instead of going round and around
crowding light and making shade
behind impoverished excuses
like i don’t like confrontation
we might revive the dying art
of listening without distraction
creating space for acceptance
if not downright mutuality
i was going about my day with
the best intentions the
squirrels started to chatter told me
all kinds of things none of which were true
gnawing on acorns leaving shells
scattered around my mind
i was gonna have to sweep and mop
convinced i was no good
the world a terrible place
i found a nice tree to sit under
for a spell i
lay my head back butterflied my arms out
closed my eyes
prayed for several days. the squirrels
they finally jumped
out from the crown
clung to the tree testing
their little claws flicking
their puffy tails
gnashing their teeth they
took off chasing into the high branches
when i finally stood
my thoughts were peaceful
gotta make the most of what
i gnashed my teeth
and tested back
Today i prepare some words for a reading… i am fighting… i am grieving the loss of a spiritual teacher… i am celebrating what’s left of winter in california… i am breathing… i am thinking and trying to stay in gratitude… i am in the past… the future… i am breathing… i am curious… i am noticing how sensitive i am… i am noticing how angry i can get… how easily i can give up… how resilient i am… how i fight for my right to be fully awake and alive… i am lucky… i am fortunate… my life has been funny… tragic… almost monotonous at times with repetitions… life is a reality worth facing not running from… full of things i love and hate and have to accept… fear and anger and sadness are various forms of energy… i breathe into them toward some truth… with a wish to live and love and be loved.
When faced with our personal demons, from trauma to social anxiety to depression, insecurity, prejudice and fear, can we escape the diverse traps of escapism in a technology driven world? can we recognize when we are hiding in niche markets and pockets that insulate us from harm, the circles and titles and roles and degrees that fit our personas so comfortably well? how do we move from our comfortably numb microcosms and social media spaces into something more vulnerable and maybe terrifying? let us arm ourselves with mindfulness. let us push toward self-awareness and awareness of those around us. let us appreciate differences of opinions and perceptions, which are forged from differences of experiences. let us be curious rather than defensive. following the paths of those before us, whom we hope to emulate, whose stories provide outcome studies we can see and touch! that to be vulnerable…to step out of our comfort zones…to let ourselves go into process and come out from behind our narratives, into space where we can feel and change and grow… may we drop our guards, our personas, our designated roles for a sec…let us stand a chance at a greater authenticity. a greater connection with something bigger than ourselves, and a stronger relationship not only with our community but our society, our humanity. The outcome may prove irresistible! A greater personal sense of autonomy and spiritual freedom in an increasingly material world.
i seem to always be working on the residuals of my mental illness, sweeping them up and out of my life. this is a maintenance thing, i mean, i have to radically accept the eternal presence of anxiety and depression. they no longer stop me from living my life like they did before (and after) i got clean, six and half years back. yet they are like a snake and threaten to constrict. i have to maintain and keep building. thank god i have a career that enriches me. i have a home and can cook my own food. i have my health and no longer take psych meds. the recollections of traumas have subsided though they sometimes resurface in nightmares and an uneasy mistrustful and guarded relationship with both internal and external worlds. i am working on self-discipline. my stress levels fluctuate but are more manageable when i eat healthy and exercise and stretch. life demands mindfulness. i am drinking more of water and air and prayer. i am devoting more time to reading and writing. i read at night, before bed. on weekdays i get up before dawn and write, more and more frequently. it is hard to build the life you wanna live but it sure is worthwhile.
i wanna say how grateful i am. what a wonderful life. today is gonna see rain in a dry land. what could be more welcome than tears to a hardened, willful visage? when life was wonderful was now
today is monday. i have a full work week ahead of me. i wake up semi-refreshed and with a narrow window to make coffee, oatmeal, shower, make up, and dress for the day. i experience the anxiety at first in waking. prayer is helpful to offset it. mindful interaction with my cats. calling someone i love to let them know i care. a mantra i repeat aloud: nam-myoho-renge-kyo. an affirmation: yes. you can do this. the world is yours. basic morning rituals. i hope not to push this anxiety away. it gets larger as i am driving on the freeway. offset it with national public radio. mindfulness in driving. feeling the sensation of the steering wheel. listening to the sound of the road and the engine. soft focusing my eyes so i can see the morning sun as it hits the trees on either side. reminding myself i am capable. i will do the best i can today. i may make mistakes and that’s okay. turn the radio down. i try and half smile or even sing a song out loud to myself. look at the city skyscrapes as i pass through downtown. today is monday. if i stay fully present, in the here and now, it is no different than any other day. i can experience it the same if i breathe deeply and pay attention, and bring my wandering mind back into the moment. i cannot stop my mind from wandering. notice where it goes. remembering something which happened yesterday. last week. concerned about the upcoming holidays. or a particular event coming up. i radically accept that it is the nature of the mind to fall into the past and future. my mind is sensitive. it is trying to help me. it just goes about sometimes the wrong way. gently bring my thoughts back into the moment. oh! there it goes again drifting away. its okay. bring it back. gently. try not to judge myself. try not to judge anyone else. this is all information and im curious. i like to learn. the world is a fascinating place to live. i have anxiety and its not gonna kill me. its trying to help me gear up for the day. tackle all my challenges. i want to relate to it. form a working relationship with my anxiety. put a hat on it and give it a name and a purpose in my life, today.
comes a time when each passing moment is so unlike the one before and after it, i wonder how i am awestruck by a thousand years of human progress. more was accomplished in the time it took to compose.
I took off my glasses so I could see you clearly. Out from under our shared history. Outside of cultural narratives and bias. Free from all rumor and gossip and media glaze…i loved what I saw.