I can hardly say these words today as they stick in my throat like a dry piece of chicken. I’m in the mode of seeing this squeezed sensation as a warning sign that it’s time to get my act together and at the same time, being afraid that I won’t be able to follow through with that.
As I understand that nothing in nature happens suddenly, today I fear that at some point all the ways I had not taken care of myself in the past will catch up with me. Too many hours in the sun, too many pounds of sugar, too many cigarettes smoked, and too many of the other deadly whites consumed over the years. Not enough exercise, too many days of not loving myself and feeling defeated. Memories of failed relationships along with all the coulda, woulda, shouldas that go along with them. This is one of those days where my fears and regrets outweigh my dreams. What is to become of me?
Now before you plan an intervention, know that I get that this is just my inner demons rearing their ugly heads. I think they have their purpose and in some cases they make a strong point, but most of what they say is bullshit and based on things that either happened many years ago, or things that could happen if I was completely unconscious of the concept of cause and effect. They say when you are young and/or unconscious, what happens to you in your life is the cause and you are the effect, but once conscious, you are the cause and what happens in your life is the effect. I read about this concept in Yehuda Berg’s interpretation of the Kabbalah. I had to chew on that one for awhile, but I get it. Once conscious, and paying attention, we can choose to think and act in ways that will allow for a happier, healthier life.
So, all that has happened to me up to this point has brought me to where I am now. This reminds me of one of my refrigerator magnets: “I chose the road less traveled, now where the hell am I?” Anyway, I am where I am, and the real question is “NOW WHAT?” or even more accurately, “If not now, when?” What do I want to cause to happen? And then, how do I go about doing that?
Now, I knew this before, as it is also a huge part of the teachings of yoga, but I guess I have a new sense of urgency to really get it. When I have days like this when I am only aware of the downside of being this age and start the day brushing my teeth and wondering if I should go the route of botox and injectables, it all seems hopeless. I’m happy to say, that most of the time, I am able to be grateful for all that I have been given and I can look at my face and my life with kinder eyes.
I’m reminded right now of the principle of pratipaksha bhavanam, or replacing a negative thought with a positive, which is also practiced by analyzing your thoughts and underlying beliefs and then coming up with a better story for yourself.
I will turn 60 this year.
How blessed I am to be able to say that. To be sitting here, in a house I own (well, I will in 13 years, anyway), with a furnace that works, with a dog that I love patiently waiting for me to get away from the computer, in a body that works pretty well needing no medication for that to be true. I can instantly bring to mind many of the people who feed my soul and I have work that fulfills me in countless ways, giving me tools and language to navigate my way through my days. I have a tangible sense that there exists a law of nature that is there to help me through the obstacles when I can get out of the way and actually listen. One time this help came to me in a lesson from a very wise teacher who said “Obstacles are not in the way, they are the way.” So, I’m trusting that even on these days when I wake up negative and crazy, I am being guided to release the things that keep me from living my best life and appreciating where I am now.
Now my mind just connected me to thoughts about forgiveness, but that’s going to have to be the subject for a future blog. My dog has lost her patience and it’s time to go outside and play.