My Voice

When you are you
zen is zen
not when you get to be zen enough
you will finally be cool.”
a Zen teacher


Like countless others today, I've been back from my very own weekend excursion at Suttle Lake with a few homeschooled moms right after a week-long travel to Portland and Eugene. Catching up has been a bit overwhelming! You know how it is...laundry, cleaning, getting groceries, yard clean-up, looking to dig out from snail-mail and e-mails that have built up and unread blog posts over past two weeks, avoiding the temptation to just delete all, trying to catch up on some sleep...last but not least, preconditioning the kids for backyard/backpacking--in rain or snow! Needless to say, it's so worth it! What a wonderful weekend! So relaxing and beautiful.

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I have been using a mindfulness meditation tool recently to get me through some stress (you probably sensed it from my posts.) I often wake up at 1 or 2 a.m., unable to sleep, digesting events in life in a whirling swarm of emotions. I decided to name each emotion in an universal way as it comes up. It is with curious and open mind, non-judging, “oh, irritation,” “ok now, here is sadness,” “there is anger,” “oh, now hope”...in between would come the story line which I would drop and look at the emotion, name it. Next storyline would immediately arise, an emotion would become apparent, and on and on like that. I become very curious about the fact there are so many coming so fast and they are so different. Looking at them consciously I have living testimony to the fact of their impermanence which took all the weight off of them. Ultimately, the whole experience pretty quickly vanished. I would fall back into a deep sleep until morning...unless I hop over to my new found obsession--Ravelry! I am so glad to have had the training. The inspiration to find the help inside myself came because I have missed a lot of sleep (not that I sleep that much normally) from worries/anxieties until I realized, my own personal happiness and the happiness of those around me are far more important than any four walls. So I just kept repeating that and trying to recall that idea whenever I got stressed out and focusing on what is lost when sleep doesn’t happen. From that place, I was more motivated to find a strategy.

If you are interested in mindfulness meditation, check out Gil Fronsdal's podcast, excellent resource for beginners. He's on Week 4 right now of a simple, but, excellent Mindful Meditation course where he literally starts (Week 1) from the beginning: how to sit, how to breathe, how to moderate your thoughts during meditation.

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I thought of all the deaths in 150 years and I lightened up, seeing the impermanence of everything in my life helps me take things less seriously. The future beyond me just may not be the way I envision it. Parts of it just made me want to look around me and embrace everyone and everything and look at it like I am seeing it for the first and possibly last time. That is the way it really is whether I see it or not. Life is simply an amazing, gorgeous, luscious, vanishing thing until I rejoin my Father. A lot of people would find it depressing or bewildering. I see benefit in creating a little space between me and my perception of what’s important from moment to moment. It helps to dial down the drama and foster peaceful coexistence.

“Do I really want to be here?” “Can I welcome myself home?” “How will I ever become acceptable if I can never measure up to my scale or standard?” How do I get comfortable being me if I have all these other things besides me that I am trying to be--meanwhile, knowing I grow, develop, and change. When I have a daily habit of listening to what is in there, I don’t have to hold back in fear of what might be sitting there that might come out. The keeping myself in check, let go more, and I find myself freer. People love that I am there. That gives me liberty to also be present. When I obtain realization it might not look the way I thought it would, it seems certain it will be me there when it happens.

One gets especially hard to meet myself is when I am suffering and think oh I have done all these right things so I can’t be suffering and yet there I am suffering something. So I am human once again. And there you have it, my voice...

1 encouragements:

Kaylynn's Mommy said...

Sarah, you have been missed! I thoroughly enjoy reading your thoughtful posts! Hey.......can you recommend some good parenting books? You have mentioned some in your other posts but I forget what they were. I have been thinking alot about various parenting styles, yet I lack a lot of "book" knowledge in this area. I would like to have some good books to read over the summer! -Sabrina

True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner
 

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