A Call to Action (Again)

Well, I have managed not to be political for quite a few days, thanks to my sister’s visit, which distracted me to other much more pleasant things. Like family, hanging out on the beach, in the pool and the hot tub, eating really good food, going to the beach markets. It was awesome really, to not be so focused on the incredible stuff going on in our government.

Not that I didn’t know, or pay attention. My whole family is on the same page as me, when it comes to what is happening to our country. So we talked about it, quite a bit. It’s just, it was not the focus of our time together, of course. tRump couldn’t steal that from us.

His press conference yesterday though, was just so delusional. So defensive, so full of lies and lies and lies. Geezus. It’s so bad that Fox news is not even completely backing him up. Twice I’ve shared on FB video from them that is in disbelief of his lies to the people of this country. As one of my friends said, and I copied, “ok hell has frozen over. I’ve posted something from Fox.”

Yesterday I found out they introduced a bill whose only wording was that “The Environmental Protection Agency shall be terminated on December 21, 2018.” HR 861. That’s not part of HR 861. That is it, in it’s entirety.

This morning I saw that they have introduced HR 610, the School Choice Act, which according to the Network for Public Education would “eliminate the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was passed as a part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.”  Federal funds would be used instead to create “block grants” to be used to “distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child.” It would also roll back nutritional standards for free lunches for poor children. So….we could actually be funding Betsy DeVos’s children’s prep school education. Taking food out of the mouths of disadvantaged children to do it.

And just so you know….prep schools offer scholarships, particularly for sports. My son was offered 2 partials to play hockey. My ex went to one on a full scholarship to swim. My friend’s son went to one on an academic scholarship. What we need to do is enable the public schools to offer all our children the same kind of education, regardless of their athletic prowess. Just for ya-ya’s, look at a prep schools financials sometime. They have endowments that are unbelievable. They send out news letters, and ask if anyone can donate a grand piano for their new state of the art theater. I used to get them at my house. They don’t need public money to exist. But the public schools do.

Then of course, soon we will see his new immigration order, and he promises by March (can’t remember the time in March) to introduce a health care bill to replace the ACA.

I am riled enough to want to do something. But what? Well, the other day there was an article on how Paul Ryan has blocked his office phones and fax, and will turn away anyone who stops by with petitions. So, they published his home address, and asked us to send postcards there, with the tangential thought, “wonder what 67 million postcards in the driveway would look like.”

I’m thinking that today, I’m going to get some postcards, some munchies, some wine and invite the people I know here to my house for a postcard writing party. They’ll have to get their own stamps. But it might be fun. Could maybe even turn it into a potluck. Who knows. I think I could gather maybe 8 or 10 people, but hell, even if they can’t all make it, it would be fun with whoever showed up. My friend and I were laughing last night, saying, yeah, I might even spring for picture postcards, lol.

I have believe, and still believe, that this administration, particularly this man, will implode on itself. But in the meantime, until that happens, the damage they can do to our country, to our children, is very terrible. It’s disastrous. We need to act, to keep the damage to a minimum.

Every time I’ve called a senator or representative, I’ve gotten a busy signal. I’ve faxed them a few times. I like the idea of the sheer volume of postcards. More voices in less space. And not to just send them to Ryan but to our own senators and representatives, as well as any others that are in a position to stop it, like the heads of committees, etc.

So maybe I’m late on the bandwagon here. I’ve been saying I was going to send postcards, maybe not here in my blog, but to my friends. But now I’m going to actually try to do it, in some kind of organized fashion that will be fun, so I can get others to join me.

It just makes me feel better, not to be sitting on the sidelines. And sharing stories and memes on FB is not really enough. It allows me to feel I’ve raised my voice, but really….the people who read my stuff on FB already agree with me. There are maybe 3 or 4 of my friends who voted for the Cheetoman, but honestly, I know they are reasonable enough people to see the lunacy and danger that he’s putting us through now.

BTW, I love Time Magazines new cover. I saw it on FB, but am unable to copy and paste it here. tRump sitting at his desk in the oval office, with a hard wind blowing his comb-over, and a huge stack of papers blowing across the desk, his red tie blowing sideways, and his poker face on. The caption above says, “Nothing to see here”. Here’s the twitter link, https://twitter.com/TIME/status/832230377498488832/video/1

Here’s the Mother Jones link, who put it up on FB.

http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/02/time-magazine-donald-trump-first-month-in-office

To end this semi-rant, though I’m not angry, just called to action, I will put up a link to an article from the Huffington Post.  It’s advice from Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist Master and one of the greatest teachers of our time, on coping with tRump.  He founded “Engaged Buddhism”, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by his friend Dr. Martin Luther King.  It’s worth reading, for sure.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/zen-and-the-art-of-activism_us_58a118b6e4b094a129ec59af

It’s a new day, time to try something new. It will help pass the time til L comes home, anyway, lol.

Love and light, all.

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Reconnecting

I had a very hard time getting to sleep last night. I was up at midnight, writing. I have heard wakefulness is a curse of many writers. It seems to be mine lately, for sure. I wrote, some things that I won’t ever publish, just trying to express whatever it was that was stuck inside and trying to get out.  Leaning in, as Brene Brown advises, to the discomfort. Often that helps, just to write out whatever comes to mind, without a whole lot of worry about the mechanics. But still, as I sat on the couch, I was wide awake.

Saved on my computer is a short meditation, “The Great Bell Chant (The End to Suffering)”. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1ZwaEzMtJw ) . It has always given me some peace to watch this video, or simply to listen to it. I put it on, and after the first minute, closed my eyes. It isn’t too long, about 7 or 8 minutes. It is the first thing that helped me to begin to relax, and center myself.

When it ended I clicked on another suggestion on Youtube, for an Om Chant. It said it was 3 hours, but I thought, just let me listen for a few minutes, maybe it will clear my mind, remembering years ago a meditation group in which we listened to chanting for at least an hour, in the dark, and how I was always able to somehow shut down the monkey mind in my head. This video was simply a recording of Buddhist monks chanting OM, over and over again. Deep resonant voices. Listening to them, focusing in on them, my eyes finally began to close, and restfulness finally came to me. I found the same video on my phone, went to bed, and put it on. It was supposed to play for 3 hours. I don’t know if it did, lol, because finally I fell asleep, and slept until about 6:30. Only about 5 hours of sleep, but enough, especially for someone who’s retired, lol.

A few times in the last couple of days I’ve seen the term “metta” associated with Buddhism. Not because I was in particular reading or looking for information on Buddhism. The word just showed up, on FB, in my email newsletters. So this morning I googled it, and found a fascinating (to me) article on what it is, and how it’s practiced. ( http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/facets_of_metta.php ) It’s one of the 4 sublime states of Buddhism that leads to enlightenment. It kind of goes along with my post about unconditional love, but extends that love to oneself equally with extending it to others. You have to make yourself happy first, basically. And in serving others, you will find you make yourself happy. But, you can’t defer to others wishes if doing so makes you unhappy.

I slept well at my sisters, because I was helping her, and her friends, and it made me very happy to be there. I came home, to my little house that I love, but it was empty, devoid of that human connection, or so I thought. But connections remain, there is no space or time in regards to a connection. In focusing in on the OM meditation, I reconnected to myself, which reconnected me to all in a loving way. And I went to sleep.

And so the journey continues. Love and light.

Sorry…I Couldn’t Help Myself

You know, everyone has to learn their lessons in their own time, in their own way.  You don’t have to teach them, in fact, you can’t.  You’re not the jackass whisperer.  Go on about your life, and be happy.  But remember if you have the choice to right or be kind, always choose kind.  Then you’ll always be right.  (So says the Dalai Lama….and I think he’s very close to the source….)

Trying to Honor My True Self, and Get Back to the Me I Know

Today I was reminded of an old Buddhist saying, “Meditate every day for 10 minutes, unless you think you don’t need to, then do it for an hour.”

I meditate every morning for 15 minutes.  This morning I found myself anxious for it to be over, towards the end.  Then  i remembered that saying and realized that I was in my ego mind, thinking I had other important thins to do.  I went back to the meditation, and finished it peacefully.

This morning I chose “Honoring Your True Self” from the choices on my Deepak Chopra meditation app on my phone.  I chose that because I have been beating myself up a lot lately, and needed the reminder that I need to forgive myself for the situation I placed myself in, that I did it from a level of consciousness that I was at at the time, I did it out of love.  You know that old “When we know better we do better.”

I’m doing better.  Not so angry with him or myself this morning, nor hurt, I see other things in my life gaining importance and that dysfunction moving into the past.  It’s not quite there yet.  I loved that man so much, I have been trying to come to a place where the love mutates into the unconditional love I have for everyone.  Not the painful, I miss you I need you thing. I don’t feel that most of the time, because when I do, I am able now to look at it and see what was real, and know that it was never going to give me what I crave.  I hoped it would, but I know now it would not, and that there is someone out there who wants the same thing I want.  I will find him.  I don’t want to grow old without a loving companion, and because I know the universe hears my request, I will find him.

I suppose a lot of my serenity this morning comes from my meditation.  I hope it lasts through the day.  I feel like I’ve been running on empty for days, and I’m finally slowing down enough to renew my spirit and my soul.  Probably has something to do with taking 2 Ambien last night too, lol.  I overused my arm with carpal tunnel yesterday and it was killing me all night, so I took 2 Ambien because 1 Ambien was not letting me sleep through the pain.  I am groggy, but I slept at least.  I’ll be more careful with it today.

Beautiful day today.  Going to try to stay in the moment, Gonna try hard to honor myself.  Peace out.

Stop the Ride! Please!

I keep thinking that I’ve figured out how to get off the merry-go-round.  You know, that feeling, that you’ve been going around and around and not getting anywhere.  Riding a horse that you can close your eyes and with a real good imagination believe it’s real for a moment. Ah, such bliss in that fake horse, for the short time that you make it real.  But, you open your eyes and there you are on a fake horse going nowhere.

Suddenly, you want off.  You have things to do, places to go, people to meet, a reality to deal with.  You just want off.  So, you dig in your heels and try to slow it down so you can get off with out smashing your face into the ground.  You ask the man who runs the throttle to please slow it down, so you can dismount.  But you’re dependent on his good nature, his time-table, you don’t know if the glint in his eye means he enjoys seeing people flying off the horses or if he has some compassion for those that need to leave.

I went to a gong bath Thursday night.  During an exceptional “white noise” tsunami, which is when the gong players play them so loud and hard that the sound and the vibrations absolutely don’t allow a thought, only emotions, I cried out, asking for resolution. I surrendered.  (It’s lovely when you cry out during a tsunami, no one hears you except God, or your inner self….).  I turned it over to the greater powers that be, to resolve how they saw fit, trusting that it would be in my best interest.

I was up all night (thus my poem, Sleepless).  Caused, as usual by expectations, attachment.  (OH Buddha, I can’t figure out how to not be attached. And not having expectations is hard….) I expected a certain outcome, which I thought was realistic, on Wednesday night.  Let’s just say, I was disappointed.  I was suddenly snapped back into the past, with old fears, old issues.

Thursday morning, I was on an emotional edge all day, it wouldn’t have taken much to push me into the abyss, a gentle push, maybe one little finger in the small of my back, as I peered over the edge and idly wondered what was at the bottom.  Of course, I remembered, later.  Grateful that I didn’t make the leap to find out what I already knew. It’s never good down there.

Back to surrender…..and the vibrational healing of the gongs.  I was subdued after the bath, I went home, I was in bed not long after.  I was exhausted, as if I’d been up for days, and carrying a heavy burden while I walked.  I lay down, sure I would pass out and of course, did not.  Until about 4 am.  I sobbed, I cried, i asked. I lay there numb. I got up and walked around, I sat by the window, I put on my meditation music over and over, changing the cd’s at 2 am.  I asked…please get me off this merry-go-round.  Trusting that it would be resolved to my highest good.  To everyone’s highest good.

So, come Friday, I had to go to work on 2 or 3 hours sleep.  Again, still, I had what I thought was a realistic expectation for Friday night.  But the offer I got, was a long way from the one I wanted.  My gut did a flip flop and screamed “NOOOOOO….” and so, I refused it.  Knowing that my gut is much more tied in to what’s better for my highest good than my mind, which toyed for a second or two with accepting far less than I wanted.  Because it would have given me a little pleasure to accept and then a lot of pain.

Listen to your gut, always listen to your gut.

Last night I discussed the offer….with the one who made it.  But I didn’t cry.  I didn’t even get mad or upset.  I’m not angry about it.  I’m disappointed but I am accepting the reality that it is what it is.  Reality.  And I guess this is the way the universe is working it out in my best interest.  So be it.  It seems that there is really no reason to accept less than I dream of, in this one life that I have.  (At least in this lifetime, I only have this one life….) It seems it is dishonest to my inner being to change myself to become what someone else needs.  (Which I know, I have done that before much more blatantly.)

Well, the story is not ended yet.  It isn’t quite over I guess.  I am willing to ride it out, to see where it goes.  But I’m not afraid and I think I have a more realistic expectation of the outcome.

But damn, I didn’t want to go to Florida alone.  Sigh……

With Love and Gratitude, Good bye.

So I broke it off with him. I spent the night with him the night before he went in the hospital. I was scared. I was allowing myself to love him, setting myself up for hurt again, at some point. But I didn’t let it stop me. I thought about how I wanted to be there for him. I wanted him to have a nice memory to think of and wake up to when he came out of the anesthesia. I wanted him to know that someone cared how he was, and whether or not he hurt, or felt alone. I wanted that. I loved him. I loved him whole heartedly, without consideration of what he had done. It was true and honest and I don’t regret it.

The two days he was at the hospital, I worried over him. He didn’t get me the patient code as he’d promised, so I had to go through roundabout ways to find out if he was ok, or spending the night, or released. People I worked with didn’t understand why I cared so much. Hell, I didn’t understand. But I did. That’s all. I did. So I talked to him that night, and the next morning. He was in so much pain. I would have liked to just be there, sitting beside him. Just so he didn’t have to open his eyes and be alone.

But that wasn’t the way it was. There was too much water under the dam. I was going to take the time off from work, but he chose to go it alone. As he always does. I was afraid, anyway, to be so close to him. Because I still loved him, and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he did not feel the same.

But then, what he thinks of me is none of my business. Right? I don’t know if it’s smart to allow myself to be so vulnerable. But I did, it’s done. I don’t think I regret it, because I gave it everything. It was his to accept or deny. He chose denial in the end. Why? I have my theories. But only he knows, somewhere in his soul, why he didn’t want the woman who loved him.

But then the gong bath happened…

And the next morning I woke up and didn’t care that much. I still cared, but not the same way. It was not visceral, it was not that intense, heavy kind of caring. I think it came together for me as a result of the gong bath. Suddenly, I knew he would never love me, that if I stayed with him, I would be repeatedly hurt by him. It is not his fault…it is mine, I stayed knowing he and I were not compatible on many things. One of them is our views on sex, and monogamy. And there were other things…which are none of anyone else’s business, personal things that he and I could not come to common ground on that I kept pushing into the background, because I loved him. But eventually, they would have surfaced, you know…those things you bury don’t die….they rot and fester and make you sick. In a relationship, they make the relationship sick. They cause resentment, and anger, and feelings of rejection, and loss of self esteem. I knew that would happen.

Trouble was, he was still in a lot of pain on Friday. I didn’t want to talk to him about it. Not until he felt better. We talked, I tried to be my same loving self, but I know the difference in how I felt showed through the phone lines. The next day he asked, what exactly is going on with you.

He knew. We have always communicated on a nonverbal plane when we are apart. He knew. Thus began a long and hard conversation. It was still too early to have it, but he knew,and I couldn’t lie. Or pretend it was different. I told him, I still love you, but I don’t think I’m in love with you.

And so, now, after 36 hours of texting, questions, accusations and then an attempt to see me to say good bye, we are done. I was not ready to see him. I don’t think I’m in love with him, but there is still hurt and rejection over the betrayal. Seeing him is painful. I told him, not yet. Maybe later. He got mad. I’m sorry he got mad. I’m sorry I couldn’t just see him and wish him well. But truth is…the wound has healed enough for me to see clearly, but it still hurts. The way an incision hurts under the surface for a longtime. I know we are mis-matched, and I know neither of us would ever be happy going forward. I don’t believe I could ever quite let go of his betrayal if I stayed with him. It would come back every time I felt threatened, every time he flirted with a waitress, or the girl behind the counter at the drug store. I would have made him miserable, and I would have been too. I told him, the prison whore sunk our ship, at the end of the day.

I will miss him. I will miss his flirty, sexual innuendo’d texts. I will miss having him in my life, kind of having a “significant other” after all the years of being alone. I will miss our excursions. Sunday afternoon naps. His wild and crazy stories of his youth. His hands. His passion.

But I won’t miss that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I don’t know where he is. I won’t miss the questions, I won’t miss the distrust that is now there permanently.

Done. Gonna take some time off. Let the wound heal, so that it’s not even tender before I meet the next guy. I don’t want to bring baggage into a new relationship, just like I took off years before I started this one, to try not to bring baggage from my marriage to it. And still, the baggage was there. There is relationship baggage you don’t know about until you are in a relationship, I found out. It wasn’t easy, this first one. But it was fun. It created growth in me. And I know myself much better. I know what I want better today than before I met him.

So…I thank him, I love him. We are done. May we both continue our journey back to source.

Attachment, A Conundrum

Attachment.

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Buddhism teaches us that all suffering comes from attachment. Does that mean all attachment is bad?

 

I have been dating, a very odd experience at my age, to be unmarried at 63. It took me a long time to want to date after my divorce, (5 years), but here I am. One thing I’ve tried to do, because I think I am oh so spiritual, is not become attached to any of the men I have dated.

 

That sounds kind of cold, does it not? But I think…it is not. What I’ve tried to do, is be mindful. When I am with someone, to give them my undivided attention, and time. But over time, do I not think that I might get attached to someone? I don’t know.

 

The last man and I messaged for months. He was not well, I kept him company. Finally we met, and we hit it off…it was just wonderful. We spent the day at a park on our first date, an old estate, on Long Island Sound, and the only reason the date ended was because the park closed. I keep saying I was not getting attached, that I was only enjoying the time with him.

 

But…then I’d check my phone for an email, or text, all the time. I wanted to hear from him. Isn’t that attachment, to a degree? I’m trying to understand the difference. There was a lot of desire, but that’s not attachment. And here’s the thing.

 

When I’m alone, I am fine with it. I don’t need a man with me every second, every minute. I don’t need to wake up with him every day, or go to bed with him every night. But….if I found myself missing this man when he wasn’t here, what is that?

 

If attachment causes suffering, was I suffering because I missed him? It wasn’t unhealthy. It wasn’t the kind of missing him where I was crying, or upset, I just enjoyed his company. We laughed all the time. I don’t laugh much when I’m by myself. But I didn’t feel that I needed him, just wanted him around. Just wanted to hear from him.

 

So…I don’t think I was attached.  Or, was I?  Or the better question is, does it matter?

 

When the relationship went south after a few weeks of bliss, I was sad, that it went south. We discovered some differences that we, or at least I, could not reconcile. He was, apparently, happy to remain as good friends, and have sex, and not evolve as a couple. I was not. Does that mean I was attached? No….because it was easy then, to say, we have to let it be, there is too much distance between us. There was no emotion overriding that, no voices talking in my head saying things like “But you’ll be alone again!” “He might find someone else!” “What are you going to do with yourself?” “You’ll have to start all over again.”

 

None of that came up. I was present every moment. The good ones I enjoyed. I enjoyed the relationship until it was not good. And when it became “not good” I was still present, but able to say, “it’s not good, and it can’t be solved, so love and light….”

 

He didn’t take it well….sadly. I wanted to remain friends, but that wasn’t possible this time. Funny, two men I’ve had relationships with, albeit short ones, both of them stated how they did not want to have a relationship, or fall in love, and both have gotten nasty when it became evident we were not good together. Perhaps, that is attachment. They were attached to an outcome, even if we were not on the same page, knowingly. I was not. I may get a little attached to the man, but not the outcomes, never.

 

I think that’s what causes the suffering with attachment. We get attached to the idea that this is the one. And we get so attached, we don’t want to let go, even when it’s bad for us. Even when that attachment makes us cry every night. Because I’ve been there too. Attached to the outcome that my marriage would last forever, that we’d grow old together, even when it was ruining my health.

 

It can be the outcome of any other situation in your life. Maybe you feel you are going to live in the same house forever but something happens to make you have to leave it. You have to let go. Maybe you dream of your children growing up and living near you and seeing you all the time, but then one of them moves to California when you live in CT, and you have to let go.

 

To be attached to your kids, well…hey, we are human. Of course we are attached to our kids. But can we let them go? Can we let them evolve, under their own power, following their own dream, and let go of the outcome we dreamed about all our lives?

 

As far as attachment being bad, because it causes suffering….well…there’s a whole ‘nother blog.  There are those who would say that suffering is necessary, not good or bad.  Just necessary.  I am one of them.  I think suffering is perhaps the birthplace of growth.  One of my favorite quotes is from Kalil Gibran, “ ‘Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.’” 

 

If you love someone, and you lose them, or they die, it hurts.  For a long time.  You miss them in your life, you miss the closeness, the connection.  As long as you weren’t attached to the outcome, i.e. thinking they would be here forever, sure that you’d be together til old age, as long as you just miss them and hurt because you loved them….I think you’re ok. 

 

It’s the outcomes. If we can just stay with the moment, enjoying the good ones, working through the bad ones….and letting go when we need to, the amount of suffering we will experience will decrease exponentially. We need to learn to say….”Love and light, all blessings to you” and wave goodbye when that is what serves us or the other person

 

I guess that doing that, being able to do that, happens when we realize that joy comes from within us. That everything we need is within us. When we learn to trust the universe, to trust the flow of our good intentions, believe…just believe…that it will all turn out ok. Live like water…….