Monday, March 28, 2016

On Being Here Now

On Being Here Now

Oh, BABY!! I got the Prime Question today! This is the first one, whence all other Creative Questions flow: Why am I aware?

Why am I aware? What a lulu!

“Why is this such a big deal,” I hear some of you asking. Because paying attention to our lives changes everything. When I pay attention to moving around in the world, I stop being a klutz. I see the wall before I walk into it. I see the car before it honks at me. When I pay attention, I notice that I am thirsty, or tired, or satisfied.

 Awareness can be a loaded word for some of us. It can have a lot of connotations based on our learning and mislearning. All I mean by it is paying attention, noticing, being present.

When I am aware, I am using my senses. Food tastes better. Music is more fun. Dancing is wonderful. Kissing is nicer.

When I am aware, I notice my thoughts. I notice how I feel. I make the connection between those two things and cultivate or change what I am thinking. When I am aware, I recognize that I am in charge of me. When I am aware, I can notice the thoughts I have that don’t support me and change them.

When I am aware, the daily passage of time slows down. Seriously! I am paying attention to what I am doing when I am doing it. I am aware when I am being. A day takes a day, a week takes a week, a year takes a whole year. Amazing.

When I am aware, daily tasks become powerful meditations. Washing my dishes is a sensory experience with the scent of the soap, the heat of the water, the rasp of the scrubby, the satisfaction of the cleaned object.

When I am aware, I notice my thoughts. I notice my feelings, I also notice my behavior. Oh. Did I do that? Because I am choosing to be aware, I can see what I’m doing to make my life better, but I can also see what I am doing to stay stuck, to hurt me, to hold me back. And I can change those things.

When I am aware, I naturally grasp that I am responsible for my behavior, for my feelings, for my thoughts. When I am aware, I naturally find joy in the mundane. When I am aware, I notice when I am judging stuff.

Oh, that is a good thing to mention. When I am aware, I can notice when I am judging my experiences as “good” or “bad” rather than letting them flow as experiences. This is high-level stuff. Experiences are not inherently good or bad. Based on my learning and mislearning throughout my life, I judge stuff. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes it can hurt me. If I want to go with the flow,for the most part, I do better to let my experience be neutral. If someone is hurting me, or if I am hurting someone, I should judge that and change it. We can learn with practice to when and how to use our skills of discernment.

How have I changed from stumbling through my days to being present and aware?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2016 all rights reserved 03/11/2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

Fill 'Er Up!

Fill ‘Er Up!

I pulled the “Why Can I Choose?” card and you know that is one of my very favorites. As I lolled on the porch, I thought about what I choose, what I have chosen during my Adventures in Wonderland. I realized that the most important, life-changing thing I have done since it started was choosing to be curious over being afraid.

That choice meant I had to change the way I do some things. I am an information nut and a research queen. Under other circumstances, I would have researched the heck out of my new situation. What I quickly came to see was that most of the information out there has a scare-the-pants-off-you undercurrent. This is not useful. I quickly decided that, since I was under the care of so many people, I would choose ignorance, to a certain extent, and become curious about my physical experiences.

Why can I choose? What makes me feel engaged with my activities? How am I so alive? What makes me feel so curious?

Fear is a very low-vibrational thing. It is useful in actual dangerous circumstances, but really doesn’t do us much good as a hobby. Dispelling it takes some doing, especially as we often don’t even recognize it. We call it worry, or anxiety, or tension, or unease, or disquiet, and on and on, but it’s all just fear. Negative fantasies about the future. I’ve even seen it called “praying for the worst.” Yikes! I do not want to be putting my energy there.

When I let my curiosity out, fear melts away. In fact, sometimes just being curious about my fear melts it. I came to realize that I am not afraid of dead. That was nice. I can get afraid of discomfort, but if I stop judging it, that fear goes away.

My appreciations practice is grounded in curiosity. I wake up and wonder what delights I will experience that day. Where will I find beauty? How will I feel joy? What will surprise and enchant me? Where will I experience kindness? That sets me up in a very specific way to seek out those things, and, Lo, I find them almost every single day.

Curiosity helps me change my attitude about stuff. How can I make this (excruciatingly dull) task fun? Why would I choose to be here? How can I embrace my chemo/radiation experiences so I can enjoy them? How can I reframe this physical discomfort so I can do other stuff? Why would I be okay with having to sleep so much?

My Adventures in Wonderland have run on curiosity. It is the fuel that lets my days flow without freakout, without rage, without terror or depression.

Why would I choose to go with the flow? Well, it’s easier for one thing! I don’t know about you, but I like easy. How can I choose to have fun? If I can find a way to make it enjoyable, I can do anything.

Then there is one of my most favored old saws, “This, too, shall pass.” Then I wonder, what good lies ahead? How do I become more myself? How can I have more peace and joy?

How have I changed from choosing fear as my motivator to choosing curiosity as my fuel?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2016 all rights reserved 03102016