f and why I struggle to spend more time in silence
I have always been a fan of the mystics. They have such a deep connection with the “unknowable.” This piece by Richard Rohr has helped me to see that my thinking is totally non-linear and more in sync with the mystics. I have never seen things as totally right or wrong, left or right. I have always had an issue with totally scientific thinking. I don’t think it is wrong I just think that there is more. There is the intangible piece that I see (much more dimly than the true mystics). I think most of us have had a moment when the “unknowable” has broken through and we see “beyond.” It is what I seek to see more of and why I struggle to spend more time in silence and meditation and listening. In order to “see” more I am the one who must reach out.
and meditation and listening. In order to “see” more I am the one who must reach out.
“When I use the word “mystical” I am referring to experiential knowing instead of just intellectual, textbook, or dogmatic knowing. A mystic sees things in their wholeness, connection, and union, not only their particularity. Mystics get a whole gestalt in one picture, beyond the sequential and separated way of seeing that most of us encounter in everyday life. In this, mystics tend to be closer to poets and artists than to linear thinkers. Obviously, there is a place for both, but since the European Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there has been less and less appreciation of such seeing in wholes. The mystic was indeed considered an “eccentric” (off center), but maybe mystics are the most centered of all, which leads them to emphasizing love as the center, the goal, and the motivating energy of everything.
The word mystic is not a title of superiority. It’s rather that mystics see things differently. Mystics are nondual seers. They don’t think one side is totally right and the other side is totally wrong. They can see that each side has a part of the truth. When people on either side of any contentious issue cannot love one another, it means they don’t have the big message yet.” Richard Rohr
I didn’t post yesterday since we were in Charleston, SC with our family. It was a lovely time with the most amazing meal at a local restaurant. We are at home resting. They will be back tomorrow and we will enjoy the rest of their visit.
Life recently has been crazy. Of course that is the usual thing. It is just a matter of balance. The balance between health issue, mental health, the world around us and all the events in our lives is tricky. Sometimes we feel that we are walking a high wire and that any moment we could over-balance and fall. I think that fear of falling is what put such stress on us. Instead of just walking ahead we spend our time looking down at our feet on the wire. That takes the focus from the things that matter and puts it directly on ourselves and our balance. Sometimes we just have to look ahead and keep going.
Life truly is a balancing act. It can be scary and dangerous and stressful. We have to use all the coping skills we have to keep from falling. Our faith, our friends, our family, our medical resources help us to stay stable. We can use them as a balancing pole if we just reach out.
Never stop thinking you can do it. We can keep that balance and see life ahead.
I have been fighting IBSD for several days now. I am on the medication that helped last time. There is two weeks worth to take. I hope it works again. The last 7-8 months have been the best I have had in years. It is wonderful when something actually works.
If it doesn’t then back to the doctor again to see if there is anything else.
It is so frustrating to have to plan trips and clothing around your physical status but I will keep on doing it as the alternative is to not do anything.
Chronic problems can bite us in the $@#$&**. Aggravating and depressing. I have been free from this (for me) for such a long time that I had hoped it would be a new pattern. Now I have to backtrack and remember how I dealt with it. Life always brings new challenges and asks us to manage them. Here arise the coping skills that I had managed to put in the back of my mind. A stupid thing to do. There are some that I have faithfully continued so at least I am not starting totally over. However, I will increase the concentration on them.
Don’t we all wish that we could wave a magic wand and make ti go away? That is the lazy way out and won’t work. Controlling our thoughts and emotions requires work and energy. The trouble is that when we are down we don’t have a lot of either. We have to drag ourselves up and make do.
I have done that today and will push myself. I will eat better….I have been really bad lately…exercise….get out doors…meet friends….meditate and anything else that helps. I am determined that I will not be beat by this challenge.
I am sad. Lucy has not been found yet. I am sad for my daughter and her family and sad for Lucy. This is not the end anyone wanted for that poor girl dog. She had such a bad life before. These things happen in life and I think they remind us that everything does not always go the way we want.
Life can be challenging. There are times of joy and times of sadness. Both are important because they are joined. There is not one without the other. I don’t think we would understand how important our good times are if there were not bad times.
The older I get the more empathy I feel. Tears come easily but I don’t mind that. Tears can be cleansing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One 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.
Life is uncertain; in the end we control only a single thing: our own thoughts.From the book “Pandemic”
While reading the book this jumped out at me. It is so true. There is very little that we can control and sometimes we have trouble controlling our thoughts. And yet, it is one of the things we most need to learn. Our thoughts can take us on a wonderful journey or send us into the deepest depths.
For those who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar etc. it transpires daily. Our thoughts control how we feel. Sometimes the problem can begin with a trigger such as stress caused by the life we deal with or by physical issues such as IBS. Whatever sets off the thoughts can bring us down in a minute.
Most of the coping mechanisms we learn have to do with changing those thoughts. If only it were easy. We can learn the coping skills but we have to use them for them to work. This means making them become habits and that is the hard part.
Whatever helps you to override the thoughts that bring you down work hard to have it become natural as breathing. It is a struggle but one that is worth the effort.
Never give up on finding and using what helps you calm those errant thoughts!
Today I am baking sourdough bread. This bread became a staple for the miners who sought their fortune in the gold fields. In truth, history tells us it is an ancient bread. In order to make it you first have to have sourdough starter. I made mine from bread and water and time.
Making this bread is a process and depending on how you do it can take days. You are not working at it constantly but just doing things to the dough over time. It is a lesson in patience. It teaches that work and patience can create wonderful things.
I always make bread by hand as there is something earthy and soothing about getting you hands into the dough. There is a delicious aroma and the dough is stretchy, smooth and pliable. The motion of kneading is soothing. It brings calm with a sense of accomplishment.
I love baking all kinds of bread. The bread is wonderful and the house has a comforting smell. Maybe like grandmother’s kitchen.
It is said that we should eat less carbohydrates. I guess I will have to stay away from others because bread will never be gone from my home.
I love the mystics. Not just the Christian ones but any of them. Buddha, Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, Joan of Arc, Julian of Norwich, Hildegard von Bingen, Confucius are just some of them. They are so focused. They spend time connecting with everything beyond themselves. Their understanding about what really matters is clear.
I wish that I spent the time in meditation and silence that would bring me even a little closer to their link with “everything.” To be so synced with the universe and our role in it would be wonderful.
I have experienced small amounts of this in the past and want to connect again. It is so hard to disconnect with everything going on around me. I continue to try and hope that I can find this kind of connection again. I will need to push to maintain a schedule until it becomes a habit.
Looking over some of my original posts reminds me to take stock of how I am doing on my journey. Changing ourselves is one of the hardest things that we can do. We have to begin the change and then repeat it util it becomes habit. Not so easy.
We struggle with the habits that are ingrained from years of practice. Once we begin trying to change it is so easy to fall back into the old routine. Since I began this journey I have made some positive changes that have stuck and some that have not.
My task now it to evaluate and decide if the things I haven’t changed are still relevant. If so it is time to tackle them. I find it easier to make small changes that lead me to the bigger one.
I have not been meditating as I should and this is one I will tackle with intent. Why should I consider 5 or 10 minutes out of my day as a problem. From there I hope to grow back into a routine discarded years ago and see the result of spending time in “neutral.” As I said once before my long ago yoga instructor said when we are awake we are in forward gear, asleep in reverse and in meditation in neutral. Routinely meditating brought me calm and a sense of connection to the universe. I want to regain that.
Changing is hard and not for sissies. I won’t give up but keep on keeping on.