Zen in the wind

Something is working. My open invitation to Joy seems to have worked, though I still find myself experiencing more moments of melancholy more often than I’d like. I am working on finding the source, and either eliminating said source or attempting to amend the situation though – I wish I could say more than that, but it really isn’t something I’m willing to talk about here just yet.

IMG_5761There were many things I wanted to write about for this week but as I walked through the city during sunset after an epic 90 minute yoga class, listening to my latest audio book1… I couldn’t help but feel so full in my heart. It was the first 90 minute class I have been to since I started taking Yoga again after a two year hiatus. And as I sat in front of my computer, all I wanted to do was capture this feeling in words.

Truth be told, I didn’t even remember that it was a 90 minute class. It was not an easy class. We held each pose for at least two more breaths than usual, there were many options to take the stretch deeper with each pose; options that I took as often as I could. I came out of the class feeling so incredibly calm, and strong. My face couldn’t help but maintain a smile the entire walk home. I wanted to go for a run, but I still had to do laundry and make and eat dinner; and I wanted to go to be a good girl and go to bed early so I could wake up early and have a relaxed morning before work.

That class was the proof I needed that I am getting better; that my efforts are worthwhile; that I am getting closer to the me that I lost so many years ago. I’m not just revelling in the physical benefits that I am getting from Yoga either. I’ve learned some pretty bad behaviours in the last two years; behaviours that, when mixed with my highly emotional and passionate demeanour, only spell trouble for the life of zen and calm that I so crave. Yoga, and a few of my own exercises and practices are slowly but surely chipping away at these bad behaviours; and I can only hope the changes will last a lifetime since I’m doing them so mindfully this time around.

The rest of my evening was quiet and satisfying. What caused me to welcome the joyful cry that came to me after I devoured my dinner, was that it2 is within reach again. And that’s enough to make me feel full of zen and calm right there.

One day at a time. One moment a time. And for heaven’s sake, breathe.

What brings you peace?

  1. I may or may not be addicted to audio books []
  2. said life of zen and calm that I crave []

An open invitation to joy

IMG_2461Life had become so negative for me. Over the last few years, life had become so negative. I don’t know when it started and I don’t know how I allowed myself to get so lost in it but it was before my last long term relationship1. 6 months after I moved out, and I’ve had plenty of time to think about what went wrong and why life seemed to have gotten so dire.

The start doesn’t matter, what happened doesn’t matter; that isn’t what I want to write about. I want to write about the change I am consciously going to will into my life this year. Currently, when something upsets me or hurts me I have this terrible habit, this awful learned behaviour to focus on the negative. Once upon a time, I was able to embrace the pain, process it and allow myself to learn what I needed to learn from the experience. That’s the healthy way to experience life, and I have been incapable of it for a while now. I know better. I know I’m capable of doing better.

I’m glad I am where I am. I’m glad I’m able to call out this problem, and know that now I can begin the journey to being2 healthier. There’s a part of me that wants to thank a certain someone for coming into my life and inspiring this change, but that wouldn’t be very fair to me. I’m extremely grateful that he’s in my life, and that he challenges me in ways that have helped me see this problem. I am making the choice to do something about it though; me. No one else can make this decision for me, and I am proud to say it from the proverbial rooftops that I am making the promise to do better this year.

So I am putting a call out to joy. My life has been lacking in joy3 for far too long, and it’s time to change that. And that change begins with me.

What changes are you going to make to your life in 2016?

  1. the one many of my friends know about []
  2. mentally []
  3. and zen []

The volume’s down, blue lights are dancing around, and still, I can’t seem to find, the quiet inside my mind

[Title stolen off of John Mayer’s “Quiet” because he’s awesomesauce]

Sometimes when you’re afraid of being alone with your thoughts, that’s exactly where you need to be. Camping this weekend really helped me find a bit of peace. I didn’t write as much as I thought I was going to, but I did let my thoughts just run their course. There were a lot of happy and grateful moments in which I thought about my awesome family and friends. There were a lot of sad moments in which I thought about the loves I’ve had and lost, and the ones that are currently in apparent limbo. There were some fear-filled moments in which I thought about work and what-I-want-to-do-with-my-god-damned-life. There were bliss-filled moments in which I didn’t give a flying fuck about anything because I was sun tanning on a rock in the middle of lake with nothing to stare at but beautiful clouds, trees and the occasional bird that would fly overhead.

Being able to get to the point where I didn’t care that I had gotten bit by however many mosquitoes, nor the fact that I’m going to have to walk around with a bandage on my left knee for a little while is a wonderful feeling. It’s the kind of don’t-give-a-fuckery that can only come from being out in something so beautiful as mother nature, rain et al. And when I got home, I was delighted to find a quote, in a Newsletter from Swissmiss, from an article that summed up exactly why I was filled with such Zen. I posted it to facebook and the article itself has been shared around quite a bit so you may have already seen it, but I’m in a repetitive mood, perhaps because I spent all weekend with my Mum who tends to like things on repeat. Who can blame her; when something is good, wouldn’t you want to do it over and over again? 😉

“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”

New York Times Article: The ‘Busy’ Trap, by Tim Kreider

Even before we went camping, I was thinking that now more than ever I need to schedule more down time for myself. For a while I gave in to the advice of saying yes because saying yes brought amazing things to my life. Those things can only stay amazing if you give yourself the time to appreciate them, however. I wasn’t doing that enough. I’m going to try. It’s the best I can do 🙂 Ever.

How do you decide when it’s time to take some time for yourself?