Things build. You don't think they are, you think that you are doing quite well and dealing with daily life and doing what you have to do and then all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of a traffic jam, screaming at idiot drivers who are texting and not driving and wanting to ram your car into theirs.
That was totally me awhile ago. I couldn't quite pinpoint my frustration, only that it was there and making me miserable. I would try to minimize it all by repeating I have a good job, I have a place to live and a car to drive and I am not lacking anything vital.... but it wasn't really helping because it wasn't showing me what was bugging me.
Then one day, stuck in traffic as usual, I realized that I have no control over the traffic. The traffic is going to be there. I have to be in it and there it was..... bolt of lightning to the head.
Control.... or lack thereof.
I realized right then that I have so little control over things in my life right now and that is just the way it is, right now. I couldn't change those things and it drove me nuts - still does, to be honest but on that day I had to change something. I had to find what little control I had. I had to find my groove again.
There are so many quotes and sayings about this topic. Changing the way you look at things and stop wishing for something and making it happen. Being happy with what you have right now.
You can't just wish for something - you have to make a plan and follow it.
Being miserable is no way to live. Passive wishing isn't going to help either, it will just make it worse. Find what you do have control over and start from there. Even if the only thing you have control over is your mind and how you see things. Find a way to give yourself even just one moment a day to find your center and do something nice for yourself.
I needed attainable goals to get through the day by day. I chose to try and be happy. Seems easy enough but I am telling you it can be hard work. And it is helping. But it is also a daily thing. I have to remind myself of the things I have control over and to be thankful for all the little things that add up to big things.
I will probably always be a control freak, probably because my circumstances tend to lead me into situations where I have so little control and it makes me edgy and nervous. But by forcing myself to change my thinking I am getting better at letting things go and focusing on what I have right in front of me. And if it is an idiot driver texting while veering into my lane? I am thankful I can move over and turn up the music because I can control how many times I listen to Stayin' Alive and Groove is in the Heart. (and that is many many times)
Excuse the arty clutter behind the fabulousness that is my new zoom lens. I was making due pretty well with the starter lens but this one really makes me happy. Here is a tree that is very very very far away from me. Also, I took this through my bedroom window and you can barely see the screen. Nice.
I will be geeking out with my new toy shortly.
Things I am working on:
Finishing up The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying - this is my 4th reading and it is really clicking more than ever. So much wisdom and mindfulness and it is all becoming clearer the more I study.
I have several Tarot posts almost ready to go dealing with questions I have been asked regarding how to choose the deck and also basic reading info especially when it comes to the Minor Arcana.
Running my latest batch of photos through Lightroom.
And I just got a bullet journal kit and I think I am going to use this one for daily mindfulness. Yay for journals and brush pens and stickers and rulers and paper-y things.
Have a great evening!
I think I may actually be addicted to Instagram. It's been around a long long while and I never really thought to try it until I was finally nudged by a friend. I am actually enjoying it A LOT. In fact, I am spending more and more time there and less time on Facebook. Not sure if it is just me, but it seems FB is a hotbed of negativity and politics (both one in the same really.) It is getting harder to weed that out lately.
So, I am over on IG if you have one, please find me!
<---- I am also working on more Pocket Hippo adventures. I am pondering giving him his own IG as he seems to have more fun than I do LOL
I am discovering all sorts of ways to deal with my anger in traffic issues. First it was movie soundtracks but more and more I am just turning the music off and trying to practice my mindful breathing. Staying with each breath when I feel my jaws clench because most people are either driving while looking at their phones or most likely don't even have a valid license.
Since I am stuck in my car for about an hour each way to work, it is a excellent time to center my mind and remember to breath. My lesson for the day was to practice sending and taking alternately. It is part of a practice called Tonglen. Basically you send out happiness and take in suffering. But you take it in with compassion and send out in the same way.
I do suffer in traffic so it makes plenty of sense to use that suffering in a positive way. Although to be honest, I realized that when I get angry in traffic I am totally mindful with it. I am with my anger and I am that anger. We be rolling together in the here and now, traffic and I. But it still isn't the best way to deal LOLOL
So, what do you do when stuck in traffic? *Curious minds*
I really need to get more sleep. It's not that I don't try. Insomnia and loud people have a way of killing good sleep. But every once in awhile I just crash and that happened last night. I slept very very very well and had the craziest, vivid dreams. Mostly about lightning and having to not get struck by it. (Which oddly, is a good thing to dream, means you are gathering energy and power, understanding)
Anywho, getting enough sleep always me to behave like a wonderful human being who isn't irrationally cranky with resting bitch face. I got up, got errands done and OMG I FOUND OUT THAT AMAZON PRIME LETS ME STREAM THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA SOUNDTRACK (broadway cast - Andrew Lloyd Webber).... FREE!
I need a great distraction from traffic when I am stuck in it. I figured singing opera badly might help and I loved the play. So, now I can give that a try. I apologize in advance if you are in the car next to me.
READING: The Art of Living - Thich Nhat Hanh.
This one is amazing. I have read some excellent books on mindfulness and this one just connects the dots. Maybe it is the amazing sleep I got, or maybe I have been studying this topic for so long, that it is all just connecting, but WOW. I have little post it flags and colored pencil notes all through this book and I am just on Chapter 3. Thoughts on this will probably be a separate post later, when I can assimilate it more. But just reading his words and poetry makes me feel lighter and that is amazing.
Life outside of my head has been pretty crappy lately. It seems there is nothing but hate and anger and sadness going on. I totally want to go on long and angry rants about many things and I have to stop myself and breathe. Become mindful and remember that I can keep positive by thinking positive thoughts and then sending them out to the world. If one person is made a little lighter by something I have said, then I have done something very important. And that, in turn, makes me happy.
Not vicious or malicious
Just de-lovely and delicious