THIS is how I feel about 2014. I have to because 2013 has been deemed one of the worst.in.recent.memory. It isn't just me I have heard this from several people so the trend ends officially today.
Briefly, what made 2013 so lackluster? For me it was simple. I had the realization and consistent reminders, over and over again, that despite my best life's efforts and people seeing me on the surface as someone who takes no lip, I was in the habit of eating shit. LOL. Whether it was believing in things that were too good to be true/real, trying to be someone I am not to meet expectations set by others or myself due to believing said things, making excuses and concessions for others because I felt I had to (either because I deemed it not worth the energy, because they controlled something I needed/loved, because I was afraid of the long term consequences), or hiding from my own personal truth I have done myself a disservice of the soul in the past year.
I have been on autopilot and trudging through the mud like a zombie too lazy to even search for brains. As a lazy zombie, I know I need brains, I just don't have the gumption to find them so I just trudge along, one zombie foot in front of the other, on and on... LOL.
I talked in my last blog entry about ending the year and placing a word of focus for the new one. I had not yet settled on a word. I have now and the word is
That's right. TRUTH. As in what is mine? What is yours? With every breath and every decision and every action I will consider my truth and whether that decision, action, choice is reflective of it. There will be times when it is very clear. There will be others in which finding truth might take some digging. And there will be instances when I will have to concede in order to get to truth eventually. But, those will never again outweigh the former.
So, no matter what your resolution is or whether you even make them, I would invite you in the coming year to search for your own truth and live it. I think it is the most important gift we can offer ourselves.
Happy New Year! OK OK I am early by Western standards. But, as I was saying last week at Winter Solstice, my new year has begun. I'll wait for ya'll to catch up. ;)
One of the articles I was reading recently suggested an alternative for the coming year in terms of reflection, resolutions, goals, etc. I have been thinking about this because for whatever reason it rang true to me.
First, in terms of reflection, it suggested on placing a word for the past year in your mind as a means of saying goodbye and moving forward, or as a sign of thankfulness for blessings that you have experienced. I must say that the first word that popped into my head was: drudgery. I know that is not a particularly happy or thankful word but you have some banner periods and some not so bright periods in life I guess. As human animals we do tend to group things by time frame and "years" happens to be a common one so I do not see anything wrong with placing a word on a time and closing the door if that is what needs to happen.
So. Drudgery. Definition - exhausting, boring, unpleasant work. Synonyms - labor, toil, chore, grind, slog. Yup. Kinda covers it. I thought of other words too. Mire. Stagnant. LOL. Oh, that one is better. Stagnant. Definition - still and unmoving: not flowing or moving, not developing or making progress. THERE IT IS. Stagnant. That's my word for 2013. So, let us prepare to
and take the stairs.
I am a real firm believer in onward and upward as a mindset. We all get tangled in the mire from time to time but the key is to not allow that to impede small progress while you deal with it and also to continue to function daily, lest the mire become the permanent place of residence.
2014 for me is truly a year of new beginnings. The slate has been wiped clean with a super huge swipe and I'm standing in front of an empty chalkboard just waiting to be filled with life.
I have been meditating on a theme for 2014, the other suggestion of the article. Words like awareness, acceptance, acknowledgement are floating around in my mind. I'm not sure any of them fit completely but they all have a part in where 2014 will take me.
I am hopeful about this approach though and as someone who shuns resolutions but acknowledges the feeling of beginnings and commitments this time of year, it seems feasible and a little more soft than the normal "new rules of my life" that everyone makes on January 1st only to break them by mid-February.
I gotta say that it took me by mostly complete surprise to realize that somehow, at some point in my life, in comparison to many of the people that I know, I became the stable one. Steady Eddie. The girl with the calm, cool, collected life. The quiet, no drama person that finds herself nodding her head while her ears are filled with the latest personal gossip, professional malfeasance and general WTF is this person thinking behavior...
I am in awe of this reality and at the same time can look back and admit that despite my best efforts at drama (LOL everyone is doing it that means it must be cool right?) I have always been more or less an observer of this particular human behavior rather than an active participant.
I think that Inara once said it best. I just don't like complications. Drama brings with it a slew of complications and really, who has time for that sort of thing? Yet, even if you are not a fan, you get sucked into other people's drama just be virtue of breathing these days. You can't even say good morning to someone without getting a whole litany of woes and impractical advice lobbed your way.
It is utterly exhausting. I was actually conversing with another individual who is trying (also) to cut down the negativity in her life and therefore cut down on her own negative reactions and thoughts as well. She pointed out that she does not wake up in a bad mood. She doesn't open her eyes and think, oh god, everything is SO f8cked up I think I'll be negative today! Quite the opposite, her eyes are bright and there is a smile on her face right up until the moment she...encounters the rest of the world.
LOL I laughed but there is truth there. Most of us with sharp tongues and wicked thoughts are not truly negative people. I think we are just simply not dull enough to NOT be impacted by the world. There has to be a way to shut it out just enough. There must be a way to be small. Small like I was talking about in another post. Small, focused, in my own universe of my own making and not subject to the craziness of the one I have to operate in on an almost daily basis.
I feel like mastering this would be the next level of peace that those of us seeking truth really desire. Beyond world peace even, LOL, personal peace is of utmost importance. So, I'm contemplating how to go about this and right now it is consuming my thoughts.
I must figure it out or keep praying for the zombie apocalypse!
So, our dining room has white walls. Attached to the dining room is a hallway that leads to Sam's office and our guest room. Also, white walls. WTF? These walls have not been painted in over 20 years. I myself cannot believe this but admit to being part of the excuse making as in oh god look at all the shit I'm gonna have to tape off and it isn't like the walls are very big...
And so, the walls have remained white and I was to the point where they were now really getting on my nerves.
This taping job by far took WAY longer than the gym area because of the wood along the ceiling and the smaller spaces between the doors. You will normally find with painting that taping (and trimming) take so much longer than the actual painting! Grrrrrrrrr.....
I had to move our back bar and wine cabinet too but when I was finished we now have a nice, inviting, warmer green that I color matched to the blinds on our French doors opposite the dining room table.
All in all a very successful couple of projects and Sam did not have to touch a paintbrush!
Over the Thanksgiving holiday I took on two interior painting projects that I had been meaning to do for some time. Sam hates to paint. HATES.TO.PAINT. I actually like painting. Something about the repetitive processes, the fact that it is always the same - you tape, you trim, you paint, you paint, you remove tape... it puts the lotion in the basket, it does this whenever.... Oh shit, whatever. I just like to paint.
We have a finished basement and on one side of it is the "man cave" while on the other side is my "gym" area. A long time ago the entire room had beige carpet and white walls. Oh, the horror.... About 8 years ago I decided to have a redo, or at least a portion of a full makeover. We replaced the carpet with wood floor and painted, upgraded the furniture... We picked a lovely color called "witchhazel" for the man cave portion. Sam wanted the gym area to be vibrant and inspire us to work out. He got stuck on the idea of yellow. Gods, I hate that color. I grew up in a house with faded yellow siding. My mom's kitchen was yellow - that 1970's Tupperware looking yellow.... ewwwwww. Yellow is probably my least favorite color in general. Sorry yellow, I just can't warm up to you. We did finally "agree" (I gave in because I was sick of the discussion) on a shade and up went the new paint.
Fast forward almost a decade. I have used the yellow gym well and even put up artwork that fostered a sense of accepting it. But, the whole room is in need of a serious overhaul and we have discussed options for that. Meanwhile, my training practices have changed somewhat and I am incorporating more yoga, spending more time stretching, meditating, etc. in my space. I need some Zen of color and yellow is not giving it to me!
So, I thought about the feeling I wanted to create, a feeling that will be even more enveloping when we do the full renovation because I will actually have an additional wall in my space, making it more closed off from the man cave portion of the room. Don't worry - I promise pictures of that when the time comes!
The color I chose was a very cool green called "Contented" and although you can't tell very well in the picture above, it compliments the chair rail paneling really nicely.
Half a day and loads of work later I had a lovely, calming space with lots of room to stretch, work and contemplate the physical (and inner) self. I have art work up now, although it is not in the picture because the paint was still drying. I moved the equipment around too so that I could accommodate the need to make the area feel more open and inviting. When we get the wall in I believe it will actually add to this because it will be in the space where I am taking that picture from and I plan to have a row of mirrors and a handrail for assisting with stretching and other exercises. To accommodate yoga, I can face the direction of the window if I do not want to bring the mirrors into my practice.
It is a multi-functional space and now it actually feels inviting!
Next up.....the dining room!
...and as I am sitting here typing this, on a Sunday morning, watching snow fall silently just outside the window, the only sounds being the soft blowing of our house's furnace and the click of the keys...I am hollow.
Hollow from sadness, from longing, from the ever expanding knowledge that there are things well out of my control in my own life and in the world and that those things are vast.
They are expansive and invasive to the heart and soul and most notably, to the mind on a daily basis. How do we go on about our productive business with such knowledge? How do I? How does anyone?
I get very confused in my life as a whole versus my life as a professional because during all hours of my existence as a leader, (whether I ever intended to be one or not and believe me as I child when I dreamed of living in Africa with my lion I did not LOL), I am paid as well as expected to control things. Yes, control things, people, direct movement, make decisions. Make it work is the phrase I am often handed. Well, to that I can damn well say yes sir and then get.shit.done.
So, when we are told by our spiritual Masters, our Yogi, our Totems or even our very deep Soul-Selves - let go....we, or at least I, have a really hard time with the concept. I even practice saying it myself when I am describing things to Sam or trusted friends. "I just need to let go" I will say and they will nod in agreement, none of us having a true clue what that actually entails. I mean, let go? Really? It is painful, and for me, completely counterintuitive.
And I think there is this knowledge that once you truly let go there is no going back. Whether back was "good" or "bad" doesn't even matter. Whether back was a situation that caused you pain or confusion or sadness - letting go means that even the parts that did not cause you these things are no more. Letting go means a release of control and I think that even if a situation a person is trying to control is not going well, there is a sense of the level of fight left in you. You measure yourself by it. You compete with it. It gives you comfort on some level that you are not giving up, letting down, losing the fight.
I don't know about others but I was taught at a very young age that you didn't do those things - give up, let down... You just didn't quit, dammit. This deeply ingrained behavior is not very compatible with letting go.
So, I have no real answer for this feeling or these realizations. I just sit and watch snowflakes drift to the ground and they seem really free to me. They seem like they are not struggling to hold on to anything despite the fact that it is just warm enough that most of them will melt away when they land.