, writing in a journal, meditating – all part of The Work. Affirmations, mantras, mirror work, writing confessional letters, being mindful of your physical reactions to things = The Work.

Today I totally got it. There’s been a video going around on facebook with a snarky version of a guided meditation. Clearly made in response to the exploding trend of mindfulness guided meditations like I use – this one is called “Fuck that!” It’s just a few minutes long and it is awesome. There’s the soothing music, the typical intro telling you to close your eyes and breathe and slow down your thoughts, but then it takes a twist to “Fuck that!”

Meanwhile after listening to a Matt Kahn audio earlier in the week I had his line “Love what arises.” floating through my head. It had stuck in there for some reason and as we know that usually means it was because I needed to hear it and REALLY absorb it.

So today I did a little ping pong rally between “Fuck that!” and “Love what arises”. I started off the day not realizing I was a tad on edge for no particular reason at all. But as each truly minor irritant popped up, I could feel my jaw clenching and there was a lot of “Fuck that!” going on in my head. Which sounds cathartic, but it’s really not helpful nor does it make me a pleasant person. So I would turn towards the irritant and remind myself to “love what arises” and just dealt with them one by one and did my best job faking a smile either on my face or in my head/heart as I wiped each one away. Naturally the universe (which has an amazing sense of humor) kept on throwing more at me. Nothing big mind you – certainly nothing emotionally devastating or in any way disastrous for anyone. Just utter bullshit (as the Fuck that meditation would say!)

By lunchtime it was getting easier to just go straight to loving what arose without having to clench my teeth and then later still I was able to watch another Matt Kahn video that was posted in the GGID group. It was one I had not yet listened to and it had so so many truly funny sections that I was laughing out loud (and relaxing) in no time. At the end of the work day I went to the gym since it was my planned stationary bike night. I was totally changed into my workout clothes when I realized – no workout shoes! Took me a minute to ponder – just go back to the car and go home since I was already changed and just run at home? Nah – I knew I would bail out after sitting in traffic. No, I needed to stay. But now there were people in the women’s room in there changing and there I was standing in my sock feet. Hmmmm…

“Fuck that! I’m loving what has arisen and cycling in my sock feet!”

And I marched right into the gym and plopped myself onto the recumbent bike and pedaled for 45 minutes at level 5 covering 10.5 miles! Then I marched right back out and got my clothes from the locker and continued walking in my socks past the office buildings and into the garage to my car and drove him. Shoes? I don’t need no fucking shoes?!

LOL – what a day. On the ride home in traffic I played the Fuck That meditation again because it seemed like the perfect punctuation mark to end the day. And it was.

And that is called Doing The Work which keeps me sane and heart centered and feeling joy. Because yes, my heart sometimes needs to let out a Fuck That! before it can love what arises 🙂

Be kind, be loving, just be.

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July 3

Dear me, 

Well, speaking of triggers (weren’t we talking about those recently?) – I sure was hit by a couple this past week. One that I let completely take over me and one that I didn’t, but felt it just as intensely. 

I also had a few times when I caught myself anticipating a negative conversation and I was wrong each time. 

In other words, my Inner Bitch was alive and well in my head. I shouldn’t be surprised given how I’ve been juggling so many people and their need for my support. Plus, I haven’t been as diligent about meditating or writing in here and new habits need constant nurturing.

Why am I so defensive when someone asks me certain questions? I felt challenged by them instantly despite the intent not being there at all. It was tough though – this wasn’t an email that I could read and let sit for a bit to work through any issues before responding. It was what felt like a barrage of text messages that I felt I should answer instantly. Ugh. I realize that I feel doubts about myself more than I like to admit and if I feel any hint that somone else can see through that facade of capability, then I react with anger. 

I have to remember the note to myself on my desk at work and apply it always “face value” which is a reminder to me not to put my own thoughts behind other people’s words to me. Take them at face value. Without attachment or ego. If anything, apply love to the meaning behing the questions in all cases. Even if you are wrong, you will never really know because you will have answered them with love and even IF the conversation didn’t start out that way, your response will bring it there.

Anther trigger was me imagining that what I took as a chastising post was a) aimed at me and was b) a chastising post. Again, I need to stop assuming negtive motives. Mostly though, I need to stop jumping to the conclusion that they are aimed at ME when they are addressed to a group. And then, even IF I am “guilty” well then, so what? My fear of disappointing people raises its head, that’s what. I don’t want to be “talked to” or “corrected” or really have anyone telling me what to do. I immediately feel mortified as it reinforces (again), my own self doubts. Then I get defensive thinking maybe my way IS the better way and who are you to boss me around?! Then finally I remembered to look at the post through a lens of love and ahhh..ok….”like” and move on. Lordy!

I might also want to remind myself to “breathe” along with the “face value” mantra.

Mostly though, I need to remember one word always: LOVE.

Be kind, be loving, just be.

July 1st – Focus, focus, focus.

Dear me,

Pillars for the GGID group for July.

Overall theme as a result of analyzing June = FOCUS

Finances – place my focus on taking time to analyze the best option for refinancing the high interest 2nd. Stay connected to the daily needs of family and plan out the best use of this month without any 1st mortgage payment. Create the detailed plan as follows 1) Project Aug-Dec budget with new mortgage payment amounts, 2) Calculate tax impacts for 2015 and address them either with retirement withholding or increasing savings depending on size of impact 3) Ensure all small debt (sears, macys, care credit, AT&T phones) are paid off in 2015. 4) map out payoff of TIAA loans 5) Setup monthly transfers to parents according to all other budget needs.

Intimacy – Cement the newly developed habit of listening, reducing the urge to interrupt and just generally relaxing and connecting with anyone and everyone around me. Continue reaching out when I feel any anxiety or frustration for help and support. Support remote friends, attend neighborhood yoga class and events, one lunch date planned, make at least one more in July. Support Chelsea and her mom with regular communication, invitations for dinner/hanging out. Listen to and support Nick when he calls and with visits. Be present and focused on friends old and new in Phoenix during Netroots nation. Soak up remaining time with Alex.

Mindset – I am bringing this back because it IS the main pillar to use to center on focus and maintaining the progress made towards my Big Scary of loving ME and being the best friend I can be. I had that nice moment when I saw/felt the change in my internal dialogue in June and I want to build on that. I will EITHER meditate OR write in my journal every day. I know it is not realistic to commit to both since I do anticipate lots of interactive time with people between the family/friend needs and the travel.