January 30, 2019 at 8:48 am #277751
It is a path of creating rather than reacting
Thank you for this great quote. How true. So far, when I work on doing no harm, I am creating a new habit, not just simply reacting based on patterns and habit.
Interesting you mention my sister, I was thinking earlier how we haven’t spoken much, but I am sure in the next month or so – I will have an interaction with her – which to be perfectly honest, i don’t look forward to – I dread.
I do not miss spending time and talking to her. It is important to be honest with yourself and admit such things even if they do not sound nice. So I do not miss our interaction. In fact, over the last few years, it has been more guilt oriented than anything. The fun times are like you’ve stated, a respite from the distress. A “respite” during which I am still ON and not turning OFF.
Do no harm/no help must be practiced in life circumstances that are small and large, before we are able to employ them with people who are very emotionally triggering. I am glad I am doing practice with daily routine, so that – hopefully – when larger circumstances arise, I have a sense of what protecting my spirit feels likeJanuary 30, 2019 at 9:08 am #277755
Dear Cali Chica:
You are welcome. I suggest you prepare for the next interaction with your sister by coming up with a scenario and putting together an imaginary conversation/interaction with her, a she says/ you say kind of interaction. You can use your past experience with her, maybe the last time interaction to produce this future imagined- scenario, make it realistic. You can do it here if you want. This way you will have something prepared.
anitaJanuary 31, 2019 at 8:39 am #277871
You are right. I do need to create a scenario, and practice – here with you. I will think about this now and through the weekend. As at this time, I do not have the correct mindset to approach it.
Speaking of, I know now that some days our mindset allows us to approach certain topics/situations, and sometimes not. If we are able to – and we can – we should protect ourselves and approach accordingly – to create less distress.
So today – thinking about my sister feels foreign, I will approach it when my mind is ready.
Today is a very cold day here, perhaps the coldest of the year. Interesting as I have always dreaded winter and these cold days, as of course when you are already feeling low, the cold does not help. I look back at feeling worse during the winter often, and thriving in the sun. I look back and felt that the winter was to blame often.
I see that sure the winter may exacerbate feeling down or low, for just about anyone – but surely it is not to blame.
It always felt external all of it Anita. I feel this way, because of this person, this situation, what they DID to me, what this made me feel like, because of the weather, because of many things.
But like my post yesterday, It is news to me that I actually do have control over myself and approach to life. What a concept!
It is interesting, taking N out of my life – I ended up actually having to block her by the way, as she was shameless in her texting and “fake” interest in my life in random spurt when convenient to her – and just the sight of her meaningless flakey messages added toxicity I did not need.
So taking someone like this out of my life, not someone instrumental in it, but someone there in my life for many years in some form – even not a large form – creates space.
I feel a small amount – 1 percent – increase of space. I am appreciative of this one percent increase of space. I am glad that it serves as a reminder. When we remove toxicity, space returns in a different form.
It returns, and we may not be aware of it – but even without our consent, energy and space come and go. They slip away when we don’t have strong boundaries, and they return when our boundaries remain intact.January 31, 2019 at 9:26 am #277881
Dear Cali Chica:
It is easier for you to deal with N than it is to deal with your sister, of course. Feelings are more intense in regard to your sister and therefore the challenge is more difficult, more demanding and exhausting. best you do the exercise with your sister when you are as calm as can be, when it so happens that you are exceptionally calm. You may want to create a calm circumstance to make the exercise possible, maybe with a glass of wine or after a hot bath, when you are home alone.
anitaJanuary 31, 2019 at 9:30 am #277883
I agree. I will create this calm environment to approach the scenario with my sister. That is an excellent idea given that such a scenario requires calm energy as a prerequisite.
N is no where close to my sister, in a way shes a nobody, but a somebody as she was involved in my wedding, and was a “good” friend back in my 20s. Someone who brought glitter like you said. but no substance.
I have removed many such people in my life over the last year – the last year since speaking to my parents. Removing insignificant people is of course easier.
As an aside.
Do you believe that anxiety creates constant “seeking” as a response to fear. Do you think in a way, it is a way of fleeting, or always having a survival instinct, thus always seeking something out. Unable to sit with what just is – seeking elsewhere, or more.January 31, 2019 at 10:08 am #277889
Dear Cali Chica:
Your question in the last paragraph makes me think, once again, of the elk that live around here, and the deer. But the elk are more impressive because they hang around in great numbers, in herds while the deer are in small groups.
So, I walk my loop, no other person in sight and to my left, there is this huge herd of elk, one of them first hears a noise, then alert, it stops eating grass and frozen, it focuses on the noise of me walking. It does nothing else but looks at my direction all through my walk. All of them do eventually, dozens of big animals standing motionless, staring.
It is animal instinct to focus on danger when sensing danger and on nothing else.
Humans’ life is more complicated than elk’s. We have sources of danger appear and reappear all day: crossing the street, driving, people who may turn aggressive toward us at any time at work, or on the street, the day being too cold or too hot, this one person throwing glitter in our face (N) or the other asserting her power in a very annoying way (doctor at the clinic), and memories of past dangers, imagining new dangers. That creates what you are describing, a “constant ‘seeking'”. Unlike the elk who focus on just one sound, one possible danger, we have so many, so we are jittery, constantly moving, looking here and there and way over there and back to here, and what is next…?
This feeling of fear is so very unpleasant. It takes a lot to contain it, to calm it on an ongoing basis, to figure what is clear-and-present-danger and what is not, to prepare for a future dangerous scenario so to be safe when that real life situation does happen, to be prepared.
anitaJanuary 31, 2019 at 10:09 am #277891
* didn’t reflect under Topics (by the way, Cali Chica, I will soon be going for my walk and will be back in a couple of hours or a bit longer)February 1, 2019 at 5:47 am #278005
How was your walk yesterday. Happy friday. I had a very good pleasant and calm week. I felt very inward oriented. I felt that I checked in with myself about what I was feeling, what I needed, what I truly felt in the situation. There is always time for this, although at times it feels like it would be unnecessary or a damper. There is always time for checking in with yourself, only good can come from knowing yourself first before you even attempt to tackle your surroundings.February 1, 2019 at 5:55 am #278011
Dear Cali Chica:
Reads good to me, a very good week for you. I made my walk shorter yesterday, 2.5 miles instead of 3.5 because my foot/ankle hurt more for some reason.
“very inward oriented”, your focus being inward, it should always be like that except for emergencies. Otherwise we find ourselves running around like, what is the term, chickens with their heads cut off?
anitaFebruary 1, 2019 at 6:22 am #278019
I am glad you shortened your walk, this is not a weakness, but you also being “inward” and listening to what your body needs.
Yes, when I read the concept of inward oriented, as an outsider, as when you wrote it just now – it almost sounds silly!
Well inward oriented, where else would you be? Funny how it seems this way, yet the “innate” sense of thinking of yourself first, or prioritizing yourself – for someone like me with my history – is foreign and a deliberate practice.
I also want to note that I would have read this prior as “selfish” or “self-centered” yet, it is so far from that. In fact I have noticed a trend – when I am NOT, inward – I will retaliate out of anger – “gosh, why can’t I be more focused on MYSELF, agh! Well screw that I am going to be SELFISH today.”
This in fact is much more detrimental than being cool calm and inward from the get go.February 1, 2019 at 6:51 am #278025
Dear Cali Chica:
Good point, when selfless you get angry and want to retaliate by being selfish. Being self centered/ self focused (which term do you prefer?) is basically using one’s brain sensibly so to live a life that makes sense- make interactions with others Win-Win.
Selfless is stupid short term and long term, and selfish is stupid on the long term, if not the short term. The path is about un-stupefying ourselves!
February 1, 2019 at 7:08 am #278031
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by anita.
When selfless you get angry and want to retaliate by being selfish.
yes! it is going from one extreme to another, being ravenous and then over eating as a result – now uncomfortably overstuffed. all or nothing, neither feeling/state is healthy or useful/good.
I prefer the term self-focused. and thank you for using the term sensibly. I like the term of sensibility, it makes SENSE. That is just it, coming from a place that makes SENSE. We have an innate guidance of common sense most of the time, we just over look it.
I used to get caught up in others that are selfish, oh it doesn’t seem stupid for them on the long term, they seem to get away with it. It doesn’t matter. For ME and most of us, being selfish or selfless is stupid! AS you say.
To be authentic is to be sensible.
February 1, 2019 at 7:20 am #278043
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by Cali Chica.
I re read your post about the elk. What a beautiful natural example. I thought about this often when I was in Africa a few months ago, seeing a lion, and a leopard. A sight to see – in their own habitat. So calm and majestic in one breath, and ready to attack nonetheless. The balance of these emotions/states – innate to such an animal.
Yet we aren’t such animals. We are not by nature ferocious hunting carnivores. Yet, we may feel like that some days, ready to attack – on edge, ready to pounce. Such as I did that day after yoga, attacking my husband – with my claws out, ready to fight.
Saying – “get close and I’ll attack” not thinking what “close” meant – good or bad. Nope, just ready to fight. Showing off those claws.
I see my sweet dog, a gentle being. Yet, if provoked, can easily change demeanor – the beauty of an animal, the alertness, the innate sense. I find it admirable.
Yet, in a human, in me – it served me – when my mother was lurking around every corner, I had my claws, ready to attack, to shield. Saying – okay what now – I’m ready bring it. And so even when the fearful predator is nowhere to be find now, the claws don’t automatically retract, we are still ready – I am still ready. And slowly – I know, I will retract, into a resting position, when I know it is safe. When I feel safe.February 1, 2019 at 9:02 am #278061
Dear Cali Chica:
Self focused it is then. In nature it doesn’t happen but rarely that a mother attacks her offspring. In humans it happens often. Right there is the source of most suffering in the world, the aggression and betrayal that sets a person on the way of attacking others, and so, aggression continues and multiplies.
anitaFebruary 4, 2019 at 7:14 am #278561
Self focused it is.
I did have a self focused weekend. I did notice a lot. I noticed that although self focused, the mother voice of course is present, perhaps not always, but is there lingering in the background – omnipresent in some form in that way.
I noticed that there is the “new” Cali Chica way of thinking, that is not forced, but often coming from a place of calm – but there is also the devil on the other shoulder, questioning or mocking it. Perhaps the “angel” and the “devil” on the shoulders such as they show in cartoons or TV – we can call it that for conversation sake.
Here’s an example:
1 -My mother in law asks, what are you doing for the super bowl:
Angel: oh we are invited to a party, but will likely stay home to relax, as we have an early morning Monday
Devil: oh how sad, sitting at home, I saw so many people in the lobby getting dressed to go out to parties, look how fun
2 – my friend on the phone mentions her plans for Super bowl:
angel: oh that sounds so fun, I think we are going to lay low this year
devil: oh, that sounds fun, how social. it sounds lonely to do nothing, and lame, let me make sure my friend knows we have options to do something fun too.
I observed this. The angel response was not contrived, it was innate and natural. It was real. But when devil reared his head, I did feel this feeling rise in me – the feeling to overcompensate, to explain, perhaps a feeling of guilt or shame?
interesting – I am glad I observed.