Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: jon kabat-zinn

I Have Nothing To Say?

Me? With nothing to say? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Welcome to my train of thought!

I came online late this morning with every intention of posting that I wouldn’t be posting today, intentionally. It’s not that I forgot or ran out of time. I simply don’t have anything to say.

nothing to say

I’ve been reading, journaling, and thinking all morning. “In my head” as the saying goes. I have a lot to work on in there. I wish I had an excellent therapist that lived nearby, that I could call and say, “Do you have a couple hours to walk with me and hear me out? I need some feedback on this.”

Oh, and the money to pay for such professional “help.”

Yeah, I know. “Get a friend!” But friends need to be kept, relationships maintained. Some of the things I think, consider, and want to get off my chest, would make a “friend” run away. Too much of a chance laying that on a poor friend.

So here I am…not posting because I don’t have ANYTHING to say.

Yep. Welcome to my mind.

Once I opened my laptop and started typing the words, all the others started knocking on my door to come out and play.

Here’s the first. A quote from Andre Gide’s So Be it: or The Chips Are Down (1952)

“Believe those who are seeking the truth;
doubt those who find it;
doubt everything,
but don’t doubt yourself.”

I heard it quoted on the Secular Buddhism podcast yesterday and it rang so hard in my head, I scribbled it down to look up later, and then I DID! That’s how you know it resonated with me, I remembered it.

I don’t think we need to say much about it. Do we? I mean, it sounds like brilliant advice, advice I’ve been following all my life. Except the “don’t’ doubt yourself” part. I’m still trying to uninstall that software.

Here’s another. It’s from Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I read it last month and posted about, extensively. I’m still re-reading it before my morning meditation, digging up the gems and storing them for future use.

“The next time you feel a sense of dissatisfaction, of something being missing or not quite right, turn inward just as an experiment.
…make a place for yourself…
Just sit. Reside at the center of the world. Let things be just the way they are.”

Sounds like torture. And it is. It’s kind of where I am this morning. My MO is to turn to something to “fix” that feeling, quick before it gets worse. It never works. I make it worse by reacting to a feeling that may or may not be indicative of reality. So, I’m trying it.

I’m sitting here. I’ve read, journaled, thought, read again, jotted down a note, taken a few breaths. I think it’s almost time to set it down and get on with my day. I have things to do. I’ll come back to these feelings later, now that I have them down on paper, and see if they mean anything. I’ll keep you posted!

Last one. This is from The Anxious Hearts Guide by Rikki Cloos, which I’m (unfortunately) reading my Kindle. I really have to stop falling for that. I want the book NOW and see it’s on Kindle, when I know I’m not the best at reading on my phone. I can’t make notes the way I want. I need to see and feel paper, all spread out in front of me!

“A deep-seated feeling that you’re not worthy of love is the culprit here. Insecure attachers tend to have the unfortunate trait of holding a deep, unsettling belief that they are inherently unlovable.

Contrary to what your brain is telling you, you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. You are actually lovable right now, as is, without any improvement at all. But without the self-awareness, self-work, and efforts to curb your problematic and toxic relationship behaviors, we’re going to end up pushing away anyone who is trying to love us in spite of our flaws.”

Before you rush to comment that I am loved, and YOU do like me, the problem here isn’t between you and me. It’s between me and me. I’m not my biggest fan and I’m slowly starting to see that that really needs to change. I’m working on it. This blog is part of that.

I wish I had found books like these thirty years ago. Where would I be right now?

How’s that for having nothing to say?

My post about deliberately not posting today so that I can continue my train of thought has now concluded. Thanks for being here. Comments are (as always) highly appreciated.

Parenting as Practice

The chapter, Parenting as Practice, that I read from Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn this morning made me cry. It was far too beautiful and rang a reminder bell in my heart. And the concept does not only apply to parents, but grandparents, and even non-parents as well.

“You could look at each baby as a little Buddha or Zen master, your own private mindfulness teacher, parachuted into your life, whose presence and actions were guaranteed to push every button and challenge every belief and limit you had, giving you continual opportunities to see where you were attached to something and to let it go.”

If you have been a parent, you know this is true. If you’ve ever told our teenage or young adult children, “Just wait till you have kids!” you know it. Children are not burdens to bear, they are tiny teachers from the universe, if you allow them to be.

Not only children can be seen as a teacher, but everyone that comes into your life, albeit on a less constant stress inducing way. What if we treated people we met in the world as if they were sent to teach us something important? That talkative grocery store worker, the fast-food cashier that can’t get your order right, the slow driver on the freeway, the co-worker that won’t leave you alone to read on your breaks, are all there to impart some lesson.

Each interaction puts up a mirror to us. How would I want to be treated in this situation? What’s my part in creating a better world?

“The deep and constantly changing needs of children are all perfect opportunities for parents to be fully present rather than to operate in the automatic pilot mode, to relate consciously rather than mechanically, to sense the being in each child and let his or her vibrancy, vitality, and purity call forth their own.”

When they are babies, one thing soothes them quickly and then suddenly doesn’t. They happily eat one food then hate it. They are growing so fast, and their tastes, needs, and wants change with them. You have to stay aware if you want to keep up. No autopilot allowed, not even cruise-control for a bit of a stretch.

When my oldest son was very young, he did not appreciate loud, sudden noises. For some strange reason he didn’t mind his own noise, just the noise of others. I learned to warn him if were going to start the vacuum near by him. One day, when he was around eight or nine years old, I brought the vacuum into the living room while he was playing a video game.

“Hey, kiddo! I’m vacuuming.”

“Yeah, I know. I can see.”

“I didn’t want to startle you.”

“Mom, I’m not two anymore. Sheesh!”

I wanted to say, “And last week you were?!” but I held my tongue. Best to meet exasperation with kindness. Instead, I replied, “You’re growing up so fast, sometimes I miss it.” He smiled in return, “Don’t blink, Mom!”

I tried not to, but the next thing I knew they were all gone out of the house and didn’t need me anymore. It’s a fascinating (and terrifying) process, if you ask me. I wasn’t always on my toes, aware of the moment, making the kinder choice. I lost my shit many times. I’ve found the trick is expressing remorse and asking for a bit more love when I failed. They have returned the favor many times.

“Parenting is a mirror that forces you to look at yourself. If you can learn from what you observe, you just may have a chance to keep growing yourself.”

Parenting in any capacity, as a parent, stepparent, grandparent, etc., teaches you something about yourself that you cannot learn anywhere else. Children are miracles, little resource sucking miracles that bring smiles and tears, joy and pain, with every waking minute.

Seeing parenting as practice is something I believe I was doing, unconsciously back then, but now I see it everywhere. In every interaction, I wonder, “How can I meet this person in a better way?”

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