Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and embracing a bit of Buddhism

For the past few months I've been very quiet here. I've lacked the will to write, and in many ways I still do, and it's seems like the lack of drama is the cause of it. It's like I have nothing to talk about or, probably more accurately, to whinge about.

That how it looks on the surface.

Under the surface there's been a lot going on, a lot of growth, and a lot of moving forward. Meditation was the rocket ship I needed to propel me out of the suffering I had accepted as my life.

I'm no different to most people when it come to accepting suffering in my life.

We tell ourselves stories about it.

"That's how life is."

"Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. (Most of the time others win more than you. You're not as lucky as they are, in fact you're not a lucky person. But that's life, isn't it?)"

"Life isn't fair."

"I just have to get through this and everything will be alright."

"If I work harder I'll get what I want. The reason I'm not happy is that I'm not working hard enough. Obviously."


I've lied to myself my whole life. I've put myself and my own happiness on hold for all my life. I've tried to be a good girl all my life. I've suffered my whole life. I have allowed myself to suffer my whole life. And with suffering I don't mind torture and general really bad crap but the kind we put ourselves through every day, the Buddhist definition kind.

I've wondered a lot about it, this why I suffer and feel bad. I stopped wallowing in self-pity and I started looking at others and I realized that they suffer like I do. I wondered who we can all get out of it because I suffer from a hopeful disposition and I can't accept that this is all there is to life. I realized that I wasn't the only one looking at this problem trying to solve it, in fact, some 2500 years ago Buddha spent a hell of a lot of time experimenting with his mind just so he could get to terms with exactly the same problem.



I'm not one to embrace religion but I've come to view Buddhism not so much as a religion (i.e. faith based superstition that requires you to park your thinking and just accept) as a strategy for dealing with your own mind. The Buddhist have technology I need and the more I look into it the more I like it and the more it helps me. I've slowly walked into it and found that this concept of mindfulness is something that suits me and that, more importantly, helps me.

So for now, I will keep borrowing their technology, I will keep learning more about my own mind and I will keep meditating. (Did I tell you that I have become and accredited meditation teacher?)

I still want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This is the jolly season when many of us are forced into spending time into confined spaces with people we avoid like the plague normally (i.e. our family),  when many of us find ourselves lonely and without family facing guilt, depression and loneliness, and when many of us are embraced by others in a loving community (i.e. family) where we feel wanted, accepted and loved.

Wherever you are, I love you and wish you the best of Christmases and a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Together we will change the world in 20014, you know that right?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Grant me the energy to last another four days please

My mind grinds to a halt five days before we're due to break for Christmas!

I thank my lucky stars that I live in Australia where we get a break. While our colleagues in the US scrape by with a few days off we get a full two weeks to ourselves. Maybe. It may be that I have to do some work during that time.

I'm dog tired, all y'all. I'm not tired in the way that I collapse into blissful sleep but the kind that makes your brain foggy, your thinking crooked and you worry about not being able to make it to he finishing line. I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to energy and I'm running of fumes. It's been happening kind of year and the shift in my soul just keeps shifting if you know what I mean. Sometimes I feel like I'm destined for much greater things next year.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Plans for 2014

About a year ago I boldly declared that 2013 was going to be a year when everything changed for me. It wasn't anything to do with the world ending on the 21st of December 2012 according to the Mayan calendar - it had everything to do with a deep seated need to move out of a toxic relationship, a stagnant existence at work and mental health that was to say the least really unhealthy.

If you've read this blog at all you know that the toxic relationship ended, a lot changed when it comes to my mental health, I'm really on the verge of being "normal" and work, yes well work, I'm still there and I feel like the whole place is trying to reject me.

Do not set intentions and then not follow through on the actions if you know what I mean.

I will get to deal with the work thing, eventually, but for now they pay me too much and I need the money so I can feel safe, safe in the knowing that I can take care of Boo and the three cats, and myself of course.

If 2013 was the year of change for me, 2014 is going to be the year of purification and detoxification. It's going to be the year of weeding out processed food and thinking of food as medicine and nourishment. I know what food can do for me and to me, and it's time to start using that to my advantage. I deserve to feel good and to be well.

2014 is also going to be the year of purifying and detoxing my mind. I have come to realize that I can't believe everything my mind tells me and that I think, none of us can except for the most adept Buddhist monks perhaps, and as such I will keep on working on getting to know myself and my thoughts better.

I never thought I would say this but I'm going to look into religion. You see, the Buddhists have technology I can use and want,  and I'm going to use it. This whole thing about being your own therapist and "unpacking" your thoughts, habits and beliefs is appealing to me and I'm going to put it to the test. I will not however become Buddhist because......because......I'm not going to become Buddhist.

Right now I'm so tired I just want to go into hibernation for a while. Work has been incredibly busy but the whole department soldiers on like the good drones we are. The word "must" is the most abused word around, "must finish this by...", "must be done now", must, must, must, must, must...I look at that word and it conjures up a more pleasant picture because in Swedish it's a kind of soft drink that used be available only at Christmas and Easter, special (I wish I could make that sparkle for you) in other words, and it feels better thinking about it that way.

Other than that, what can I tell you? I have ideas of things I want to do and write but at this stage I just don't have the energy. I want to talk to you because I love writing here but I just don't have the energy. I want to make things (and I'm currently making Limoncello using the lemons from my garden and it's a deliciously slow process if you want it to be). I want to sing. I don't know why but I want to sing. I want to make music but I'm not in the least musical so I don't know how that's going to work out for me.

So, I will be back, hopefully with bigger and better stories and who knows, maybe I'll grow incredibly wise in 2014 and become my own guru and inspire you some too. That would be nice. I can go to sleep with a nice thought like that.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Oh. I'm still alive.

I have been lazy with the writing here because work (work, work, work, work, work) is seriously intruding on my life and it's making me seriously tired. I only realized today that it's only two weeks until the Christmas break and instead of shouting with joy and humming Christmas carols to myself I panicked.

I'm NEVER going to finish first draft of those manuals before Christmas like I wanted. It's not that I should be able to but it would have been nice to go into that short break knowing I could kind of sit back and wait while others check my work.

The schedule for this project is by far the most insane we've ever seen. It's like all sense has gone out the window and the company is squeezing what little energy there's left in our down-sized, hrmm, sorry, right-sized, department out of us before is decides to check that we're still meeting those KPOs (key performance objectives, in case you don't know what the acronym means) that have absolutely nothing to do with our actual jobs but everything to do with trying to make us robots who think and act the same.

I believe someone used the word "fascism" today when we were talking about it and I agree, the current corporate trend to squeeze workers and force them to "behave" is fascism. Maybe not quite the radical authoritarian nationalistic kind of fascism that hit Europe in the 1920s but nonetheless a brand of fascism. It's counter intuitive to community and I hate it. 

This is probably why I don't need to watch Rob Reich's doco Inequality for All but I want to anyway but you can't get your hands on it here so I'm forced to long for it and suspect that Rob and I are kind of soulmates even though that just seems a little weird. He's shorter than me for starters.

Remember when we had unions and they fought for a 40-hour working week and holidays and paid sick leave and shit? Remember? Some of you may not but there were ancestors of ours who actually fought for these rights and sometimes it got a bit violent. I think we owe it to them to make sure companies don't take too much of the profits for the shareholders (and giving workers shares to placate them doesn't count as counterbalancing, I'm just saying) and to make sure we keep capitalism honest which I believe it's not anymore.

Too many of my colleagues are worn out and afraid of losing their jobs and we're in Australia for Pete's sake so compared to our American brothers and sisters we're doing it easy. When we get sick from all that work we get free medical treatment after all!

My intention is to try to create a sort of space in between over the Christmas break. I'm going to do my best to relax and I'm going to play with whatever makes me happy. Maybe I'll just sit home and watch TV because I never watch TV normally so it'll be like doing something new. 

Right now though I'm going to lie down because I've conjured my first migraine in a long time and I'm now reacquainted with the awesome power of the migraine pain. It will bring me down on my knees if I don't cease and desist now and lie down.

I'll be in the corner sipping water in the dark. 

I'm just saying.

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