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morning meditation and visualization

April 30th, 2013

I’m still committed to my daily meditations. This morning I woke up and was tired. Lately it seems, I get an adequate amount of sleep every other night. What is a girl to do? Maybe I could start taking valerian but I honestly just think I’ve got a lot on my plate. This morning I woke up early after not a lot of sleep and once again my mind went into a tailspin of worries. I remember the first thought this morning being, “Oh right, I have to deal with all this shit again today.” It’s getting boring to notice the continual dialogues that I run in my head. I sit in meditation to get my mind connected with my body. I also did some stretches this morning and I nearly slept on the floor.

Lately, what has been working is this picture that I hold in my head. I imagine that all people around me are full of empathy and compassion towards me, themselves and one another. I imagine that my problems find solutions that are better than I could even imagine. I imagine that I have something really grand to look forward to and that I have good friends here where I live that want to be with me just because of who I am and not because of how I might be able to help them or provide for them. This helps me to stop the endless mind chatter of worry that my brain likes to engage itself in.

I also like to start and end the day in gratitude. This helps to keep a feeling of thanksgiving present with me throughout the day. These days have been rough, no doubt about it. Life is full to over-flowing and stress is present. I am doing the best self-care that I can provide for myself amidst a busy life with dogs and kids and homeschool. If I could somehow get 7-8 hours of sleep consistently each night, I would feel more able to function through the daily stressors. The gratitude helps me to remember that there’s always something really to be thankful for amidst the chaos.

Right now I’m grateful for an easier week of school assignments. I’m grateful for the walk today in the beautiful weather. I’m grateful for a fun day of homeschooling with the kids. I’m grateful to have gotten some homework assignments handed in. I’m grateful for good friends in NJ who are keeping me on track and keeping me in check. I’m grateful for the plethora of healing peeps here in VT who help me to stay healthy.

I’m going to take my tired body and ride the bike for a little bit. This will help to tucker me out so that I (hopefully) get a great night’s sleep.

Here’s to meditation, visualization and gratitude,
Linda

more mindfulness in pain

April 29th, 2013

it was such a full week last week, stressful and difficult. My time was fractured and I barely had time to do very simple tasks for myself some days (like make a smoothie!) It’s amazing how that can happen sometimes. There’s a lot going on in my life but these past couple/few weeks, it has been exponentially greater. Still, I usually have and take the time to care for my body. I work hard to make sure that I take care of myself throughout all the daily chores, needs, requirements of the house, the dogs, the kids, my work, my classes. It’s taken years to develop this habit and it’s essential for me to sleep well and function the best that I can.

This past week, however, I didn’t do very much in the way of my normal exercise routine. I walked the dogs each day but that was only at most a 3 mile walk each day. I typically ride the stationary bike for 10 miles a day and I have to get in yoga each week. The minimum is 1 full yoga practice each week with stretching every day or every other day. This past week, I didn’t get anything more than short walks in and what happens to me is stiffness that accumulates to the point of inflammation and then spasming if I don’t get to exercise and stretching routinely.

I had 6 papers to write last week plus another 1200-1600 paper to hand in as a writing example some place else. I managed that PLUS ended up writing another 8 page paper for yet another commitment I have. This means that I was at the computer a lot. Each time I get up, it feels like my body just gets stuck in the seated position. My body is really slow to move and I have to ease myself into movement. I always wonder if this is what it feels like for mildly arthritic folks…

For the past 3 years, I’ve been standing mostly at the cafe and that has its own pain associated with it but at least I was always moving, hardly sat. That came with it’s own host of side effects for my legs and hips but it’s always better for me to keep moving.

Since January of this year, I’ve been having a numbness/pins and needles kind of experience in my foot. It happens when I sit, when I stand, when I walk. Something seems to be pinching a nerve down my leg and into my foot. I have visited the chiropractor and have had massage to help move whatever but it’s still present. I want to look into this more deeply. Maybe it is time for some structural integration? An MRI? I don’t know.

Today I can feel the numbness/tingling in my foot as I write this. I can also feel a band of low-level pain all around the bones of my pelvis. This typically means that my pelvis/sacrum are not in good alignment. My hips, too, have been talking to me - I’ve been needing to put a pillow in between my knees at night again. Exercise really does help me to keep a modicum of flexibility to my daily life. Even when I don’t do this stuff for a week, my body really starts talking back in a major way.

Today I plan on doing yoga because the stretching is so essential for my piroformis and psoas muscles (These are terribly tight and stiff all the time.) It helps my groin muscles and hamstrings that get so tight they start to experience charlie horses. It helps my hips and pelvis and sacrum that has been so twisted since the kids were born… maybe sooner but the pain really began after Emily was born. SO that’s 12 years of some variety and intensity of pain. I have such a high pain tolerance now that it’s silly for me to fill out pain forms.

On this day, I have to begin again. NO MATTER how many papers there are, no matter what is happening in my life. My body speaks to me all the time and I listen as best as I can. I do the best I can and when I know better, I do better. My practice today is to not just listen to my body but to actually begin again with my routine after one week off and hope that my body’s stiffness, tightness and pain softens quickly.

I probably will be doing my final paper on Meditation for Pain Management since it is something that I have been doing for 12 years. Maybe this is good that this week off from my usual daily exercise program happened because I was wondering what I’d do my final paper on. :-)

a quote from Jack Kornfield

April 28th, 2013

“Compassion is the heart’s response to sorrow: We share in the beauty of life and in the ocean of tears. The sorrow of life is part of each of our hearts and part of what connects us with one another. It brings with it tenderness, mercy, and an all-embracing kindness that can touch every being.” Jack Kornfield

more middle of the night thoughts, imaginings & meditations

April 28th, 2013

I got up just before 2 am because I was desperately hot. I went pee and as soon as my mind recognized that I was not sleeping, thoughts started to rain down inside my head on so many issues that are present in my life right now. There was nothing that I immediately had to do, although there are several things I need to say/advocate for once the weekend is over. My brain wants to remember them and it seems like this repetition happens until I write down what I must not forget later.

I’m trying not to judge this as it happens but honestly, I’m trying to replace these thoughts with ANYTHING and it just doesn’t work. I spent some time between 2-3 am to get into my body - to feel the sensations of my body and the environment around me in hopes of just spending less time/energy in my thoughts. I tried to focus my thoughts on my breathing. I prayed, I cried, I put my thoughts on what I was grateful for. I finally got to sleep sometime after three and woke up at 8. I am telling myself that I’m getting enough sleep for someone going through so many lifestyle changes. But honestly, the past couple/few weeks/months, my body is pretty exhausted. My brain at night in the middle of the night is pretty awake and alert and I’m finding myself begging my own brain to stop being so active because my body is not keeping up at times during the day. I desperately need a break and I just don’t see it happening until this semester is over. I am HOPEFUL that I can have even a few days all to myself. I thought about it. I haven’t had time to myself since November when I took a weekend to go to NJ to see the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Anyway, the gratitude thing worked. I also put my thoughts into thinking/imagining generosity and compassion and empathy coming to me. I imagined people calling me and doing the job that they are assigned to do for me. I imagined the possibility of having a friend or two where I live here who aren’t seeking anything from me other than friendship, who have my back and actually want to and are able to spend some time with me. I’m imagining myself having some time and space to heal these wounds so that I can begin to have new things to look forward to. I want to see the light at the end of this tunnel and I guess I do to some extent. I started to really feel nice inside my body when I started to think about having time and space to imagine something sweet to do in my life and with the kids and the ability to do that without a fight or some big push/pull in order to make it happen. That’s when I could really feel the rest of my body, my belly, my feet, my legs and could relax into myself enough to drift back to sleep.

I woke up hearing sounds downstairs at 8 am. My brain went right back into the mode of thinking-thinking-thinking. To wake up and immediately feel exhausted is not a great feeling. I scanned down into my body and concentrated on the breathing. From all the books we’ve read in these past 5+ weeks of school, I appreciate the simplicity of Kornfield the most. I believe that establishing this simple meditation ability of getting back to the breath and getting back to the body is something that takes time and is essential to do before moving forward with more complex ideas and practices. The meditation class is good to give an overview but by comparison, it takes monks/nuns YEARS to get to this place from meditating for hours a day on those basics first. I think it could be easily experienced as overwhelming to try to process, assimilate and practice all these new things that we are learning each week. So I am processing enough to understand the lessons each week and it is kind of fun to try on some new technique but I find that in these middle of the night thought-fests, I have so many tools in my toolbelt that it is almost as if I had none. I don’t know which tool is going to be the best. This morning, I went back to my original commitment to sitting and doing the simple Kornfield practices. That feels like a relief to me. Keep it simple.

Meditation this morning was not the best I’ve experienced thus far, but at least I am continuing to do it. I suppose that is a judgment to say that it’s not the best thus far. I suppose it’s successful to see how incessant this thinking-thinking-thinking is. I can also observe my attachment to the exhaustion I feel. I’ve been up three hours and I’m wishing I had more sleep. It’s a beautiful day out and maybe it’s time to take a nap outside. It’s so difficult because I want to spend the day with my daughter but right now, I feel truly a loss of energy right in this very moment…

5 am meditation and sometimes you just gotta listen…

April 23rd, 2013

This morning I woke up around 5 am. I felt exhausted still but suddenly my mind became very active. I hate when this happens. I put my attention in my body and really let myself relax and fall into the bed, to feel weighty and it did have a calming effect. Still, each time I felt myself drift off, my mind went into a repetitive thought. I had had a meeting on Monday afternoon and there were a couple issues that suddenly came to mind of great importance. I acknowledged the thoughts. I said that I would get to them as soon as I got more sleep. I even said that I’d be in a better place to function with more sleep. It was like I was trying to beg to a young child that I would be a better parent if I had more sleep to function better… I kept trying to let my body drift back to sleep but these thoughts kept chiming in so loudly. After about 30 minutes, I decided to go pee and then come back to do a meditation practice.

I sat with the thoughts and acknowledged that they kept coming up. I realized I wanted to remember these items of importance because I want to advocate for myself and my family. I scanned down into my body and relaxed all the way down to my feet and back up to my head. I can’t tell you how different these thoughts were than other thoughts in the (not so distant) past. They were so strong and powerful and I actually yelled loudly to myself in thought, “PLEASE!! STOP! I HEAR YOU! I LOVE YOU! I HEAR YOU!”  (I thought this was kind of funny. It reminded me a little bit of what I read years ago in Eat, Pray, Love, when Elizabeth Gilbert was yelling at herself in meditation.) The pervasive thoughts stopped only briefly but then kept streaming in in the same succession, in the same order. So I just said, “Ok, fine! I’ll write this down so I can get back to sleep!” It was like I was bargaining with myself.

I wrote down all the things on my mind. I listed it out and read it and edited and read it again. I did this until every issue and need was listed out. I asked myself if this seemed good and the answer was yes. I put down the computer and I laid back down. The thoughts that kept going in my head after that is, “I love you. I love you. I love you,” and I drifted back to sleep finally.

We are reading a Course in Miracles this week and the main points are that thoughts, feelings, things are all illusions and the lesson is to practice to not attach to them, to view them with non-judgement and with curiosity. It was an interesting thing that happened to me. My brain wouldn’t let go of these items until I wrote them down and then it was almost too easy to fall back asleep. I had the impression that my mind and body were working in cahoots or something! Maybe sometimes, some thoughts are more worth paying attention to than others. I don’t know what meditation masters would say but I was just happy to get my requests down and get my body back to bed. I suppose according to the Course in Miracles, I would need lots of training to realize that these thoughts were nothing… I do wonder, though about the creative spirit that chimes in sometimes and says, “Listen.” I’m not sure if this was the creative spirit but this was a very repetitive thought telling me to “Listen and do what I say.” I was trying to use all these tools and they worked only briefly… Sometimes, maybe, you just gotta listen and do…

monday’s meditation with my dog

April 23rd, 2013

I woke up pretty early yesterday morning and I dashed downstairs because I heard the dog whimpering. I didn’t know what was wrong and was happy to find out that he was just whimpering at matt to get on the bed with him. I sat in the kitchen and my dog came with me. I sat in the chair and decided to meditate. The dog sat on my lap and we settled in. I have to say it was much easier to follow the breathing of my dog than my own breathing. Why is that? I don’t really know for sure. It was cute and sweet and very fun to listen to his breathing turn to sleeping breaths. I was smiling and at some point I decided to open my eyes and continue on with the meditation with my eyes open.

I looked at the dogs hair. He’s mostly a black dog, with white on his chin and a small bit on his chest but he’s kind of a rainbow because there’s gray, black, brown, auburn and white in his hair. His hair is so much longer than when we brought them home in December. What a cutie. I watched his belly move as he was breathing. I just observed his body curled in a little u-shape. I felt the weight of his small body on my lap. It was a really sweet observation. I do it all the time but this felt extra special.

An interesting thing to note. Mister Noah (my dog) and I were doing this little meditation and Matt decided to bring Noah’s brother in the room (Cooper.) As soon as he put Cooper near us, Noah made a tiny little half-hearted growl. What was that all about? Was he saying, “This is my time with this lady! Leave us alone!”? I can’t say but it made me chuckle.

early morning meditation

April 18th, 2013

This morning’s meditation came at around 4 am. This was unintentional! I was not trying to be monk-like! I woke up around 3 something and my thoughts started churning immediately. I kept trying to catch them - “Stop! please! I don’t want to start thinking now. I want to get to bed! I’m not getting enough sleep as it is!” I kept putting the focus back to my belly and breathing and it was amazing how thoughts kept getting pulled to a conversation I had that day and the imagining a future conversation that I will have next week. I was processing and thinking and analyzing at 3 something in the morning! AACK! I don’t want to do this. I want to sleep!

Each time I thought that I was doing a good job of focusing on my body and my breathing - the conversation would just start again. So I said, “Forget it - time to get serious.” And I sat up and started meditating. I might as well, I thought. I sat and bowed to the thoughts that kept streaming in. I gave myself a lot of kindness and understanding as to why I was doing this. I was trying to understand what had gone wrong in my conversation and what I could do to ensure that I was going to be understood. I was trying to foresee a future conversation and what I might say the next time. I saw this with great kindness and then it was easy to shift out of it. It was as if the trial of pushing the thoughts away was not enough at this time (sometimes it is.) I needed to give a little light and understanding to why they kept presenting themselves… Like a child having a little fit. It’s possible to ignore, to not give it much value but it’s something more for the parent and the child when the parent acknowledges whatever pain or confusion the child might be feeling that is causing the behavior and then watch the behavior change much more quickly thereafter.

I drifted back to sleep. I had many lucid dreams for about 3 1/2 more hours and then the dogs woke me up with their barking. I was grateful to have done that in the middle of the night. I have experience of not doing that and the result is hours and hours of a very active brain in the middle of the night…

communication woes

April 16th, 2013

It’s pretty amazing to me how two people that have spent so much time together can have such a disconnect where communication is concerned. Matt and I have been together since 1997. I’ve lived with him for 16 years and it’s pretty darned amazing that we have communication issues. I would have thought that being with someone for so long, we’d really know what each other was saying, both verbally and non-verbally. Not so. What seems to happen most frequently is that we say something and it gets translated in some other way than the original meaning or intention. This is so perplexing.

The work that I am doing is to try to make myself really clear. I’ve been practicing all sorts of ways in which to do that. Most recently has been non-violent communication: to make an observation, state a feeling (using I-statements), state the need that is not being met and make a request - knowing full well that the answer might be “no” but at least the conversation is clear and pointed only to “I” (instead of “you.”) It works well because it keeps the victimization out of the conversation. (ex: “I am so angry because YOU…” or “I am so HURT because YOU…” or even worse: “why can’t you be…” or “what’s wrong/the matter with you?”)

I’m working on some pretty heavy duty stuff with Matt at present and making requests. I’m not saying I’m a pro or master of this NVC thing but I am really speaking honestly and from my own place of experience, observations, needs and requests. It’s amazing how even when this happens, something else gets heard. What is a girl to do? I can’t really do anything for the external stuff - just can keep on changing the weather patterns internally. I used to feel so hurt by not being understood. Now I’m just sad by it. (It’s a big difference to go from being hurt –a.k.a. putting the blame on him for something– to realizing it’s my own sadness that I feel.) I’m sad because I really want to be understood: I want to be heard, valued and validated in my experiences… In this desire to do what I think is best for the situation/for the kids/for me/for Matt, I would like to seen as a person who has a good heart and sees the best in people and in life. When that doesn’t happen, I really get sad and confused as to what went wrong in the translation and then I try harder to be even more clear in the future so that I can be understood better… It can be rather exhausting at times. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” - that’s what I mutter to myself after yet another conversation goes awry… I realize that isn’t a very enlightened thing to say… I’m really trying to be understood and I am finding that whether I try with my best words or not, I can’t really change how I am seen, heard or interpreted. I suppose that can be said for communication with anyone, it’s just really difficult at times with Matt… I am sad when I am not understood. I have a clear need to be understood in my requests…

This, too, shall pass. It is not always so fun in the process though. This is where these tools in my tool belt come in handy. In the video I watched for Eckhart Tolle, he talked a bit about guilt. This is what he said:

“Human beings act out of their conditioning. Conditioned by culture, upbringing, to think/feel/behave in certain ways.  When you see how you create suffering for yourself and others, you move out of the conditioning. Don’t equate the conditioned mind with who you are. “I did that therefore I’m bad.” Don’t be the role, be the awareness. Guilt keeps you trapped in a very narrow sense of self. (Human unconsciousness is the narrow sense of self)

“Thought forms that arise, emotion forms that arise are not the awareness. They are the conditioned pattern. Don’t live in that conflict of mind that has a good person telling the other part of self that he/she is bad. Are you present to internal and external reality of now?  The good thought and the bad thought are just thoughts.

“Polarities of good/bad and high/low are in thought patterns. Allow yourself the imperfections. If you fight them, you make them stronger. Don’t look for yourself from any thought that comes into your head. You don’t have to follow every thought when you are aware. The thought drifts out and the awareness remains. Find a spacious relationship with your thoughts.

“Thought is not a problem. Be there as the witness to what goes on inside you and then change happens by itself. The mind will always have good/bad, up/down and you don’t have to act on any of those things. Act from aware presence.

“Awareness is not needy - it doesn’t use a person or situation for an end result. Conditioned mind uses everything and every moment/person as a means to an end. When you act out of awareness you do not want anything. True love does not want anything. It is selfless.”

I’ve experienced a lot of guilt in this relationship and I take responsibility for what I chose to believe as good or bad in myself based on things said and experienced, etc. When I heard Tolle talking about how we live in conflict when we listen to the mind as it says some aspect is good and some is bad about ourselves, it really spoke to me and propels me to move past that. I’m ready to change the record, dance a new dance, sing a new song, etc.

I’m holding myself and Matt in a clear space right now. I pray that from this moment onward, we can move past our filters and translations and get into clear communication, seeing the goodness and the Divine in each other and move past this really difficult spot right now.

the week of Eckhart Tolle

April 15th, 2013

This week we are to read Power of Now and watch a video from Eckhart Tolle in order to answer an essay question. I enjoy the weekly lessons with new books and videos because it puts me in a good mindset and very often I’m reminded to step out of my own habits and get “cleaner” in ways of thinking (i.e. getting out of my own way.) I think if I could have one wish, it would be to have more time to fully digest and process each new thing we read and watch for school. But it takes the time that it takes. I certainly will soak in whatever is needed and necessary for now and then can revisit later.

Eckhart Tolle’s video yesterday was good to listen to/watch. It’s funny to me to see how the progression of people that we are studying are seeming to get more complex as we go here. We started with Kornfield who was very simple in how he explained the process of following the body and letting thoughts release. Kabat-Zinn and Tara Brach were next then Pema Chodron and now Eckhart Tolle. The descriptions that Tolle uses to explain the same process of following the breath and noticing the inner body while letting thoughts and emotions dissolve are WAY more complex but essentially he’s saying the same thing as Kornfield. I thought it was probably good to have so many people saying the same thing in different ways so as to appeal to as many folks as possible…

This morning’s meditation was short again. My dogs were barking downstairs and were ready to go for their morning walk so I didn’t want them to bark long, wake up the house and/or have the barks continue/escalate. I got a little meditation in and then after the walk, I sat downstairs while the house was quiet and continued on with mindfulness and feeling what is happening inside and around me. I don’t often get these moments so I savor them when they come… It’s been nice to have these mornings after walking the dogs that are quiet and peaceful…

WOW….

Just as I wrote that sentence above about being grateful for the peaceful mornings, both kids woke up, came into the room and got mad at me because they were expecting to have this week off. They didn’t tell me anything of these plans and I had no way of reading their minds and/or knowing that they had this expectation. It was confusing and frustrating. Then after hearing that they are disappointed to not have this week off, they began asking if they could have next week of instead because that will work better since their public school friends have next week off. WOW again.

I reiterated that I have no way of knowing what their hopes and expectations are unless they tell me. They said that their physics teacher said that they could take the whole week off. I suggested that she probably meant that there’s no physics homework this week because otherwise, she has no authority to dictate or even suggest what homeschooling schedules are for anyone outside her own family.

I reiterated that due to my insanely busy life with work, school, 2 houses, being a landlord, being a manager of business and people plus providing for kids and dogs (as well as trying to fit in taking care of myself along the way) that I require notice to plan for things. Days and weeks fill up quickly and if they want to have time off, I need to hear about what they plan to do with the time and what they need from me to accomplish it. I can do anything, I just need to know about it so I can figure it into the day…

I was able to talk more easily with my son than my daughter. She’s very much a firecracker like I am and we can butt heads some times. If I can describe the scenario, I was sitting writing this, I had 2 dogs on my lap and I was pretty focused on getting my thoughts down for the blog. This is also homework for me so I’m doubly interested in getting this written. There was an almost immediate accusatory bicker fest right in front of me and I wasn’t expecting it. I raised my voice, put up my hands and said that I was not interested in fighting. The bickering continued and I found myself bickering back. I noticed what I was doing and I put my hands over my face and I stopped. I closed my eyes and tried to breathe and continue. The bickering still went on with my daughter even though she had gone to her room. She and I were still bickering and I kept trying to stop myself and breathe. My eyes filled with tears because in the space of nanoseconds, the peaceful moments in my mind turned to story telling and frustration and confusion in my thinking. After a few breaths, my son and I continued the conversation in a much easier way and came up with a plan for next week for them…

Since she was very small, Emily has, on occasion, stormed off into her room to calm herself down after she’s had a tiff with anyone at school or at home and then will come out later to talk and carry on with things. That is what she is doing now. I have let her do this because it was something that I needed as a kid but was not allowed to do. (Lord help me if I walked away from my mother! She would have knocked that door down and then me…) I’m forging a different path with my kids and it’s not always easy and very often I question what is the right thing to do. I’m following my heart and trying to stay present as best as I can.

This morning’s quick change from peace to chaos showed me what all these books write about: that it is the relationships in our lives that give us the best practice to see all the ways that we can practice mindfulness and peacefulness (or how we don’t!) I let myself get hooked into their drama because I was so shocked that it was even happening. (Where did it come from? I got blindsided!) It played into a lot of my old stories. Wow.

Obviously time has passed and I am again focusing on my mind musings here on this blog. There is peace again in the house for the time being. I “shook” off what was and continue on again. And so it goes. This is life - the roller coaster. Ebbs and flows. I can’t change anything that happens externally - I can just change the weather inside my own mind.

more mind musings…

April 14th, 2013

This week matt has been away for work. He’ll be away next week, too. This does a lot in my mind, whenever matt has gone away. It gets easier as the years go by, but still I’m acknowledging that there’s still some interesting thoughts and stories that I tell myself about this…

Thoughts: My experience thus far is that I don’t have a solid community of folks here and I don’t have family nearby. I haven’t had that in any place that I’ve lived since I’ve had kids. I’ve tried really hard to have community and this place in VT is better than other places I’ve lived in the past. I’ve worked out quite a lot to have emergency contacts for when the power goes out and there’s computer technical stuff that I can’t do or I need plowing or whatever and that is good. It’s taken me a while to set this up and it helps me to feel like I’ve got things covered. Still, with matt around - even though I know he’s still working each day and away for hours, it’s still nice to know that I can call on him if I need him for something for the kids or the dogs or the house. When he leaves, it has been a struggle in my mind of knowing that I’ve got put to pull myself up by the boot straps and manage all this stuff essentially by myself. (that is a story I tell myself.)

It’s been a good lesson in many things. Mostly I see that I can manage things by myself even if I don’t want to have to do it alone.

More stories: I see the little errant child of my thoughts that wants to have a tantrum and wants to have someone around to be there for me and I also see the impermanence of that.

Thoughts/musings/reflections: The way that this journey has been with me thus far with these kids is that I’m on my own. I can call and ask for help and I can seek support in the way of counselors and friends but I don’t have the network of like-mindedness or anyone who really has my back. I keep hoping to get some space of my own near my family so that I can have that sense of safety of being near friends and family that I know I can count on any time during the day or night. I also seek to still have time to live in VT because it’s like a learning ground for me. I learn a lot here because I have to do things for myself here. Just like in CA when I lived there and just like in MD when I lived there. The difference is that there is something that calls to me in VT to stay for the time being… VT takes me to more edges of myself and while it is incredibly uncomfortable at times, I’m also learning a lot about myself and that is a good thing.

The meditation continues: There have been some mornings this week where the morning meditation has been VERY short. I’m on dog duty in the mornings (have been grateful to matt for doing the morning walks thus far) and so with him not here, I’m still up late writing papers and then getting up early to walk the dogs. I sit for just minutes on some mornings to get centered and clear before their whimpering turns into barks and then I tend to them. I spend whatever moments I can during the day to center myself and focus on mindfulness and the breathing in my belly. Some days I’m fortunately enough to take 1/2 hour for myself of this and other times it’s only minutes. But I’m doing it and each moment I take for myself in this way is valuable. I look forward to getting more than 7 hours of sleep at most a night, too.

There’s lots going on in my world. There always is but lately it has peaked into something really over the top. I’m managing and will continue to do so. I pray for clarity, strength and good health to help me stay on top of things. There’s so many things to manage during the day…

OK, off to finish some homework that is due today… Then the boys come to see Sam, then I’m off to go to the library for/with Emily after we drop the boys off to meet up with their parents. Of course there’s the walking of the dogs, caring for their food needs, the meals for myself and the kids, the snacks, the housework, the desire to care for myself and get some exercise in. Maybe I’ll even have a shower today. This is the typical Sunday, my day off. LOL


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