“When you remember you are the ocean, you’re not afraid of the waves.” Tara Brach
I might paraphrase and say, “…you’re not afraid of the size of the waves.” Or I might change my point-of-view and wonder why I am not laughing and riding the waves.
I know her point is to remind me that I am source. I am the ocean and the waves are only experiences of “me.”
I had a realization last week. The old beliefs repeated by the voices in my head are like commercials. Catchy phrases repeated over and over. Jingles I can sing without a thought.
Yikes! Stripes! Beech-nut Gum! Buy some today!
The voices exhort me to buy and instructing me how to behave…
What do you want when you gotta eat something? Lip Smackin’, cracker jackin’, goooood, Cracker Jacks.
“Sit down and shut up.”
“What did I tell you?”
“Because I said so, that’s why.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“Should you be eating that?”
“You’re not wearing that.”
Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what I relief it is.
“Atoms are not things.” – Werner Heisenberg.
Heisenberg’s quote was on my daily calendar a couple of weeks ago. Totally messed with my mind that day — confused me. It made me pause — then what are they? While provocation is the point of this daily calendar, I am usually smug and self-satisfied with the quote or koan presented. “Oh, I got that.” Sometimes I catch my delusion and pretension, sometimes I don’t.
I looked up the quote to see if there was more to it. I especially was looking for the line that said what they actually were, if they were not “things.” More of the quote is “Atoms are not things. They are tendencies.”
Well, that’s helpful, I thought. Sarcasm leads to enlightenment, right?
Today, I have some understanding. I was watching the snow fall this evening and reminded myself that snow is not actually a “thing” on its own. It is a state of being of water. Combining that thought with the definition of the word tendency (i.e., a likelihood to happen), I see my own state of being in this moment with its tendencies. Tendencies like: compare this weekend to last; compare how I feel now to this morning; notice the feelings in my body and label them; think thoughts and judge them, et al.
While there is no evidence that quantum mechanics and spirituality affect, interact, or even support each other. Each make me think differently, and that’s enough for today.
Do we all say this: “How has the year already passed?” For the last two years I have set specific, measurable goals. Each year I’ve pushed myself. I’ve not been perfect, but good enough. I liked how the goals have changed me.
I started throwing some ideas on a flip chart for next year’s goals. Keri Smith‘s book, “The Imaginary World of —“, popped into my mind. I’ve had it for two years, but have never done anything with it. It wasn’t even on the bookshelves, but hiding in a lidded bench. Who put it there?!
It’s an intriguingly empty book, every few pages is another exercise to build my own imaginary world. It scares the beejezus out of me.
I talked to a friend about it.
Steph: You don’t ever write in books do you?
Me: No. Never. I never even highlighted a book in college.
Steph: I don’t think that’s what it is.
Me: No. I’m afraid that I’ll fill it in and someone will see it and it’ll be wrong or not good enough… [Oooh. Awful grade school art project memories are coming up just writing this.]
Steph: You know there’s no wrong way to do it.
Me: Yeah. But that doesn’t make me feel any better.
Steph: If you write in the book, you become a part of it instead of standing outside of it. It’s a completely different experience. Writing inside it will change you in ways that even doing the exercises and writing them in another notebook couldn’t.
Guess I’m going to do this next year. eep.
At the Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, I was entranced by this painting, “The Truth About Comets” by Dorothea Tanning. I have no idea what it means. But, how can you not love a painting with mermaid girls in the snow? Girls who are wearing great hats! Comets streaking through the grey sky! A stairway that goes up into a tree, or is it a tree that grows down into stairs?!
This is my picture, but there’s a better one here.
The sky has been cloudy and grey here lately, but no snow yet. As I look out onto the deck stairs that lead down to the backyard, I’m looking for mermaid girls…
With Thanksgiving behind me, but still enjoying the long weekend, I think about what I’m grateful for in the macro and micro. I’m grateful today the sun came out after almost a week of very grey. I’m grateful I was able to fix a bird feeder myself rather than just throw it away and buy a new one. I’m grateful I’ve done a review of my regular bills and found ways to save some money and redirect it.
Today I realized something about my feelings, too, and I’m grateful (sort of). I realized the anxiety I’d been feeling in the last few weeks — well, I realized I’d
not felt it before because I ate over it. I was judgmental of anyone who showed their anxiety. I had it too, turns out, I just couldn’t feel it because there was a Snickers bar (and a bowl of ice cream and a brownie) sitting on top of it.
I don’t know where the anxiety has come from, or if it even has a single genesis. I know why I ate to cover it, though. It feels awful! I don’t have any practice dealing with it. Sixty years of putting hot fudge on it…
Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, has been open since 2011, and on my “to visit” list since then. I finally got there earlier this week. I had very fortunate timing for unseasonably warm weather and the special exhibit (The Art of Dance in America).
This is a great museum in a lovely location in the Ozarks. I could go on about the collection, the building, and the grounds. Go for a visit! Most of the museum is free, but the special exhibit cost $10 — a bargain.
I noticed that all of the art I looked at in detail triggered new viewpoints for many things. The more art I saw, the more things looked different.
There were under a dozen people at the Village Clerk’s office when I went in late this afternoon to vote. The election volunteers were polite and helpful. I’ve voted. Voting early was one of the smarter things I’ve done lately.
I am scheduled for jury duty at the end of October. Speaking with a friend yesterday, I had a memory of the last time I did jury duty — August 1984 in Los Angeles. My memory showed a me from over thirty years ago. Most of my memories show in observer view (i.e., I can see myself and my body in the view), and the me there surprised me with her callow youth.
The emotions that rose up were more than I expected. I noticed behaviors I would no longer do — I think the additional age has something to do with it, but more likely my persistence with awareness practice. I noticed — I am really different now. I was surprised. It caught me unaware and caused a physical reaction.
It was like seeing a niece or nephew change dramatically when you haven’t seen them from age one to four. Wow! Except this period covered over twenty years. Day-to-day, I don’t quite feel like an adult, but I got there somehow. Don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go, but I’m further up the mountain than I thought.
Good or Bad. Solitude or Isolation. Being by myself.
I spent time up in Door County, Wisconsin, and the Great North Woods of Minnesota last week. (I consistently forget how big the Great Lakes are.)
Since it’s past Labor Day, the myriad parks in the area, were close to empty. The solitude was the perfect opportunity to enjoy nature and meditate. I meditated on the waves hitting the shore for over an hour.
This week I’m comparing that solitude to the feeling of alone and loss at home — my cat Emma has died. She was quiet, but attentive, and the house feels much quieter and emptier without her small self.
It may be all about the label without judgment. Or maybe it’s just grief.