hippieonthegrid

Simple, Logical, Natural Living

Working my Way Back September 24, 2012

So it’s been quite a while since I posted. Well, I admit, I mentally and emotionally crashed. I am disappointed in myself that I let that happen but knowing I have seen even the strongest people crash now and then, I feel hopeful and ok with letting myself wallow for a little while. Mourning and grief are normal and natural, I have to remember that. Since my cousin was murdered in the beginning of August, my life seemed to nose-dive. Two of my uncles were diagnosed with cancers that are not treatable. My dog needed surgery. I was in a minor car accident. My mother’s myelodysplasia (MDS) was upgraded to acute leukemia and she’s been in and out of the hospital. She also requires a lot of help that of course I am so happy I am able to supply it. Everything just seemed/seems to go wrong lately and I began to learn things that were sad and unpleasant – I learned that I have been wrong for a long time about people I thought I knew so well and I am very disappointed in who they are. I hope they can find some spiritual guidance to help them become who they are capable of being. I am certainly not perfect and now is a time I am taking to also improve.

I was listening to a podcast today about Zen and Buddhist Dharma hosted by Zencast.org entitled “Practice Simplicity.” I found so much comfort in its insight. Gil Fronsdal introduced me (and his audience) to a tremendously important Buddhist instruction to, “Set your mind at ease, and notice what takes away from that.” It’s one of the hardest things to do – to set your mind at ease. But it is easier to see what takes away from ease – these people who are purposefully hurting others and are not who I thought they were. The only problem with this instruction is that’s the end of it. So… what do we do about what takes away from our ease? There’s nothing more, no more instruction. Fronsdal also noted that issue but said this instruction in itself is difficult, so to start – just “notice.” Notice the moment, don’t react to it, don’t let your mind do anything about it, just notice. So as I listened to this program as I drove, I practiced and noticed something that made me really, truly smile and appreciate the beauty of everything – the leaves are changing colors. Even walking to my car this morning I pulled a couple leaves stuck on the back of my car and STILL didn’t notice the leaves were changing. So from today on out I will track one beautiful thing each day as I do nothing else but “notice.” Today: the leaves are changing.

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Being Thankful August 19, 2012

I haven’t posted in a little while. Usually when I think about posting I’m thinking of something I’m attempting in the kitchen, how my garden is doing, or some book I’m reading that I’m really into. This past week felt like a month though. My family had terrible news that we lost a young family member and even worse, to violence. Violence doesn’t happen in our family, illness and accidents do, but violence? No. So it’s been a tough week with circumstances ridiculously difficult to fathom. But I’ve learned a lot, I realize I take so much for granted, forgetting that for some, tomorrow just might not come. It sounds sad, it is sad, but then there’s the other side of it. My cousin is in heaven and doesn’t need to worry about all the silly stuff we worry about here. He’s taught me a lot this week. First, that even in death you can give life: my cousin’s organs immediately went to several people waiting for more time with their family. He also taught me that sometimes we are so caught up in worry about silly things that we forget to be thankful for what we do have. I woke up this morning for the first time in a week feeling ok, even a little happy because we learned justice will be served. But, most of all, I took a few minutes to enjoy things I sometimes let pass me by as mundane: how the room was just a tad chilly but under the covers was perfect. I relished the warm, precious dog who curled up next to me and looked at me like I am the best person in the world. I took in every moment of comfort and happiness I feel having my loving, doting, protective husband sleeping by my side. So I guess today’s post is a public service announcement of sorts: don’t sweat the small things that really don’t matter and remember to enjoy the small stuff that means everything.

 

 
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