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I signed up for a greeting card making event at the local library this week. I enjoyed it plus it helped me get my mind off my current stress : ) This past year I took a course on Invitation to Change which is for family members dealing with addiction. It teaches you to take time to do something for you, take a pause and take care of you. So that is what I now try to practice and if one attends a support on line group meeting you share with the group “your win” for the week. What you did for yourself.
Tomorrow will be the last time I will do something for the first time. I am invited to find a few words on the occasion of the farewell ceremony of the young man who recently passed away much too soon, whom I had the great gift to accompany intensely the last 6 months. To allow inner contact with the dear people who will come together. To bless and to let the words and spirit rise naturally, to trust to be in the moment and to be open for the words coming from the heart instead of preparing much in advance is new to me also but feels much better than to prepare something like a speech in advance. Humbly (and a bit afraid also, but not too much) looking forward to it.
I think when I am pushing myself – not to “learn” something new, but to discover. The discovery is a revelation, an ah-hah, a revealing. It is like contemplating a koan or a parable. They turn my understanding upside down and show something previously unseen. It is these discoveries that are the first times for me.
Knitted three toques in the past year, an advancement from scarves. What could be next? A sweater!
This week I will make spanakopita for the first time.
I don’t want to lay blame, but being the parent of a young child limits spontaneity. Last night, I deviated from our usual weekday schedule by going grocery shopping in the evening, and my child stayed up an hour-and-a-half later than usual. It was difficult for my partner and me.
All this is to say that I need to look for the small victories here. I remember a time in my life that I might just drop by an introduction to Buddhism seminar on a whim, but that is no more.
Some days, I walk my child to school then walk home by myself. This Monday, I decided to take a different route. I ended up getting a little turned around because I chose not to use my map. But I got to see a new part of my neighborhood, and I got some exercise. Generally, walking like that is pretty calming for me, so I was grateful for that.
My life has changed so much since 2018 that I don’t know what to say. I’ve had to learn to accept what I can no longer physically do. The loss if some of my independence has been hard but I have learned to ask for help. Something, I was never good at doing.
When was the last time I did something for the first time? Honestly, I can’t think of any thing. That said, I greet each day with willingness. I wrote an entry in my 2016 journal that I titled: “Walking on the Wild Side” so if you need a chuckle this morning, you might want to check it out. And, also, I tried a new cookie recipe yesterday for the first time. I baked on cookie sheet of that dough. Put the dough back in the refrigerator and plan to doctor it up today. Who knows I may create a cookie to die for!
A small thing, perhaps: Yesterday I rode transit for the first time in a town I’ve visited before where I’ve previously walked, biked, and driven. Riding a bus provides a slice of the everyday life of a place. I didn’t grow up riding transit– they didn’t have a bus in the Idaho farm country I lived in as a child or the Spokane Valley, WA, suburb I lived in as a teen. Now I use transit regularly and am so glad that’s a skill I acquired. I made sure my daughters knew how to ride the bus at a young age, and they used to take their friends on “field trips” to demonstrate how easy it was to go places without having to ask your parents to drive. Having this skill will contribute to my transportation independence as I age out of other modes (although I plan to switch to a tricycle if my balance eventually isn’t good enough for my bicycle and keep rolling).
I do not use it and would be clueless … do they still use cash or can you swipe to pay when you get on?
Cash payment still an option. That’s really important for people who are unbanked so it’s a design equity issue.
I live in Los Angeles, a city known for its car culture. About 10 years ago, I started using public transit as my primary means of transportation, and I am blown away by how foreign it is to so many people. I am sure that 75% or more of the people I know can go a year at a time without being on public transportation, but it is like second nature to me. I am on the bus right now, in fact!
This question is cleverly stated. I have been making cookies for many a year but yesterday made thumbprint cookies for the first time.
Well, expressing myself in writing is fairly new to me. I couldn’t do this simple thing for the majority of my life. Anxiety, self doubt, self loathing, and fear of being judged, kept me from writing or expressing myself in general. This is one of the many wonderful things that came out of crisis and the act of surrendering. I’m so grateful that this forum is here for me and part my regular practices. Not only do I get to spend some time in contemplation and then put down my thoughts, I get to read and absorb this groups incredible wisdom. Astonishing! Thank you all 🙏
I like others had to think about this, and thought, well maybe today is a good day to try something totally new.
Then I remembered that the other day I asked for a heart of renunciation and a mind of Bodichitta. See what happens.
Both will take being mindful.
Yesterday I was at a State Park. I actually asked about renting snow shoes. I didn’t rent any, but asking rental rates is a start to a possible winter activity.
I feel like a broken record. This is certainly the first that I will be having open heart surgery. I am sure that metaphorical open heart will be easier. I have pre-surgical testing today and surgery a week from today at 7:30 in the morning. Will be looking for all the things to be grateful for in spite of having to go through it. Thanks for listening to me about it.
I will light a candle for you on that day asking for a successful surgery and speedy recovery for you.
You do not sound like a broken record Rabbit. You are undertaking an unknown to you. I hope sharing about it here has alleviated a bit of the anxiousness.
Thank you Joseph for the kindness. Hopefully this time next week the surgery will be over and recovery is beginning.
Dear Rabbit, sending you lots & lots of love. I was there for my Mom when she had open heart surgery. She came thru it with flying colors. I am praying for you & a successful outcome. God bless You.🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻
My problem is the Tricuspid valve. What did you mom have? Will try to be like her.
I believe, if I remember correctly, her doctors thought she needed to have a valve replaced with a valve from a pig. ( yes, true ).
Once they were able to see her valve they decided they could repair it with no need to replace it. Her condition all stemmed from a heart murmur, she was born with.
Hope this info helps you Rabbit.
We prayed a lot, she prayed a lot too. I am praying for you.
Try to envision a successful outcome. Stay in the Light. ✨🙏🏻✨🕯✨🙏🏻
Please keep telling us how it’s going with whatever you care to share. Wishing you all the best and a full recovery, Rabbit!
Thanks Barb. I appreciate you willingness to listen.
I will note that day and hold you in my heart.
Thank you. Heart to heart.
Rabbit, May the Divine Healer continue to hold you close & guide the health care team surrounding you.
Thank you Carla. I like that prayer.
Yesterday after a day of teaching, I visited the classrooms of three teaching colleagues in two different schools. Just to get some fresh ideas and see what other teachers in my field are doing.
It was absolutely worthwhile to observe the innovative ideas and layout of teachers in my district, in spite of it being the end of a day on a dark and cold New England December evening.
One of the teachers even brings her pet hen into her classroom every day.
Great idea Maeve. Teaching is very different these days. My husband taught HS and Junior College many years ago so we talk about education a lot. Wonderful you are open to good changes that work for today. Thank you for your efforts.
Last March I was introduced to meditation and mindfulness in therapy. I began to practice a bit and during an eight week on line course called Mindful Based Stress Reduction from Palouse Mindfulness and I started to practice daily meditation. Through therapy and/or the course I saw Brother David’s Grateful Day video and followed the link to this wonderful place. Thank you all.
Is that open to the public Joseph? Maybe it would help my stress over this open heart surgery.
Yes Rabbit the course is and it also does not cost anything.
Rabbit, I’m interested too. I searched and found this free all online course from Palouse Mindfulness https://palousemindfulness.com/. This question may be my prompt to try this. I’ve meditated off and on over the years and use the Insight Timer app. I read the Jon Kabat-Zinn book that this is based on many years ago.
It’s been a longtime since I’ve tried anything new. I tend to be an animal of habit and feeling secure. I need to sit down and take more risks to experience life fully. Something to think about to get out of my comfort range.
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