An interesting phenomenon has been happening with my readings and classes lately. Right now, I am reading two books (the BadAss book I mentioned earlier & Gary Zukov’s book “The Seat of the Soul”). Steve and I are also reading together the book “Soul Lessons” by Sonia Choquette. In addition, we began a digital art class online called AWAKE. The phenomenon is that each day as I read a chapter or perform a lesson from the class, a theme emerges. It’s as if all of these people gathered together and made a life curriculum specifically for me and coordinated my readings and lessons to contain the same message. This has happened for several days now and as I don’t believe in coincidences, I’ve decided to pay attention to the message of the day as these are the less than subtle whisperings of the Universe in my ear (do you remember my safe dropping story?) Actually, whispering is an understatement isn’t it? Whispering would be one chapter in one book relaying a message. Three books and a class lesson conveying the same theme is more like a bullhorn warning that happens right before the safe drops.
My lesson yesterday was living in the present (yep, my readings and the class were emphasizing living in the present). It’s not a new notion and certainly something we hear often, but it is a considerably difficult concept to put into practice. I remember in some of my darkest times looking out at the birds flitting about and soaring through the sky or at my dog, Snoopy, happily panting and sitting next to my chair expectant for whatever to happen. I would look at these birds and my dog and I felt envy. I was jealous of their light heartedness and their care-free way of approaching life. Sure they experience stress and confrontation in their experience. One bird (usually a blue jay) might invade the space of another bird and they’d have a little verbal battle, but as soon as that was over, both would go on back to their flitting and flying around. The birds didn’t’ sit and brew over what just happened and what was just said. They didn’t care about what the other birds thought of that last awkward landing on a flimsy branch. Animals live in the present. They don’t think about what has happened in the past and they don’t worry about the future. As a result, they live seemingly care free and light hearted lives. I felt envy towards this way of living because I was so immersed in self-pity and self-loathing, lamenting about my lost childhood, concerns of what others thought of me, my feelings of inadequacies, my failures, my requirement to be perfect and not make any mistakes and in rewinding over and over all the conflicts I’ve had with others. When I wasn’t wallowing in that gross toxic cesspool, I was trudging through the swampy muck of worry about the future. Were my children going to be healthy and happy? Would I find happiness? Would I find healthy, supporting and mutual friendships? Would I feel love again? Am I loveable? Will I always be frustrated with my weight? Is menopause going to kill me? What am I going to cook for dinner? HOLY CRAP, brain, shut up!
My homework for today is to begin to train my brain to live in the present. My first task is to make a list of all the things from my past that take up space in my head and cause me unhappiness, stress, anger, gloom or depression. Next, I will burn each one of these items up ceremoniously as I say “Done. Good-bye. No more. See ya”! Then I will make a similar list of the worries I have about my future and I will do the same burning ritual. I will watch them turn to ash and smoke and say “All gooone!” Next I will create a list of what is great and what I am grateful for in my life now. And I will say “Hello beautiful” to each of those things and say a gratitude prayer for each of them. Lastly, as I go through my day today, I am going to look with clear and focused eyes. I will pay attention. I will search for what is beautiful, what is humorous, what is touching and stop the chatter in my head while I go through the day so that I can notice what is happening around me, now, at this moment. I can’t wait to see what I see!