IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE

The thing is beginnings are always hard. You know that. You circle and circle, filling in, wasting and passing time. Then you get sick of the nagging, weighty thing dragging your butt down and down. So you sit down and begin. So here I go with my tap, tapping for the day.

 

 

Arriving at acceptance of things as they are – that the earth has 10 years less 2 days to survive, have set me free – maybe not completely but a bit more. Why? There’s no time to lose/waste/mope. I saw my purpose which is to enjoy the time left. Thanks to Professor Guy McPherson’s advice, I’ve decided that excellence, love and what I love to do are worthy goals to pursue. I was already on that pursuit with my year of doing different, but now I have a clearer vision of it.

In the presence of our recent dramatic climate change, it is difficult to ignore impermanence, that our earth will not be here in another 10 years – less 2 days now. Given that premise, nothing matters anymore and everything matters still. A contradiction I know, but for me it holds much truth, wisdom and comfort.

The nothings that don’t matter are the things outside of me, the things that I have no control of – what others think and do, keeping up with the Jones and Smiths, etc. etc. etc. The things that matter are the things within me, the things that I CAN control – how I speak, how I behave, how I choose. I choose to make my life matter, to take an interest, to find what makes me smile. I choose to live in a way I give back to the earth as well as harvest from it. I choose to pursue excellence in body, mind and spirit. 10 years less 2 days is still worth pursuing.

 

 

 

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LAST NIGHT

The morning is cool and overcast. Hard to get going. More so if I don’t make a start. So here goes. I’m tap, tapping on my keyboard, however I feel. As I tap, the sun came out, giving me a boost.

Last night I fell asleep with nature crackling thunderously overhead. Through the opened window, I saw lightning flashing in the dark. I felt surprisingly good surrounded by the furies of the Universe. I felt calmed by its energy. I heard its message. I’m doing the best I can – not to contribute to the destruction of our precious earth. I’m not feeling optimistic about our survival though. News of heat waves and fatalities in India and Europe, more turbulant air flights resulting in injuries and a summer of weird weather are convincing me of the truth. We are heading towards our last 10 years less a day.

 

I’m really a bit shocked at how calm and accepting of this truth I am. I am not at all frightened nor panicky. Perhaps I’m depressed but maybe not. The most amazing thing I’ve learned this year is when I let go of the fears – let all my shoes fall (or tossed into my garbage bin), there is no crash on the cement. I fall on a bed of feathers.  I hear the wisdom of Professor McPherson’s advice.

“I think hope is a horrible idea. Hope is wishful thinking. Hope is a bad idea – let’s abandon that and get on with reality instead. Let’s get on with living instead of wishing for the future that never comes.

“I encourage people to pursue excellence, to pursue love, to pursue what they love to do. I don’t think these are crazy ideas, actually – and I also encourage people to remain calm because nothing is under control, certainly not under our control anyway.”

I could use a little more humour, too. Have you seen the move, Last Night? It’s an excellent Canadian black humour about a group of people facing the end of the world. Check it out.

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WANTING TOO MUCH OF TOO LITTLE

Sometimes I sound like a stuck record. I mostly talk about getting things done, about getting the house in order. I’ve been talking about it for years now. I wonder if that’s what you talk about, too. Have we been brainwashed by Martians and aliens from outer space? We certainly have created a niche for many entrepreneurs like Marie Kondo, closet organizers, declutters and minimalists of kinds. Have these people made us into thinking we have too much stuff? Do we really need to streamline, get rid and fold everything into thirds and tuck into tiny little boxes?

Life is such an irony. We have people telling us we need more. More is success. Bigger is better. New and shiny is wonderful so they make things that breaks easily and you can’t fix. And there are no more little repair shops. You have to buy warranties. What you have is more stuff that doesn’t work and less money in the bank. Then the other people come and sell you stuff to organize what you are trying to rid.

I feel like a victim, falling for all the pitches. I’m easily swayed by the ads, free promos and flattering. Here I am today, owner of much stuff and how to do, how to help yourself, how to…books. I’ve waken up though. I’m seeing the extremes of both sides. I’m trying to think for myself. I’m figuring and tapping out my own how to’s. Then I’m going to DO it. I haven’t read a book yet where they tell you have to stop researching and accumulating information. That the want of a Marie Kondo drawer/closet is very addictive. It is but you have to stop, think and DO your own stuff, your own way.

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MANTRAS AND CHEERLEADERS

I’m here again. It’s hard to start until I start. The morning was so grey and cloudy. It was painful to get up, dress up and show up. It helps to have a mantra and projects. A mantra is like a rah, rah, rah – a cheerleader in my ear. Get up. Dress up. Show up. Now! Then there’s Sheba, barking up a storm. She had to go out and chew grass. Better out than making a mess in the house. Very good incentives this morning.

So here I am again, tap, tapping on my keyboard. All the dog hair are dealt with. My head was feeling like the floor- hairy. There was no getting around or ridding it without the vacuum. My new way of thinking and doing is not to beg the question. When I see something that needs doing, just do it. Don’t delay or avoid. It’s harder than you think. It’s all in my head, I know. So I MAKE myself do the thing that needs doing – unless there’s an emergency. Then, of course, that is the thing that needs attending.

The vacuuming done, I mopped up Sheba’s throw up on the door mat, gathered up all the floor mats. They are laundered and drying out in the sun. Lunch and dishes are tended to. I have a rest day from exercise. It was much needed. I felt an ache in every bone getting up this morning. It was groaner time. So I am pleased that I have progressed past that and sitting here with a few things accomplished. Now – a cup of tea, a little art and the chakras.

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MY TAPPING SOLUTION

The dishes are done. The rhubarb crisp is in the oven and the pork roast is marinading. I’ve come to this space to tap out my angst and settle into good place. It might not be what Nick Ortner would call The Tapping Solution but it works well for me. I am finding the pressure points with my fingertips.

I’m having a little trouble settling in. The dog is barking. Someone is walking a dog by the window. A litany of barking and me yelling ensues. Okay. Everyone is quiet now. I sip my tea, frown, and tap. Not every tap is successful. That’s how it is but I’m sitting HERE. I’m setting priorities, dealing with issues, charting my progress.

I would like to think that I have made progress. Last night I came across THE WRITE MOOD – a journal for all your feelings, frenzies, rants and celebrations. It had different coloured pages – orange for rage, purple for passion, blue for blues, green for joyous jottings. I think I just wrote on page 1 and carried on. Glancing through, I sounded blue, and badly blue most of the time. As far back as 2007 but probably eons before that, I was writing about my messy, clutterbug self. I’m still at it though I don’t whine about the blues. Mostly they went away on their own feet. Feelings are not real, though they sure feel like it. They are not who I am.

 

The rhubarb crisp is done. I get up and the dog follows. Pitter patter. It’s like having a magnet attached to me.The crisp smells delicious. Looks good,too. Have to wait for the taste test. It doesn’t seem the worse leaving it half put together in the fridge and baking the next day. A consideration and note made of dividing labour into stages for other things in the future.

It’s a good day. I think I have my priorities. I got up, dressed up and went to my exercise class. I’m doing the things I set out to do. Well – my list is a mental one in my head. My reward system for showing up is putting a sticky strip (=$1) into my glass cannister each time I show up here. It was full of old alchol swabs that came home in my uniform pockets from work. I’ve finally dumped them. They were all dried out. I move at a snail’s pace but I AM moving. Hallelujah!

 

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MY NEXT PLAN

I wonder why I am so busy. I would like to just sit, rest or read a book at ease. But there’s something needing doing all the time – bread to be made, groceries to put away. Everywhere I look, I see dust, dirt and Sheba’s hair. How can I rest? How can I sit at ease? Why do I keep asking these same old questions? Why do I walk down the same streets and fall down the same old flipping holes?  I’ve worked through a whole year of doing different. Life remains tough. What is my next plan?

One thing for sure is I can’t wait till I’m all caught up with everything. I have to keep moving –  a little faster and further each day. Otherwise, I will never get out of the damn hole. A little cussing gives me a bit of oomph,  a little more power. Maybe it can boost me up to the edge and I can crawl out.

I’m feeling more calm and focus with each tap, tap of the keyboard. I have to find my way here more often. It is what is helping to slow my thinking mind so that I can do instead of racing around breathlessly in my head. I don’t need to move faster. I need to slow down and set priorities, taking time to figure out what helps/doesn’t help, make lists, keep records/journals….

I’m feeling better. Planning is grounding. I don’t feel like gnashing my teeth anymore. The dishes are in the washer. It’s going round and round. The rhubarb crisp is half started. It can rest in the fridge. Tomorrow is another day.

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THE DAY AFTER MY YEAR

IMG_8234The day after my year of doing different I am feeling quite crossed and unpleasant. I feel ugly meanness and not niceness oozing out of me. I decide that I would try to go into quietness and sit with it for awhile. Maybe I can befriend the feeling and see where it goes. I will try the newness of not fixing. It will be difficult, for I’m the fix-myself queen.

The tap tap on the keyboard has a soothing rhythm. I’m feeling and listening to the sound. It reminds me of Rhythm of the Falling Rain.

 

I hear the opening bar of thunder, then the cascading falling of the rain, the melody and simple lyrics. It’s pretty, it’s lovely. My body moves to the rhythm. My lips mouth the words. I am not stirring up more uglies in me.

The wrinkles in my mind are ironed out, the uglies and meanness recede. Only I had felt them. They are not my outerwear. They are not broadcast over loudspeaker system. I am not what I feel. I do not have to repent and do 50 hours of community work. I am saved from myself by myself. Hallelujah!

IMG_8382What I know for sure is the earth is round. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It will do so every day unless we screw up and self destruct. What goes up must come down. I am not unique. Therefore I am not alone in my feelings. There are good habits and then there are bad habits. What I know for sure is I’ve strengthened my good ones during the 365 days of doing different. No matter how I feel, I get up, dress up and show up. It is a very good motto. Work it!

 

 

 

 

 

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