Can Confusion Be Delightful?

I like a paper map. I like holding it in my hands. I like folding it up and putting it away when I have achieved the arrival. When it is open and I admit I am lost, I can get my bearings from all possible surrounding landforms, highways, rivers and adjacent topographies.

When I travel, I am frequently lost and it is challenging. To a person who decided in grade 9 what career she would pursue the fluky unforseen is a source of anxiety.

On Monday I sit and create my weekly calendar. I lay out what I think are necessary social interactions because I take them like my cod liver oil, as a preventative measure. I assess what days are best for working out with my weights. Walking is penciled in for aerobics. I establish what the major project is that I need to focus upon and carefully allot time for that goal.

At the present time, it is the book I am writing about my Alternate Reality trip to Europe. I am thinking of calling it Blood on the Street. Walking in my ancestor’s steps and experiencing the death of 90 people in Paris was not a vacation.

The difficulty I experience when things seem chaotic is that I sink down into a sense that I am, somehow, not up to the challenge. I know it is an old story. I know it is a left over narrative.

My new life since I have grown up, does not include being late, shuffling along in an unprepared state, showing up with no idea of what I am meant to do.

However, I sabotage my intentions. The walk never happens. It is too cold, or too wet, or too hot, or too gray or without purpose. I have learned that simply to walk somewhere without a purpose is as unlikely to happen as me suddenly liking sports. That is just a giant fail.

The concept of using up my resources keeps me in a tight little spinning circle. I become a spinning top… around and around.

My intention this week was to work on my book and I did well for four days and then…. I got sick.

Now my focus shifted to the battle between blame/resistance and selfcare/ submission. My mind always goes to the same questions. “Why did you get sick? When did you lower your energy and allow viruses to get in? What is wrong with your body, your spirit, your immune system, your habits?”

It is an interrogation but does not shift from good cop to bad cop. It is all bad cop.

A weak voice will be saying as background to the sound track , “You are building immunity to a new virus. That is good. You are working with your immune system to grow stronger.”

But it is a hardly discernible voice.

The project that I agreed to do entailed learning software and a new site. I spend over twelve hours trying to to navigate various software tools without success. I attempted for over 10 hours to load a video onto a new site without success. I was clenched. The failures piled upon one another as the deadline got closer. But I kept at it.

It is as if I am sailing along in a boat and think it is fine… then the wind shifts and I see there are gigantic tears in the sail.

And so I became frustrated and bent over and focused on all of the areas that I had no skill. My time line fell apart. My good intention calendar dropped its pages like a 1930’s movie graphic.

Godzilla had walked through my beautifully architected city and flattened it. And then I got sick.

I am confused as to why so many things did not work. I am confused as to why I can set up a beautifully designed calendar map unfolded to plot out the road of my week and yet I end up somewhere else.

There is so much destruction and reformation in life.

 

Growth: Keep Page Open

Growth: Keep Page Open

But one gift that has been brought to me after what I interpret as an abysmally unsuccessful week, is that I see exactly which signs I was not reading. I understand where I am going off the road. And that what my confusion is about.

Setting intention is only partially effective. Sometimes going up the wrong road all the way to the flat landing place that shows you the entire stretch of the landscape means chaos and acknowledging that you were on or took the wrong road.

The delight in the confusion is the light in the chaos. The seduction of side projects, working to pick up small checks, moving my focus from one thing to another is not working for me now nor has it ever worked. What is it I am passionately headed toward?

That is all that needs to happen now. Leave the flirtations behind.

There is so much that I hide from myself. Perhaps, this week of chaos is just an opportunity to truly get the party started. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

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David Bowie: Why does he move us?

As I watch the out pouring of grief, shock and mythologizing that has filled social media, I was filled with wonder. I wondered why this particular artist caused such a reaction across such a wide swath of the society.

 

David Bowie nee David Robert Jones

David Bowie nee David Robert Jones

The most evident reason is his body of work. He created a Protean persona. He was gay; he was bisexual; he was orgiastic; he was a devoted family man; he was heterosexual. His image was a costume which he wore for a while and then bored him. He would throw off styles of music as if it were an old jump suit that no longer fit him.

With each new self discovery, he took with him his brilliant intellectual understanding of the structure of culture. He read. He was visually literate. He met diverse individuals as he explored cultural relativism and diversity. He remained curious. He had a drive to learn. His hunger for knowledge never failed him.

He gave those who followed his transformations the ability to hold a more gentle grasp on their own perceived place in the world. If David could move through genres of music and yet remain relevant and admired, then perhaps I can explore beyond the rigid boundaries of what I was told I am ‘supposed’ to be.

 

He was first and foremost a musician with talent and a work ethic.

He was first and foremost a musician with talent and a work ethic.

Finally, with the last album Black Star, Bowie created two videos that shed light on the last great obscenity, the final secret shame that North Americans in particular never speak of: death. He had experienced six heart attacks recently and was ravaged for 18 months by cancer.

People viewed Lazarus and Black Star in a state of admiration filled shock. This is what it looks like to stand and openly face your own death. This is what it looks like to stand before your own relinquishing of the body you were given for a while. You walked around in it only for your allotted time.

We each of us stand with him before his end trembling, shaking. We see through his eyes that the rituals hold more connection to truth than the frivolities of ego. The spell of delusions falls away. He tells us, “You are finally left with only that which you have invested in your spirit”.

Just as Bowie explored choices in life, he explores the lack of choice at death. We die. We will cease to be. The great mystery is all that waits for us, finally.

Bowie spent his early years making explorations of his sexuality, and his addictions. Wendy Leigh’s new biographical book is based on interviews with those who knew him through out various periods of his life. She describes a man with an omnivorous, voracious, indiscriminate sexual appetite that created an orgiastic life style. His use of drugs and alcohol depleted his body. David Bowie was no paragon.

 

Protean explorations

Protean explorations

Very few others of the famous who have run howling beyond the boundaries in social behaviours which are considered correct or safe, manage to find their way to a healthier connection to self. He found his way out of addictions. He found that he could love in a coherent and intimate manner. He found that he could live his life for others: for Iman and for his daughter.

But he never lost his deep connection to self expression.

I think, finally, what has elevated him to a mythical height is that he remained true to who he was at the time. His music, his lyrics, his power was about digging deeply into the seeming, the role playing, the artifice and finding something authentic beneath it all.
We admire his talent. We admire his intelligence. We admire his truth telling from the place of chicanery. He was just so damned good at what he did. So we look at his chameleon costumed depictions of a person living a life and we see truth shining out.

Perhaps, for me the greatest testimonial to the man is that now as all of the stories are coming out of debauchery, addiction, self abuse we see how amazingly one individual can self correct.

As all of the stories come out, we see a man who was kind to others. The interviews with interviewers, with long term friends shine a light on someone who treated others with respect. The self confidence it takes to stand on stage can often lead to arrogance. David Bowie stayed focus on his mission: How do I use my talent to tell the story of a person trying to find his way in the world?

At the end, he shows us ourselves, each of us, facing death. And it moves us. It helps us, everyone of us, to prepare to leave this earth with grace and truth.

David Bowie was not a star, he was a constellation.

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January: Stop Dicking Around

The snow fell. Fat fluffy flakes like a kid’s Gif. The trees were outlined white against a white/gray sky. The hills were draped in tulle clouds. It was quiet. The world was insulated against sound.

For three days a “snow on eyelashes” kind of magic surrounded us. And then it began to melt.

Because I lived in the North for nine years, I felt the urgency of changing the armature. I knew the melt and freeze was inevitable. I did not want to have an ice fort blocking in my car. I did not want to have a slide trough of ice leading to my front door.

So for every day I shovelled for an hour.

It is such an opening up when it snows. Like having a wet cloth on the face, the colder temperatures. And the neighbours reappear from their hot air caves. As I cleared the sidewalk, my neighbour came over and helped me. I went on to clear the next sidewalk where the couple is busy managing four children and, frankly, life.

The tree heavy with snow.

The tree heavy with snow.

The guy next door and I then went on to clear the walkway of my sister/friend (24 years and counting) who had put something out in the backish, hippish, thighish region. Usually she is so alert that she shovels the snow while it is still in the air.

Usually she is so thorough that not one patch of ice is ever found on her sidewalk.

And so I waved at the woman across the street with a little boy. I saw them getting out of the car and he is bigger. Since this summer he has entered another stage with another name to it: Baby to Toddler.

The pressure cooker of expectations and demands that we call a celebration has passed. Christmas is over. The snow comes almost as a “letting down” of tension, of the weather of gray pasty skies.

And the mind asks, “What now?”

Now is shovelling snow. Now is watching squirrels run along the tree branch highway. Now is seeing the stark outlines of the nest the crows built this summer in my 50 year old Maple tree.

It is time to establish new habits. It is time to align with new intentions. It is time to stop distracting, soothing, repeating unsuccessful habits.

As I stand in my front yard with my daffodil yellow snow shovel in my hand I say to myself, “It is time to stop dicking around at life.”

 

Stop Dicking Around

Stop Dicking Around

What is now is whatever you did in the past to bring it in.
Breathe and create. Clear the path. Make sure your vehicle can move. Don’t allow yourself to be blocked in, captured by the past.
Keep asking, “What now.”

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Dealing with Stress at Christmas

Since November 6th my life has held many changes and surprises for me. So often we walk along a clearly marked path. There is a rhythm, a predictability to the days. It can become boring, comfortable, unchallenging. Sleep walking through the routine, one feels less than human.

I left Kelowna on November 6th to fly to Calgary and from there to the Netherlands. The clouds were layered over Amsterdam like puffy cartoon crop fields of whiteness. The consistent distance, size and even distribution made the vista outside the plane window appear as a cartoon depiction of a fantasy land.

netherlands skyAfter a brief stop, I was on the plane hop to Leeds.

The journey to Leeds left me puzzled standing on a sidewalk trying to find where I could find a bus to York and discover the whereabouts of my airbnb “home”. I did not understand the UK money so when I bought something, I simply put my money on the shelf of my flattened hand. I was frequently lost and disorientated. Having stumbled about York for two days, the next step was to go by train to London across recumbent open land that at times looked remarkably like Washington State except for the structures of the heritage stone buildings.

Stone city of York my mother's relatives.

Stone city of York my mother’s relatives.

 

Wandering around London for two days gave way to hopping the Train to Paris. Again, I did not understand the money. And by now I was used to the feeling of being lost and disoriented. The Paris Attacks occurred on the very street where my apartment was. I saw wounded. I heard death and machine guns. I walked next to pools of blood the next day. I used all of the skill I had as a meditator to keep myself centered.

From Paris, I hopped a plane to Zagreb and then to Dubrovnik where I was again unfamiliar with currency, the lay of the land and in addition, I was surrounded by people who did not speak English. When I arrived in Dubrovnik it was the day of lighting lanterns along the streets to commemorate the victims from Vukovar and Škabrnja on 18 November…

Lanterns to remember those killed. War. Remembrance. Grief.

Lanterns to remember those killed. War. Remembrance. Grief.

The ancient city of Dubrovnik, Croatia

The ancient city of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Once I returned home, I was tired and my body allowed the entry of  a virus. Lowered resistence lead to ten days in bed, miserable nights and dizziness from an inner ear infection.

As soon as I began to feel better, I got a call to report to the hospital for my colonoscopy  with laproscopic surgery. Every five years I must drink 4 liters of what I think is one of the most foul liquids I have ever experienced, go without food and go through the cutting out of suspicious bits. It is what has prevented a recurrence and kept me alive for 18 years after a very established cancer.

I crawled home, lay in bed and thought about all of the changes, challenges, instances of loss of control, the shifting time zones, the lack of sleep that had flashed through my life in the last 47 days.

Sometimes it makes me think of a kaleidoscope. There is a clear, reflected pattern that the eye grows accustomed to. One is accustomed to the sharp definition of shape. The comforting selections of colors mirrored back at one another.

And then, you want to shake it up. You are bored and feel stuck. I set out to walk in my ancestors footsteps in York and in Dubrovnik and I learned about war and invasions. I learned about slaughter, resistance, bodies stacked blocking the gates of towns.

My family’s roots were in war torn stone built fortresses. And then in Paris, I saw the modern war being waged based on ideology and religion and wounded hearts.

Blood on the Paris street of the murdered.

Blood on the Paris street of the murdered.

 

I watched myself rise to challenges that I had set and anticipated and also to even greater challenges I could never expect. When I returned home, I was irritated with myself for allowing myself to fall ill. I was disappointed with myself for once again becoming depressed over Christmas. I was curious about my fearful approach to the cancer screening and the surgeon told me it is PSTD. The body that has gone through a long illness with cancer reacts. She said it is basically imprinted trauma.

And I thought about the imprinted trauma of war that has passed through my DNA from York and from the Balkans.

My dreams and goals are to get beyond the programming. But, I am only human. And sometimes the explosions of too many challenges in a short period of time will just cause grief, sadness, and shutting down.

I can see that I have a long way to go before I can forgive myself for simply being human.

There is always more to learn. When I get greater distance, I will see more clearly what the lessons were over the last 47 days. It will be like stepping back and looking at a mural. Oh! I will say. That is what was being drawn for me.

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Paris Attacks: after witnessing terrorism on my street

This is my experience: I grew up when the Korean War was going to destroy the world.
I grew up through the years when the cold war would “end all life on earth”. I was shown films of nuclear bombs and trained to crouch beneath my desk turtled at the word trigger of “flash” which the teacher would randomly yell.

 

Old City Dubrovnik

I sat at the high school lunch room table as the Cuban missile crises occurred and we dry mouthed our sandwiches as nuclear death was 15 minutes away. The enemy missile ships were in place and the missiles lifted on target. Our port city was a major target we had been informed.

To sit at the table and watch people killing others during the Viet Nam war  was my experience. We ate horror with our dinners nightly.

I watched the 9/11 towers collapse and people curl around the TV screens which broadcast the message of end days.

As long as I have been alive there has been a vicious enemy created fear. As long as I have been alive there has been a current of edgy doom energy flowing.

What I can say because of this life is that the real fear we all face is that of our own death. What I know is that the media, the politicians broadcast that we have no hope. The message is and has reoccured that end days are here.

How different is that from the groups of people who have gone to stand on a tall mountain because the Rapture is upon us? How different is that than the belief in Medieval times that others hold the devil’s energy in their hearts?

If we could but just understand that there is no avoiding death, there is no avoiding the knowledge of the fragility of life, we would stop allowing the flow of fear to take us hostage.

In these times the single question is: How do we live?

Do we allow ourselves to be manipulated? Or do we know with certainty that we hold power in life.
We can be the conduit to intensify fear, or we can refuse to grab onto that current. We can ground ourselves knowing that there will be death but right now we are fully alive.

performance

Our job is to be present in our own lives. Our job is to drop the masks, the defence mechanisms, the armour, the need to protect and we must walk into the world meeting others with compassion.

I have lived through the end of so many worlds.

 

And when the cult runs to the mountain top to avoid “the wrath”, I refuse to join.

There is a prayer that says, “I will fear no evil.” At this time in my life, I know there is no evil. There are only people who have had their hearts destroyed.

Let us choose to not be among their number.
Cherie Hanson

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Finding the Family

I lost whole centuries of my family when my recent Ancestry. Ca membership lapsed. Luckily I painstakingly recorded information on index cards.
The next task will be to reinstall the information on my new Ancestry. com tree and onto my brother’s “family” tree.

 

12063650_10153712459278615_523512536949961153_n
Much of the walking through the past is in preparation for two events. On November 6th I will be in Yorkshire walking in the footsteps of my ancestors. I have stumbled upon video clips of life in West Yorkshire in 1940 and 1945 and feel more ready to experience the real deal.

I now know why I was obsessed with the Bronte’s and spent so much time seeking out British shows shot in the ocean of short grass on the Moors. My mother’s family resided there as far back as I can ascertain as the 1600’s.

My father’s family were Serbian and I have been pillaging on line sources to learn about the Covitchs. The Serbs underwent ethnic cleansing by the Croats and 700,000 of them were exterminated at the least accounting. Serbs perhaps riled up by the death purges, or by some other historic catastrophe even further back in their history went on to try to kill every Muslim they could and took a punitive swipe at dispensing death to all Croats that crossed their path.

I have always though of the chaotic, insane and violent nature of the males in my family as it worked its way out into my life.

Now I have a clearer view. When my grandfather left Serbia in 1911, he had already experienced horrors I can only imagine. He inflicted demeaning and soul destroying damage onto my father. And so it goes.

Our history is what happened to us. It is what happened to our ancestors. We carry it in our DNA. But luckily the Yorkshire part of me is beyond stubborn.
Yorkshire motto, “We shall do it whatever the opposition.”
It is why I come out swinging. It is why I could not be crushed.
I am learning so much that will appear in my biography which I begin in January. Disassociations is my working title.
As Aaron Sorkin said in a CBC interview recently, the getting ready to write is the important part of the work. I am making deep connections that start to provide me with clarity enough to both be “in” the memories and to be able to understand what happened.
Stay tuned.

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Thanksgiving

Warm sun, flocks of moving birds through falling gold maple leaves, the sound of my neighbours’ toddlers and in my house the nine of us together.

attendants
My son with his wife and new born baby; my daughter with her husband and three children gather. It is a small house but there is room for us comfortably. It has been a long time since we were all together. I moved to Kelowna. My daughter attended school in Prince George. My son moved to Edmonton to marry. My daughter and husband moved to Edmonton for work. Marriages failed. People got sick and close to death. Children were born. Life.
On the day of the feast, I cleaned and kept the tiny counter clear. And I love to clean. My daughter and her husband chopped, stirred, planned and created glorious smells of roasting turkey and various foods.
The three girls played outside with the neighbours son and they were running in the leaves, wielding sticks or swords or magic wands while following mysterious maps they had drawn.
The air was clear and the day warm. The colors intensely sharp. We all knew that this gathering had been a long time coming, had been a long time absent.

blue heart
The simple domestic ordinariness of it was spectacular. To watch my son and his wife so deeply in love with their daughter; to watch my dresden skinned blonde curled grand daughters playing happily; to see my daughter married for 25 years and her husband sneak a kiss was a miracle. There were only three of us once upon a time.

 

Natalyia Hanson 7 weeks old

Natalyia Hanson 7 weeks old

The three of us were exiled to a Northern town for my work and had no one we knew around us. I was frightened, in an unsettling environment and not confident I could rise to the challenge.
But somehow they survived me, the North, the operations and hospital stays and we are now nine.
Thanksgiving.

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Losing the way. Is it necessary?

I was born into a war zone. The chaos and random, unpredictable violence along with the lack of a sense of protection left me in a world in which I believed that “the work of her hands” would allow me to enter the gate. Only through effort would I ever be free.

 

2013-03-04 18.57.02
I climbed upon the skinny horse of striving and kicked me heels into her sides.
All of my adolescent reading was about real people who had emerged from adversity through the virtues of stoicism, stamina and able strategy. Marie Curie, Sacagawea, Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Maier fascinated me.

 

Golda Meir, Prime Minister, Israel

Golda Meir, Prime Minister, Israel

To be able to create the self triumphant using discipline, focus and momentum was my waking dream.
I earned two degrees, took three minors because a choreographer and a dancer in the three and a half years of undergraduate school.
I was driven, fired up, hungry for knowledge and it carried me. It carried me until it did not.
All systems failed in a spectacular fashion when my body developed cancer then rheumatoid arthritis. I had whipped my self with the stick of my goals.

 

images
I was not at home in the physical connection with myself. And so I failed again and again until I finally knew.
As I lay on the bathroom floor in the hospital with a twisted bowel, I prayed it would just stop. I prayed I would just stop. I had endured enough.

 

all is effort and confusion

all is effort and confusion

Work no longer worked for me. Badges and degrees and certificates and plaques with recognition and accolades no longer worked for me.
None of it could kill the pain.
It was while I was baby curled on that floor that I could feel the c old truth. I knew that I had no clue.
I had done art therapy, group therapy, one on one therapy, dance therapy, journal writing and it left me outside alone.
I had walked like a vampire under the full moon, under partially lit trees, outside the picture life windows of others. I was alone. I was outside my body, outside my spirit, outside of society. I was a vagrant soul.
All doors closed and it was then I knew that I did not know and so I fell into love.
I sat meditation to save myself. I sat with Gabor Mate and with shamans and with mystics. And what I discovered was myself.
What I discovered was that no matter how many assaults I had experienced first from others and then from myself, my super power was that I could love. No matter what, my heart could find a way to love my mother, to love my father and that is why I did not perish.
I could find a way to love like one stepping from rock to rock crossing a wild water river. My love for my brother, my love for my children, my love for my students, my love for my friends. One each of these points of balance I could stand for a while and be safe.
It sustained me so that I did not perish.
And it changed everything. It changed my life in ways I could not anticipate. I began again.

And as I said, “I don’t know,” I fell in love. I fell in love with the silence in my house. I fell in love with a peaceful body not pushing, not striving. I fell in love with the bird choir in my Maple tree.
I got off of the dying, scrawny horse whose ribs were showing and I sat.
I sat in circles, I sat in groups, I sat alone, I sat in not knowing.
Within a year my body begin to trust me. It began to heal.
Five years ago I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and all of my testing showed me to be operating as a fifty year old.
Because my body knows it is safe with me now, it has healed. I have no signs of R.A. I have the bone mass density of a 20 year old and medical tests indicate that I am average for a 30 year old woman.
What I have learned is that no attack, no scar, no broken bone, no onslaught of injury has ever, in truth, touched me.
My spirit is loved and supported. I am here to be a source of love, to see and create beauty and to speak words that heal. I was born into a disaster zone and it has not touched me.
Because I can love.
It is by allowing the not knowing that I have not perished but instead have flourished. I have become curious. What will next arrive?

I don’t know.

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Reconciliation

What I am told by those who say they know, is that the first year of a new decade is a bit like a toddler just pushing up off of the floor and into a wobbling stance. The progress is hesitant, lacking confidence and more about adjusting to the new point of view than anything else.
The teachers say the first year of a new decade is a bit like the first pancake in the pan. It is basically a throw away.

 

speaking from the heart
It is in the place of being 41 or 51 or 61 that the individual goes, “Oh so this is how the new decade feels.”

Becoming acclimatized to 70 is, apparently, what last year was about.

That is not to say it was a throw away. I learned new technology; I learned new methods of meditation; I established new habits which serve me well.

 

growing into self

growing into self

However, I clearly see that I am in a period in my life of reconciliation which includes: reunion, fence mending, remedying, harmonizing, balancing and achieving peace.

All of the ferocity of my youthful and adolescent desires are still burning in me. However, my confidence in my abilities is at an all time high.
I know how it is I wish to be in the world. That image has never been more clearly reflecting in the preceding hours of my life.

I organized a family reunion and set the intention of ending the chasms that had grown in the clan. Part of those rifts were from left over stories; from connections that were forged in violence and addiction; from my defence mechanism of running away from the pain of connection.

 

head shot 4

In my 71st year, my remaining family who have not passed are closer to me than ever before. With joy, I watch them discover and connect with one another. Like tribes in a war zone the emotional diaspora sent groups fleeing. There is a stronger tie between us today.

As far as remedying goes, at this stage in my life I have come to understand from my reading; from my experiences; from my patterns that I am nothing more than a bundle of habits. To create another aspect of self, I see with clarity that the remedy is in watchfulness. Like any good author, I sit back and observe. What story will unfold? If “the character” moves forward with these particular sets of behaviors what is the inevitable outcome?

And so, I use mindfulness practice and watch myself. To reconstruct the ending, I need to teach myself new behaviors and new habits. In my 71st year, this will be my main “project.”

The inevitable outcome will be to harmonize my youthful, jagged and unskilled methods of reacting while keeping the goals and the heart felt yearnings in place.

 

fitting in

fitting in

The result for me, in this year of finding my feet is to allow fire. The result for me will be knowing how to rest peacefully at times and how to burn brightly at others. I am finally reconciled to my own nature. And I thank whatever miracle happened to keep me alive to experience this time of acceptance.
“Life teaches you how to live it if you live long enough,” Tony Bennett said.

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Picking Threads

I am systematically working on building new habits. Researchers have said that we are nothing more than a bundle of habits.

patterns

 

We believe ourselves to be this face, this body, this story, this history, this actor, this receiver, this age, this cohort, this tapestry of threads woven into our energy field. We believe ourselves to be conscious and operating from the Executive decision function section of the frontal lobe.

All brain studies point to this assumption as flawed.
We are in the thrall of habit mind. If 95% of what we are telling ourselves throughout the day is simply old drama that is recalculating and interpreting current data, then it is no real surprise that the movie, the plot we are enacting is the same story. However,  this time the narrative is in a different setting. We are the same being only this time wearing as a costume a slightly altered body.
Did I mention, I am systematically working on building new habits.

 
I have a notebook. I have set up a grid. I am checking off squares.
What this does is it releases me from the interpretive dance of what is or could or would or should or will or did happen. The Loie Fuller scarf dance of swooping justifications, lyrical rationalizations, slight of eye, feign of hand, performances of inner dialogue music that normally occur.
I either check off the square or I don’t.

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I admire my ego self. It is so stalwart.

I hover my pen over a square saying, “Well I did walk around in the mall. That is exercise.” The creativity is admirable. The translation is not unlike that on Babble Fish. In one field I put the words and in the other a strange, otherworldly version appears. Breathing is exercise. Napping is physical. Sitting and reading about exercise is working toward my goals. Shopping for an exercise outfit is focus on that desired outcome. Right. Right? Right!
How I untangle the threads is with alertness. I have set up my reticular activation system to recognize successes. I have checked off doing weight for three days in a row because I do not have a vague goal of “exercise”. My goals are specific habits which I am entraining: yoga, weight lifting, and walking for no purpose.
Walking for no purpose gets rid of the “automatic out,” that ego tries to create. Mowing the lawn is walking. But it is not walking unleashed from a secondary goal. I cannot ingrain a habit without the recognition of the very habit which I am constructing.
That way lies madness. Or strange babblefish translations of ego talk.
I could be “burning calories” by eating with an incredibly heavy fork that I need to place 500 yards away and run back and forth to take that satisfying chomp of food.
All I have done is entrain eating.
Oh, the ego monster is sooo tricky.
For now, I am happy with my list. I am pleased when I put down a check mark and I stay in a place wherein I know who I will effortlessly be after a three month focus on building those particular habits.
Because, it ain’t magic. It ain’t a tragedy. It ain’t a heroic struggle to climb out of an awakening volcanic cone to the tiny pin light of the surface.
I am just a bundle of habits.
Did you follow my thread?

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