Living in the moment. I’m actively pursuing this process. I’m amazed at how much of my life is geared to NOT living in this moment.
I find that at work I dig in and am so focused that I am not so much “alert” as I am driven. I have a goal/a purpose/a task and I push-push-push until it’s time to break out of my mental hyper-focus and regroup. I don’t know whether or not I would consider my work mode as living in the moment or not. I am very focused on whatever is in front of me, so perhaps? But most times when I stop my work mode, I have sort of a required adjustment time back to “reality”. It’s like I have to down-shift my thinking and it can be tangibly difficult. Lots of conscious breathing and relaxing back into my body.
But the area where I have the room for improvement is in my down time. My evenings are spent either as a spectator of someone else’s story (TV, movies, etc), or a constant stream of random input scrolling through various social media. Neither of these things keep me “present”. Writing, on the other hand, or sketching, both have a very “present” or aware/alert focus. Connecting with another person also is much better when you’re both in the now, just enjoying each other’s presence and conversation.
Both TV and social media are numbing tools for me. They’re usually paired with eating or drinking (post dinner). I think it’s time to find some new evening relaxation activities. Something that isn’t necessarily *active*, but doesn’t take me out of the here and now.
I’m super tired of politics. I’m super tired of watching Trump say something, then turn around and say “I never said that.” I cannot understand how this man got to be a presidential candidate. His behavior is something I’d reprimand my 11 year old for doing.
I read an article in Scientific American about a week ago that really resounded with me in answering the question of “Why is he the way he is?” There are a lot of answers out there – he’s a narcissist, he is greedy for power. But this one seems to cover all of the above. It explains the changing of his “beliefs” every time he turns around. It explains his language, and helps explain his motivations.
“In my estimation, Trump is driven by one thing and one thing only: the search for glory. Everything stems from this one simple fact, and everything falls into place in a predicable fashion once we fully understand the operation of this fundamentally human drive.”
– Donald Trump’s Real Ambition, by Scott Barry Kaufman, July 24, 2016 on The Scientific American blog.
It really went a long way in explaining why Trump is doing what he’s doing, but it does nothing to explain his supporters. I have yet to see someone support him who isn’t angry and/or fearful.
I’m really trying to “stay in the now” about all this, but I have to say, listening to Trump speak (which isn’t hard, he’s everywhere) makes me truly fearful for the future of our country. I am not a huge Hillary fan, but I believe she’s capable of preventing World War 3. Trump? Not so much.
In the meantime, I am going to continue living my life the best way I know how, and vote with my son in mind on November 8.
I had an inspiring conversation this morning at the Y after swimming. Not 24 hours after I post I don’t like to chit chat in the morning. It wasn’t chit chat actually. One of the regulars is this delightful elderly Asian woman. She hums and sings hymns in the shower room. She’s actually very good and, I have to say, it adds to the meditative tone of the morning.
This morning, however, she stopped and asked me what the meaning of the words were in a book title she saw recently. At first I misunderstood, but over the next 5 or 10 minutes, we worked through the language barrier and had a very interesting time exploring the meaning of the words “wander” vs. “wonder“.
She said “thank you” several times for the language lesson, but honestly, that was the best conversation I’d had with a near-stranger in a long time. Not only did it challenge my communication skills in a new way, it has brought back an old interest I had in maybe volunteering as a adult education tutor or even an ESL tutor in some fashion. That would be kind of cool. Really cool.
I love swimming. The meditative qualities are the best part. That whoosh of kicking off the wall under water, seeing just how far I can go before I come up for the air and the first strokes. The rhythm of it. But not too monotonous. Alternating strokes each lap keeps it different enough. Helps me keep track.
I am even beginning to love the early morning part. Well, making that first move to put a leg out of bed and onto the floor is super duper hard, but after that it’s not that bad. I’ve learned the night-before-prep is critical. After that it’s just movements.
I’m not a fan of early morning chit-chat. There are some who clot on the stairs down to the locker room having 5am conversations, but I am not one of them. I pleasantly greet the other regulars, but that’s it. Nod at the lifeguard and then start my meditation.
The best way I’ve found lately to figure out who I am, is to stay as best as I can in the current moment. Staying in the current moment means letting go of history (past Lundie), and not letting myself “borrow worry” from tomorrow (future Lundie).
This process requires a lot of attention. Attention to the here and now. It’s super hard for someone like me who lives a large portion of her life inside her head. This is my unattended brain:
So far, it’s been really exciting. Sort of like I’ve decided to just “wing it”, but with a little more groundedness and trust that I’ll figure it out one way or another. As I get more experienced in catching myself mentally wandering into the past, future, or other “not here” place, and re-centering, the more I am loving life. Right now is the only place I can do anything anyway, why would I want to escape it? As I said before, being mentally “not here” is the true “MO” of “FOMO”
So, that’s it for today. I’m getting to know my today self, and she’s pretty cool.
Lately I have been finding joy in the art of “settling in” in my own head, in my own skin, in my own space. It’s an idea that I’ve been toying with, dancing around the edges of for a while now. It’s the practice of relaxing into myself and letting that be “enough”. And it’s only by regular practice that I feel like I understand. Now all I can think is, “Try it, you’ll like it!”
This is “Lundie’s Life” and never more have I realized I have a complete 100% right to it. That’s one of the damages that can be done with scripture. The idea that I am “not my own, I was bought at a price” may be intended to bring comfort and a sense of belonging, but for me, what it did was remove my right simply be ME. In my drive to be “right” with God, I abandoned my rightful place in my own body, and my own head.
I am amazed at how life seems to flow better when you stop fighting it. It’s not about good or bad, or right or wrong. Right now, for me it’s about observing. Engaging with what’s in front of me. If I spend so much time reviewing things that already happened, or stressing over all the things that could happen, I completely miss the NOW that just IS. That’s how time flies. That is the true “MO” of “FOMO”.
Getting up at 4:45a to go swimming, while not an easy feat, has given me the advantage of some time to myself before the day really “begins”. The hope is that I will eventually remind myself that being a morning person is all around better for me as a functioning being.
The topics of the day have filled me with a growing sense of dread. While yes, I can get triggered by the abundance of fear-inducing current events, even more I’m starting to feel a calm and growing certainty that in the next several years, we will see world and life-altering change that we do not expect and may not be able to prevent once it starts.
As I was driving home from the Y, I had that premonition feeling – you know, like in the post-apocalyptic films and they have a flashback to their “before”. I was feeling like I was watching the road with that “before” vibe. Maybe that’s just called “taking stock”, but today I’m consciously absorbing my surroundings and feeling exceptionally grateful. Gratitude seems to change me from within. So I’m attempting to notice all the positive things I typically whiz by in my day — the soothing whoosh of a functioning air-conditioner, the click-a-click-a-click of Sabian’s nails as she does a patrolling round of the house before schlumping onto my foot while I type.
There’s quite a bit to become alarmed by lately. And there’s a lot of garbage and outright lies. As much as I can find plenty to trigger my righteous indignation, I’m wondering what good it is to point it out to others. I am getting tired of kvetching. If pretty much everyone is just pointing to horrible things to say “that’s bad!”, does anything get better? Is there a tangible thing (or things) I can do to sow seeds to heal the world around me?
I’m going to brainstorm here a minute for things I can do right now:
Engage with others in conversation. Listen, validate, allow time and space for processing (both for me and them). Not allow fear to push me out of stepping fully in.
Recognize that in general, a difference of opinion indicates a difference of personality in circumstance. There’s no rule that either one must be “right” while the other must be “wrong”.
Take the time to discuss in an age-appropriate way, all of the current events we see happening, with my son. Not only is it helpful to him, but the act of summarizing thoughts is mentally clarifying for me. Sometimes I don’t even know what I really think until I hear myself telling J5
Periodically and regularly take the time to create “in this moment” space to breathe, resettle my mind and spirit into my body, and recognize the good in my life. Just “being” is good. Very good.
Continue to do “good work” on whatever is at hand — laundry, meal prep, customer service, driving, parenting. All of it.
Write. I don’t think I have anything better or worse to share than the next person. What I do have is a need to find a healthy response to the chaotic political and social atmosphere here in the US, and in the world. There are a LOT of things happening that are red flags to continuing the way of life as it is today. Maybe with some writing and sharing, and maybe even some conversation, I can find clarity. Clarity is sweet. It’s a high unlike others I’ve experienced.
Continue to share the good stuff via Social Media. If I’m going to contribute to the noise in the world, at least it can be a song I enjoy.