A pause

I have been home too much lately. When this happens I lose my perspective.  Things start to close in on me and I spend too much time in my head.

Ennui

 

The house is quiet

life is in abeyance

lightening flashes

outside

 

And yet

I don’t see

the storm

coming

 

The storm

is outside

and inside

I am numb

 

 

Dinner? Really?

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This is one of the things I saved in a file to enjoy. I once belonged to a group who met once a month. In the beginning we each took turns being hostess and offered a light supper for everyone. Initially this was easy and worked for everyone.

Then the trouble began. One person decided to become a vegetarian. Ok, not a problem. That can be managed. Then another became vegan. That began to cause some serious planning regarding meals. Then whoops! someone declared that they were not eating anything with gluten. Meals became a puzzle to plan. Soon some began to declare allergies to certain foods. That was the end.

We then changed plans and ate out at a place that had many choices. Problem solved.

I have no problem with those who make choices about the foods they want to eat. Each of us has to decide what should go into our bodies but having friends for dinner when there are so many taboo’s becomes impossible. I guess in today’s world we would have to invite people to dinner and call it BYOM bring your own meal. I don’t know any other way to manage all of it!

Exploring the journey

win or loseToday I went back and read some of my original posts. I had a plan for this journey. I wanted to find a way to accept what comes each day and to learn new ways of coping. In some things I have done well in others not so much.

I have managed to spend more time in the “now.” I am more aware of each day than I have ever been. I have made daily prayer a habit. I have always prayed in erratic moments but now I also pray intentionally at the end of each day. This has worked for me and allows me to explore the events of the day in a different way. It is a time for contemplation.

I have not done as well with meditation. I can’t seem to get into a pattern or keep to any kind of a schedule. My past experiences taught me that meditation works best when it is practised consistently. This is something I want to improve.

Life is all about changing ourselves to better manage our place in the world. The world is not going to change for us. We are the only ones in our control. We have to continually work to understand how we react to what happens in our lives.

change ourselves

It is so easy to say that I know what to do and so hard to actually do it. I will continue to fight the struggle that some things are for me and work to truly immerse myself in changing. The struggle will remain until I am no longer on this earth but that is being alive. There are always challenges but we can move forward each day.

Cherish those who matter

Life, as usual, throws curve balls whenever it feels like it. My husband has been peaked for several day and now there has been another family crisis. Nothing health wise, thank God, but the usual drama. It is something that can be dealt with and will be but it has brought about some upheaval.

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Maybe, because I am a nurse, if something bad happens but no one is going to die I am ok. Life constantly has ups and downs and we just have to learn how to cope with them. I have found that one of the things that helps the most is having a strong friend/family base behind you. If you have someone that you can count on to hold you up when you are sinking it makes all the difference.

For me, that is why my family and my friends are so important. I work at keeping those bonds strong and it does require work. If we don’t connect with those we love we are making a big mistake. Someone said “don’t let the path become overgrown between your houses.” That’s not totally accurate but close.

cherish loved ones

We do have to spend time maintaining our relationships. It doesn’t matter if they are face to face, on line, mail, whatever. People’s lives are busy and it is easy to get pulled away from those you don’t connect with.

Take the time to nurture the relationships that matter. They are your lifeline.

Finding the center

This week I have been on a bread baking binge. I’m not sure why but there is something therapeutic about it. I don’t use a mixer with a dough hook so I spend time folding the dough. It feels so good in your hands and gets rid of any frustration. I continually learn how to make different and better breads.

I made sourdough with garlic and rosemary, a normal white bread and a breakfast bread with brown sugar and cinnamon on top. I won’t eat all of these but will share them with friends and neighbors.

breakfast bread

It is a process learning what things give you satisfaction and peace. I do love baking but don’t need to be eating all of it. I am also not interested in making things to sell. I just enjoy the process.

I have been working at doing the things I need to do to maintain my peace of mind. Things happen always but we can get through if we have developed habits that help us. The past week have been trying on several levels but I am moving one.

new way

Persistence is, for me, the most important thing. I can be such a procrastinator…putting things off and not doing what I should. It is so much easier to find something distracting…like watching the Great British Baking Show….than meditating. But if I don’t I suffer for it.

Keeping on track is so important. Keep working at it!

Cleaning….inside out

CleanLadyI suspect that everyone knows the phrase “cleanliness is next to Godliness.” I’m working on it. I have continued to clean out drawers, closets, and now file cabinets. I am sure that when I get it all cleaned out I can start again where I began. It has made me wonder am I cleaning out the right places?

 

Maybe it is me I should be cleaning out. I know that I don’t spend enough time in quiet and contemplation. I waste time doing trivial things to keep from looking to deep inside. There are things inside I don’t want to think about.

After my latest episode with IBSD I have pondered on how quickly I move from a physical problem to anxiety…the mental problem. Obviously I have not spent enough time cleaning out the mental closets. Am I cleaning the house to avoid cleaning myself? It is certainly something to think about.

spring

 

Cleaning out is good. It makes me feel I have accomplished something. Now I just need to do the same thing about those inner closets.

up and down day

Today has been an up and down day. It was an ordinary morning with plans to meet my friend for lunch. After lunch I had errands to run which were preempted by a bad bout of IBSD. I suffered with it for the rest of the day and wondered if I would even be able to write. At the moment I am better. We will see what tomorrow brings. I am hoping that this is just the result of having to take antibiotics for a sinus infection. That would not be surprising.

poor planning

I hate the fact that when this happens anxiety raises its ugly head.  It makes me feel so weak. It reminds me that when well I tend to slack off of my coping mechanisms and this is the result. How stupid can I be. I remember this poem about how people quickly forget the things we shouldn’t. I’m not sure where I learned it but having a husband in the military I never forgot it. It speaks to the problem we all have with not following through with the things we should.

God and the soldier all adore

in times of danger not before

When danger’s gone and all is righted

God and the soldier then are slighted.

tomorrow

Tomorrow I will get back to my routine!

Make life better

Today I was at the Mediation Center and ran across this list. It is the most comprehensive I have ever seen. Anyone should be able to find something on here that they can do to make their day better. I am appending it to my bulletin board.

We often think there is nothing we can do. Usually because we really don’t want to do anything except feel bad. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to do something to improve things. It may take strength to get going. There is always something that will help. See if you can find some things on this list.

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A wandering mind is dangerous

Warning…today I have wandered…like a train of thought novel. Sorry

Today, in church, I started to think about the trappings of religion. No matter what faith each has customs and symbols that are used. In Christianity there are many. Everything we say in church, everything in the church has meaning. Even the absence of things can have meaning. For example, the Roman Catholic community has many statues. They frequently have a Crucifix ( a cross with Christ on it). Some churches don’t have a cross at all. Some churches are plain and some are fancy. These kinds of symbols have grown up around the practise of each persons faith.

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This is also true of other religions. A Jewish Synagogue has the Torah. Hindu temples have images of God. Buddhism has the absence of objects or statues of Buddha. There are many other examples.

Where did these things come from? What was their origin and idea behind them? For me it seems that over the centuries we have found things or ideas that we feel will draw us closer to the God we worship. We create an environment that we hope will enhance our experience of God.

Today I thought about how, in some ways, we have watered down symbols for convenience. We have let them become less than they were. In my faith communion is frequently given at a railing in the front. Ceremony has blessed the elements used and each of us takes them…essentially bread and wine. But can we see in this ceremony the event that precipitated it? I imagine most people do but I was distracted today by the communion wafers. Flat, tasteless representations of bread instead of the real thing. Most times this doesn’t concern me but today I wanted it to be nourishing and tasty as I am sure the original was.  For convenience we have replaced real bread with something easy to use. We do use real wine. Some churches use grape juice. Maybe they do use bread.

holy shroud

 

How many other elements of worship have been changed over the centuries? I bet there are many.

I know that somehow I have gone off the track today but I can’t help wondering what would happen if this were really like a meal. I know that is illogical and that sometimes churches do an agape meal (communion at a meal). I suppose today I would have liked that.

Discernment

Finally got to a computer at my daughter’s house. I can’t blame them it is my own relaxation that has stopped me from writing. It is nice to take a break.

I have been doing a lot of reading and just being. Spending time with this family is a boost in intellectual conversation and different foods. My son-in-law is a great chef and we have been indulging.

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It has also been time to consider my life in the scheme of things and I am mostly content with where I am. Sometimes there is that nudge to stretch out and do something more but my sense is that what I have is enough. Overextending can leave us with not energy. Then our ability to be creative is stifled. I have had to wean myself from some of my former passions and learn to be comfortable with where I am.

This is a difficult thing to do. There is always the pull wanting to go back but different times in live require different things of us. It is so tricky to discern what is called for. Life always throws us curves and makes us take a few steps back and reevaluate.

Image result for discernment quotesOne of life’s challenges is knowing what is called for at each stage of our life. To do that we have to take a hard look at where we have been and where we need to go. Sometimes we don’t want to take the time to do that processing and we end up in a quandary. We can be too hard on ourselves.

We must spend time “centering down” and living with quiet. it is crucial to our well being.