practicing mindfulness

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It’s also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that’s sitting right here right now… with its aches and it pleasures… is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.
Ok, maybe it’s also important to have food, clothing, and a roof over our heads for many of us to be fully human, fully awake, and fully alive. Let’s not let that small point take us away from the brilliance of this quote.

What’s so brilliant about it? For reason particularly driven by subtle messages from the media driven into our forming minds, we are a culture driven by a need for “more” in order to feel alive or happy. For other reasons we are also a culture driven to try and eradicate discomfort. Both of these messages are partly driven by business trying to make a buck and spending billions of dollars are marketing to drive this into our minds.
The price?

A constant feeling of dis-ease within us. We’re can’t be content with where we are in any particular moment because our minds are either trying to flee away from some discomfort or toward some comfort.

Pema Chodron is simply trying to remind us that aches and pleasures are part of the human experience. There may not be a catastrophe when a pain is there, it may just be part of being “fully alive.” There may not be a need to get the wheels anxiety or distress to be set in motion. Of course, if you are under extreme distress or have an inkling that something is off physically, it’s important to get it checked out by a medical professional.

However, next time you’re feeling physical or emotional pain, know that this is temporary and say to yourself, “maybe this is exactly what I need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.” See if you can bring your attention to it with a sense of compassion and caring. Next time you are feeling pleasure, also know that this is temporary and part of being fully alive… reposted from monday’s mindful quote
wow- what a very uncomfortable week this has been. i started feeling a sort of gurgling discomfort in my sinuses on monday and stayed in bed for 3 days with a fever and runny nose missing both my day job, but also cancelling on a catering gig which did leave a hole in my monthly budget.  when i spoke with my doctor’s office, i was informed that they recommended that i let the infection run its course and would be offered antibiotics after 10 days or so. i felt betrayed by this news which is ironic because i rarely take any meds (, aspirin, cough syrup, cold pills other than my hiv and psych meds for any reason. however i have had a sinus infection a few times before and have found that to be something that i am susceptible to and very weakened by for some reason. back in the late 80’s, my sinuses swelled onto the surface of my forehead giving me a cyclops sort of presentation that caused me to scream when i saw my reflection in the mirror. even that time, i didn’t take medication, i used steam and vapo-rub for about 4 hours. luckily, the channelling of a lon chaney type creature vanished with not much residual affect other than that gorilla i saw in the mirror. 
anyway, a couple of years ago i had another infection and it went on ad nauseum. i couldn’t shake the fever and the nose might as well have been training for a triathlon. the only relief came very late in the game in the form of amoxocillin. and this week i found myself wanting that same order and with the response from my caregivers that i didn’t qualify, my sense of balance seemed to waft away like the scent of a freshly baked pie flows out of the kitchen. 
i had to pull myself up from my bootstraps and visit them in person and plead my case- with several sales pitches in tow. “i can’t lay around for days doing nothing”- ” i feel like i am being punished for being healthy” ” i don’t really want to use up a week’s pto with a crappy fever and box of kleenex. somehow i got my way. 
what also became apparent was that the mercury-in-retrograde stage directions had been put into place. my car wouldn’t start, my dishwasher ran some sort of leak, the order of snacks for my group didn’t get placed, the meal i planned to pick up for another group didn’t get handled because of the car. in spite of all these mishaps ( quite plentiful for one  day) were also met with an answer from my life which caused no real trauma other than to my sense of balance. the early groups survived with no doughnuts- the second group had no attendees so i disappointed no one directly- my friend loaned me a car for a week, and nothing seems damaged by water all over the floor. 
with all the blows to my plans for my life this week, there also has been a net that showed up to catch me from any imminent fall. in other words, i didn’t crumble or suffer- other than in my own mind. actually my life protected me – even from me.

that’s the good news. and it is good. the other side of the story is that i have not been on my best behavior nor in my best frame of mind. i have wallowed in a little pity, played a bit of the victim, been a bit gamey and childish,  and worked it more than i would like to admit.  being human is really damn humbling…

am offering 2 selections with today’s post- 1 with homage to the mindful part of myself and the other with a nod to the diva that walks the catwalk inside my head with repetition…. mercury in retrograde leaves november 10- fingers crossed we make it without too much more destruction and re-creation..the title of this post is practicing mindfulness – the emphasis is on practicing.


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the weekend has arrived, but i am pretty certain i am working through it. i picked up a level 1 dui class which is 12 hours fri nite and sat morning. then i am working a party on saturday evening in cherry hills. that leaves sunday as my day of rest, but i will have laundry, kitchen, and the rest to contend with.

i sound so whiney, which is a shame, because the truth is that i thrive when busy. i am left without the negative thoughts that run through my head when i have downtime. the more clean time i get, the more i realize that i must have been very tortured early on and that might one reason why i self medicated so heavily and so often. it has hurt in many ways to be sober. it has hurt to be me.

i phased out of my former position this week. it was a quiet and clumsy transition. i haven’t wanted to be gone from somewhere with so much conviction in awhile. but as i turned in my laptop, my key, and my vocera, i was again steeped in a stir of echoes. the anger i feel inside from some long forgotten ghost compiled with the fear i experienced at being ridiculed in public. both these emotions were real, but not at all derived from today’s experience. they were ancient manuscripts that resurrect themselves with repetition and wreak calamity upon my calm.

i phoned a friend whose voice reminded me that i am no longer that age and that it is no longer necessary to marinate in all that angst. i still can’t quite get there on my own. but get there i did with her help. and then i got a random phone message from a friend telling me he thought i was “the best”.  that voice was like salve on scalded skin. man, did that turn the heat down.

it’s been a day. i have made it through. i hope for another.and then one more.

still love this song…

feels so different

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“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

the “ah-has” are speeding past me this year like the last days of a perfect summer. i find myself  both awed and humbled beyond my ability to express. the most liberating of all these rays of light is the deeper understanding of mindfulness that is encompassing me and this may just change my world forever. all my life i have been living with the idea that truth is fixed and that the way i see the world was hard-earned and would doubtfully change.

but i now find myself shifting to realize that how i see the world is just that and only that- the way i see it. it has no bearing on how the world is, nor even how i differently i can work to see it if i choose. the remarkable aspect of all this is the sheer simplicity of it. i have a choice. understanding this makes it less of a choice, but it’s still a choice.

my way has been to hold a grudge for eons. i have become so comfortable living with anger submerged it seems as if my heart might have been buried alive. somehow, still beating, it has not been able to connect to much of anything because it has been tethered to the dark, the pain,  and all the fear. but just as the light breaks the darkness on the horizon at dawn, this truth has allowed me to see beyond my tomb. my history remains written, but my options from now have dramatically shifted.

this shift affects everything i do. i am able to feel less stuck. i am able to let go more easily. i notice the days and the nights more intimately. i can’t imagine what life would be without this new turn. but i don’t have to. my life includes a new level of mindfulness. and it offers me a slice of serenity.