Complacency

Being very tired tends to make me complacent.  My head is clouded with everything needed to be done.  Mind you, I am the one who has put the pressure on myself but after so many years it’s difficult to just let things go.  I am afraid that if I get too complacent I will watch my life go by and not do everything I think I want to do.  I find myself reading all of these sayings or quotes about how I should be living my life and after a while it gets quite overwhelming.

I know people who live their lives very content being complacent about everything and it doesn’t seem to bother them.  I guess it depends on what you think complacent means.  The dictionary (I love using that term even though we no longer physically use a dictionary!) says that complacency is a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements.

Complacency in life, however, tends to carry a degree of acceptance of everything and anything.  Sometimes I find myself satisfied with something not going my way.  Or someone treating me with disrespect.  I subconsciously accept the fact that it’s just how things are.  It’s just how some people behave.

But in order for my life experience to take on a new look, the feeling I am striving for, I must detach from that way of thinking.  To change the random occurrence of good days every now and then, I must take control of my affairs and my life.  I can’t put my head in the sand or shut my eyes and hope when I open them it will be ok.

I could easily blame my behavior on my mom because that is how she lived her life.  Always looking but never seizing the opportunity to do it herself.  Always looking for someone to save the day. However,  I have to determine the path I will take.  I am responsible for what happens to me.  I cannot buy into accepting someone else’s reality as my own.  As I get older, I find I am blaming my age sometimes for my choices and my fatigue.  My mind gets muddied and it just seems easier to check out.  I wonder where that girl has gone that use to have so much fire.

Regardless, I still have a choice and even though sometimes it may not be the path I thought I was going on I know ultimately I have to make the most of it.  There will always be someone who seems to be luckier, smarter, more talented, more successful and just down right the lottery winner.  I can make the excuses that will keep me safe and comfortable or I can insist that there is something more still waiting for me and I am determined to discover it.

Speed

I got a speeding ticket recently and it really brought up a lot of things other than the huge price tag.  The ticket, processing fee for traffic school and traffic school will reach close to $500.00.  Wow, that’s quite a chunk of change for a brief moment of checking out.  Well, if I’m going to being totally honest, it’s really about how I am moving right now in my life.

Being on a project that has long hours and a tremendous amount of responsibility tends to make you check out a lot when it comes to day to day living.  Spending fourteen to sixteen hours a day can be exhausting on any level but when it entails lots of driving, working outside in the desert and never letting your brain rest (even when sleeping!)  that can cause mental check out.  And that can come at a price.

Not to say that I haven’t put myself in this position many times before but now I am genuinely  trying to see the lesson in all of it.  I was late, my mind was thinking about being at work and I was not paying attention.  Doesn’t matter that many other people next to me were doing the same speed.  I was the one chosen and I have to believe, chosen for a reason.  Even if the  policeman giving me the citation wasn’t aware of what all of this ticket entailed, I had to fess up that I was wrong and needed to take notice in where I was and what I am doing right then.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle goes into depth of how important it is to stay in the now.  Someone once said, when asked what was one of the biggest mistakes they made in their life,  they summed it up in one sentence.  “I didn’t pay attention.”    Short and sweet.

I didn’t pay attention.  I was not in the moment to be aware of my actions and paid the consequences.  How many times could I apply that to so many things in my life?  Things that I’ve said.  Ways I have treated people when I wasn’t feeling my best.  Blame I put on others because I didn’t want to own up to the fact that I was afraid.  Or just not being presence.  Or wishing I was somewhere else instead of dealing with where I was right now.  Difficult to face on any level but more and more I am realizing it is vital for my awareness and actions.

So I’ll go to school to pay my dues.  Love school but not this one. Because with each question it will be a reminder of what I wasn’t doing at the time.  I know my lesson learned is to stay in the moment and remember I am the one  responsible for being right where I am.  Stay in the moment and pay attention.  Embrace what is happening at the moment and learn from it.  Slow down.

Thanks

I am always reading other people’s blogs and articles and books about how important it is to be grateful.  I must admit that sometimes I don’t particularly like them.  It is usually at a time when something has happened that doesn’t seem fair or necessary to experience in life.  Then I start to feel that reading and listening to all this seems ludicrous.  It should just be a given.

But my mind is not that clever even at this age and my ego starts to creep into my psych.  I make all the excuses of why I should feel sorry for myself and not realize how fortunate I am.  After all, I’ve worked hard for what I have.  Nothing has come that easily for me.  My determination and hard work have made me what I am today.

Ah, but then I stop and think about that someone who is waiting for their big break or just looking for a job.  I got my big break and I do have a job.  I have an education.  I have a beautiful home.  But most important I have my health and opportunities I never thought I would have coming from where I came from growing up.

Speaking of my health, a dear friend of mine recently had a health scare and thankfully she seems to be doing just fine.  But the days when it was touch and go and we weren’t sure what it was,  I was given the opportunity to take stock of where I’ve been and where I am now.

I had cancer ten years ago and luckily today I am cancer free.  In the interim of not knowing where the diagnosis was going to take me I had a hard time feeling grateful.  Gratitude wasn’t even on my radar.  The “why me?” was more the dialogue in my head.  The thought of not being around when my son’s future was just beginning to take shape was overwhelming to me.  And when I was given the clean bill of health gratitude came rushing back to me.

I give thanks everyday for my sister who’s strength, even at the height of adversity, is still showing me there is so much to be thankful for no matter how chaotic life can be on any given day.  She shows me how to turn lemons into lemonade.  As trite as that saying may be it sums up simply how much she means to me.

Right now in my life, at this very moment, I want to be grateful for just being.  No bells or whistles.  Just grateful to hear beautiful music played by my son or laughter from anywhere or sitting peacefully and thinking about absolutely nothing.

I think meditating is finally starting, bit by bit , to sneak into my mind and my attitude.  I am not reacting so quickly to the drama of everyday life or maybe I’m focusing on just being happy.  And all I can do is try my best.

So I’m just going to say thanks for my life as it is right now.  And for these tears of gratitude.  Thanks.

Stillness

I have been listening to the lectures of Echardt Tolle and am amazed at how simple and yet how complex his teachings are.  I was especially intrigued and confused by his ideas of the stillness of our minds and the importance of finding the spaces between the words.

Now in my busy and ever chatting mind that seemed almost too surreal for me to grasp.  He speaks with a direct and methodical way that is both enchanting and hypnotic.  And, for the most part, totally unreachable for me right now.  I think I have grasped the concept, try it and realize how difficult it can be.

I know I have a tendency to belabor explanations when I am trying to get a point across.  I keep repeating myself to make sure that I am being totally understood.  A bad habit for me as it can make people restless and annoyed.  Many times I am not even aware of what I am doing.  It’s not that I think they don’t understand it’s that I am trying to convince myself that I have it right.

I started to think about those spaces in between my explanations that may help in slowing me down and only repeating myself once.  I find I want to explain myself to the world.  To make what I do matter not just to others but especially to myself.

What I discovered was how much I judged myself and how little I really trusted that what I have to say had meaning.  Or that it may have enough value for people to even spend their time  listening.  Insecurity raises it’s ugly head and the child in me says, “Look at me!  Look at me!”   Echardt Tolle is trying to say that we are enough.  That the silence between those words or even silence itself is enough.

And in that thought a deep emotion comes over me that makes me sad and hopeful at the same time.  To quote Echardt from his book  Stillness Speaks , “When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world. Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.”

I am striving to believe one finds there is no judgement of whether I am good enough but rather that stillness is enough to discover how valuable what I say can be if I come from I Am.

Meditation

BuddhaI have meditated for many years.  I first did Transcendental Meditation when I lived in London in 1975.  I don’t know why I decided to go to the center but I did and found myself being instructed by a kind, quiet man in his early 30′s.  I only say his age because he seemed so much wiser than his years and I wanted that at the ripe old age of 21.  He gave me my mantra and told me to always carry it close just in case I needed it.  To this day I still know it even though I haven’t practiced religiously.

I come and go in my meditation and often wonder if it is even working for me.  I tend to be a “high energy” person (for lack of a nicer title than pain in the ass!).  I can be demanding in my ways especially when it comes to fairness and respect.  I still have a hard time understanding why with some people being rude and dismissive is a daily way of life but if I’m really honest with myself I find I can be that way as well.  I try to recognize it when it happens, usually caused by feeling disrespected myself but I guess it’s all in how you look at it.  I need to meditate on the fact that even though it is happening on the outside I need to stay quiet on the inside.

I started meditating again everyday whether it’s at 4AM or 4PM if only for 20 minutes.  The hardest thing for me to do is turn the voices off in my head.  I begin with the best intentions and then end up going over the next day’s plan or what my to do list should be.  Sometimes I use my TM mantra and sometimes I use So Hum which means I am.  The meaning of that will be for a different time as I could fill a book with that one.  I am still trying to find out who I am and get more and more frustrated just trying to grasp it.

I thought I could come up with something that interests me enough to keep me occupied and content with knowing it is what I want to do the rest of my life.  I still think meditating may help me with that path but so far nothing has really jumped out at me.  Sure, I like to sing and do yoga and write but is that who I am?  I love to teach and to guide people but I haven’t taken the leap to actually do that.  I am still doing what I have been doing for many years and the sheer mantra in my head that I keep repeating is that of being able to make a living.  The mantra of fear comes to mind and I am trying to cast that to the wind.

I read someone said they became an accountant even though they wanted to be a comedian.  After a number of years they were fired from their job and came to realize that if they where going to fail at something they didn’t want to do they might as well try doing what they loved.  Then if they failed at least they gave themselves the opportunity to know what doing what they loved was like. They at least seized the opportunity.  I like that a lot.

So here I am about to embark on a 28 day excursion into the unknown.  It will be filled with yoga, meditating, writing and discovery.  It is not until November so I have awhile to meditate on that one.  Who knows?  I feel this may finally be my  opportunity to discover the true meaning of So Hum.