So that thing I did, that brave thing I did, going for that thing I wanted. Yeah, that didn’t work out. It didn’t work out this time. I was pretty upset for a few days. I did some writing, I forced myself to continue posting to The Thrivivalist, which helped, because the night I found out I didn’t get it, I posted the sort of thing I would tell myself if I wasn’t…myself. If I wasn’t “in it” this is what I would have tried to get myself to see.
But since then, I feel like I have been sort of searching…waiting to figure out what my next move should be. I’ve also been trying all different types of things to reach a certain level of contentment. I know: reaching contentment is the same as searching for happiness. It’s not about the search. It’s about the moment to moment. But, still. Some of the things I’ve tried were really interesting and really productive and are probably things I will continue to do because I think they are good practice. Others are simple things that are comforting. I’ve also been really busy, which helps distract a neurotic mind. However, I’ve also learned it’s important to actually pay attention to what I’m thinking and feeling, rather than trying to always distract myself with plans, activity, reading material, television, and on and on.
This realization, by the way, is interesting – and not something I had intended on writing about, but it’s coming up, right? So, I remember when I studied abroad in Spain. It was a life-altering experience, and not always comfortable. I felt like I was forced to do so much changing and growing up in such a short period of time, I was like a butterfly being pushed out of a cocoon that wasn’t ready to release her. As a result, I did a ton of stuff. I was always somewhere, I was never just sitting and being. I was sitting in cafes, I was reading, I was traveling, I was eating queso monchego and Spanish tortilla. During this time, I am sure I was tremendously introspective, however, looking back on my journals, I was only really recounting my schedule, the things that I did. I could say that I wish meditation had come into my life sooner, so I could have learned to be present and really feel what was coming up for me during the experience of being so far away from home, but they say that things arrive in their due time. I may not have been open to it.
This recent disappointment was not a life-altering experience, but I suppose a setback could become one, if you let it. I think the key for me is having as many irons in the fire as possible. I wasn’t counting on this one thing as the end-all-be-all. I don’t have tunnel vision. I am open to many different types of opportunities. But disappointment comes, and I have to be able to feel that too, instead of ignoring my experience by only focusing on happy thoughts.
Even so, here are some things I’ve done recently. I guess this, too, is “doing,” but I have also been keeping up with my meditation practice – such as it were, it was hard to focus – and I continued to write in my off-line journal about what was going on inside my head and heart. I think those two things are good tools for sorting through complicated feelings and getting to the root of discomfort.
Comfort Television: Back to the Future was on Nick at Nite. I only watched from “Get your meat hooks offa me” through The Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. But, gosh, I love that movie. Interestingly, everyone looks so young. I also just saw Crispin Glover in Hot Tub Time Machine. Seriously, the man is ageless. But you know you’re getting old when you look at Christopher Lloyd as Doctor Emmett Brown and think he looks young. I also recently had a hankering to find Friends wherever it lay in syndication. (It was fairly obvious – TBS, pre-prime-time – but I didn’t know that.) At a mere 22 minutes (because you can fast-forward through the commercials now, unlike the days when Friends was airing new episodes) it’s a minor commitment and an escape.
Opening: Someone told me that my energy felt “different” than the last time she saw me. She doesn’t know me that well, but, easily influenced, as I am, I had to read into it. She elaborated and added it felt “contained.” Hm. Turns out, she does energy work. And she told me about a reiki group in which she was involved. So I went. Turns out, I received the “oneness” blessing. A few people who had gotten trained to give the blessing went around putting their hands on the heads of people there to receive. The oneness blessing is secular and it seems like it’s an energy transfer that’s supposed to open the receiver up to feeling one with the universe and with others. To me it also feeling like it opens one up to his or her potential. I am supposed to be aware of changes in my life for the next couple weeks. So maybe more on that soon.
Un-tethered: My iPhone is on its way. Literally. But lately, I have been going iPod-free. Whenever I walk anywhere or take the subway, I always listen to my iPod. I am a podcast and lecture junkie. There’s music, too, of course, but I can so easily get lost in stories, so it makes the time go by so quickly. The past couple days, though, I have left the earphones in my bag. And I have to say, it’s actually quite pleasant. The city is much quieter than I ever realized. And I am able to stay present, instead of zone out and ignoring my thoughts. And I don’t get caught on nearly as many door knobs, other people’s briefcase clasps, or umbrellas.
Releasing my inner drill sergeant: For too long to remember, I have been getting up at an obscene hour to get to the gym, usually for a 6:30am class. That means that in order to meditate, have coffee, and sufficiently awaken, I had been waking up at close to 5am. I got on this schedule of going to specific classes. Some were not so close to my apartment. And there are actually options that are closer. So this week, I opted twice to choose classes closer to home. And one morning, Monday to be precise, I didn’t wake up at 5am at all. And I totally got all my workouts in this week. I even taught a class on Thursday, a last minute addition to my schedule. Yes!
Disconnected Mornings: During the early-morning hours, I have gradually turned from listening to WNYC’s The Takeaway to just reading some good stuff online to reading some good stuff on my Kindle. This migration has kept me away from the allure of Facebook, bad news, or other such things that sort of deflect my efforts to feel happy. I have been reading Radical Acceptance. In fact, I am 91% finished (love that Kindle). I recommend the book. And it served as a reminder each morning to honor my experience, and stop trying to hide from it, or escape it with overwrought activity or analysis.