Present Tense

On stillness…..

More stream of consciousness…bear with me as I oil up my writing chops again:)iss-39_pre-winter_storm_southwestern_australia_b

I’ve decided and it was reinforced during a reiki session, that I have to limit my news/internet/bullshit.  It’s causing me suffering and making me angry and agitated.  It’s also clouding my thinking.  I need cleanliness and clarity in my brain.

The election was a perfect example of allowing pollution into my third eye.  I KNEW that it didn’t matter who won and that my vote was inconsequential.  Turns out my intuition was correct because I did end up casting a ‘hold your nose’ vote for HRC and she lost.  HA!  If that’s not a reinforcement to listen to my guides, then I don’t know what is.

NOBODY thought she would lose.  NOBODY.  And yet, it was the fates slapping us down, blowing up conventional wisdom and within my soul and my deep knowing, I was correct.  I knew this was going to be a disruptive election. I felt it coming for a few years and I should have just walked my path and allowed.  But, I was influenced by the buzz, the spin, the hysteria surrounding this whole evolution.

I knew it and felt it months, no, years ago.  This is why I need to limit my consumption of this addictive brew of junk that is swirling.  It’s no difference than how I feed myself food:  No factory farmed meats, mostly organic, as local as possible.  I avoid toxins as best I can and yet, I allow them into my eyes, ears, psyche and heart.  What goes in, comes out and if we nourish ourselves properly, we are clean and clear and able to function optimally; physically, spiritually, emotionally.

During reiki this week, I was told by one of my spirit guides “Don’t underestimate the power of being still”.  Yes.  Stillness is where we find ourselves, our essence, our authentic soul/spirit.  There is no other way.  The constant drumbeat of media, internet, anger, outrage, with so much of it based on lies, is damaging to us.  Damaging to our collective psyche and energy.  We need space and silence and time to process the sensory stimulation of modern life.

When I was working, I had a very distinct and rigid routine every morning: wake up, brush teeth, let dogs out, get a cup of coffee, head to basement, prepare for morning radio show, 20 minutes of yoga, 20 minutes of meditation and GO!

I’ve lost that discipline and I miss it.  I have Saturn in Capricorn, so  a routine and even rigid boundaries around diet, exercise, discipline, even restriction, appeal to me.  My life is sloppy right now.  Not horrible, not tragic, but sloppy because I’m not doing what I need to do to function optimally and it’s like dragging a rock around.

But, that is me.  Everyone has to find that groove; the one that makes you feel like you’re powerful and lubricated and engaged. Maybe that’s playing music or painting or long walks or reading or cooking or just sitting with a beautifully fragrant candle.  It’s all about disconnecting with the chaos of modern life and re-connecting with the stillness within all of us.  It can be so hard to find.  But, it’s there.

We make life so much harder than it needs to be, by the stories we tell ourselves.  That old nemesis of awakening and enlightenment, The Human Condition is a tough one to wrangle into submission, eh?  Why have we allowed our lives to devolve into such an unnatural place?  Stillness will light the way out.

December 7, 2016 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Let’s hear it for INTROSPECTION!!

Life is a whirlwind, isn’t it?  Time sweeps us along, even though we may not  feel like being swept.  We feel over-scheduled and overwhelmed, leaving no time or space to think or plan or just ponder our lives.

I’m a committed ponderer and have been for sometime, particularly since I stopped drinking.  I went inside to see what the root of my abuse might have been and even though I really never found the answer to that (probably genetics and unhappiness, mostly) I did begin to uncover some other tidbits.  It’s interesting that once you allow (or force) yourself to be still,  you begin to achieve some clarity about your beliefs and your motivations.

I’ve been pondering and seeking what I want the next phase of my life to look like.  I’m not a settled person.  I have a strong desire to move; physically, mentally, intellectually, spiritually, philosophically.  I tend to be restless and even though I’m a bit of a homebody and I do enjoy my routine, I’m ready to move on; to shake it up .

I’ve been in restless mode for over a year, now.  It probably began around the time I turned 50.  There’s something about realizing that you’ve been walking on earth for a half century that causes a reassessment of your life.  You start hearing about people dying in their 50s and 60s and it can be horribly depressing. On the other hand, it can be a kick in the ass to start facing our own mortality and the reality that we really don’t have all the time in the world.

The key is to stop and listen; whether through solitude or meditation or yoga or art or long runs or walks, you have to listen to yourself.  That means leaving the iPod behind while you exercise, sitting on the porch/deck/patio alone with your thoughts and no distractions.  Writing until you start to peel away the layers of the onion that is your consciousness. What is it that you seek?  What is it that is making you restless/anxious/emotional/angry?

I’m as guilty as anyone.  I have a difficult time putting down my iPhone or iPad.  The TV is on way too much, as is the radio in the car.  It’s a way to NOT deal with whatever is eating at me, nagging at me, bumming me out.  I must turn off the outside noise and listen to the inside wisdom.  We all have that inner wisdom, if we are brave enough to hear it.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the past two years of the “Jane listening tour”:  I intuitively know what I need and it will be revealed to me if I’m open and willing to act.

For instance, I’ve wanted a place in northern Michigan, near Traverse City for as long as I can remember.  Growing up in southern Michigan, my family would go “up north” most summers.  My husband and I have visited the area several times and dreamed of owning a few acres, near a lake.  We figured that the chances of finding a property that we could afford and that met my very specific criteria were slim.

And yet, we are now the owners of a beautiful 10 acre farm in that area.  The story of how that came to be is completely random and implausible.  This opportunity appeared out of nowhere and I let it in.  I could have easily said, “oh, this is too hard or too complicated or it’s too far away or too impetuous or too expensive or too irresponsible”.  All valid excuses to not move toward what I knew in my heart was my destiny.

I was open to it.  Maybe just for a week or a day or whatever, but I leaped.  Because I was listening.  I took the time to allow that which I was seeking, to be revealed to me.  I knew that I had to act on this opportunity because I had prepared myself.

I know this all sounds kind of airy-fairy, metaphysical, right?  But, I’m not sure how else to explain or verbalize the intense sense of clarity and “rightness” that I felt. I know without a doubt that my commitment to turning off the outside world and listening to ME is the reason.  Too many of us feel guilty for taking time away from all of our ‘obligations’ to find the time and inclination to listen to ourselves.  But, we have to.  It’s imperative for your life going forward, not only for you, but for those you love and serve.  You have GOT to find you and when you do, LISTEN…..

June 2, 2012 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A new day….everyday

I was informed by my sister that my last post was a little too maudlin and that I needed to perk up and be a tad less morose.  We lovingly refer to her as ‘the general’ and so when she speaks, I listen.  She’s a middle child, as is my husband and they are known for looking out for everyone else in the family.  As a youngest child, I am somewhat self-absorbed, although I do have that youngest child charisma and “march to a different drummer’ thing going for me.

So, how do you drag yourself out of the doldrums or bad habits or a case of the blues? Do you have strategies?  One of the first things that I do is get myself right, physically.  A routine is key for me, particularly since I’ve spent most of the last 3 decades getting up in the middle of the night to do a morning radio show.  It requires a fair amount of discipline just to get out of bed and then a regimented plan for the rest of the day in order to ensure that I’m functional.

My approach is quite basic and the foundation is diet.  If you haven’t read Michael Pollan’s bestseller, “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto”, get a copy and read it….today. It’ll change the way you look at food and your diet and what you think is ‘conventional wisdom’.  Our diets and eating habits are crap in this country and I’m convinced it’s the biggest health issue of our time.  The government and the food and farming industries have colluded to addict us to lousy, unhealthy food. Obesity and obesity-related disease is an epidemic, as are emotional afflictions.  The foundation of good physical and emotional health is what you eat.  Period.

I’ve also been following Mark Sisson’s “The Primal Blueprint” and his website www.marksdailyapple.com, which is basically a less-restrictive Paleo diet.  I started eating this way to see if it would help alleviate the horrible, miserable allergy symptoms that have ruined the past 3 summers for me.  So far, allergy symptoms are minor, I’ve lost all cravings for junk food, I am slimmer and have developed much more muscle tone.

I do 25 minutes of yoga every morning and 20 minutes of meditation in the evening. I do a bit of weight training most days and I walk a few miles everyday. Sharing a house with two rowdy Jack Russell Terriers ensures that we never miss a walk.

My point is this:  we all go through phases where things just aren’t clicking in our lives.  Many times, it’s based on our unproductive or unhealthy reactions to things that are out of our control.  It can be health issues or family issues or work issues or money issues or political issues or blah, blah, blah. We can always find something to hang our depression and disappointment on.  Particularly, if you are like me and have a tendency to focus on those gnarly things in your life, rather than the good stuff.

Look, for some of us, being happy or content or grateful is hard.  It takes work and discipline and commitment.  We allow daily stresses to run our lives, which is unhealthy and it compounds the problem.  I know it’s so much easier to come home, pour a few glasses of wine and veg on the couch to a lousy TV show.  I get it.  But, tell me how you feel after that?  Invigorated?  Inspired? Content?  Strong?  Doubtful.  You drag yourself off to bed and do it again the next day.

I’m far from perfect.  Any of you who’ve read just a few of my posts know that.  But, if I didn’t make these commitments to my physical well-being I’m convinced that my emotional health would be in shambles.  We get a new shot at our lives every single day; it’s a string of new starts and new opportunities to alter our behavior and our mindset.  Yeah, it’s hard to change old habits.  It’s hard to change your diet.  It’s hard to turn off the TV or the computer and move after a long day.  I get it.  But, you have to.  Simple as that.

One more thing:  you have to feed your soul.  What stirs you emotionally?  Art, music, dance, nature, great books, playing, learning, cooking healthy meals, volunteering, writing.  Find some time everyday for these things.  Again, it’s simple:  diet, exercise, feed your soul.  Start now.

May 19, 2012 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

   

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