Headspace 24 JANUARY 2021

I need to get some more Headspace in my life. Starting my day with a short inspirational story and some meditative music is right for me. It lets my mind clear out the clutter and prepare for the new day ahead. The challenge is setting aside the time for Headspace because it is a time-consuming app; there’s no getting around that point.

I can write more freely after watching the daily short story and then starting one of the music playlists. While the music plays, I can write as my mind relaxes and clears. It is a beautiful feeling to embrace the calm and shut out the chaos for a while. Right now, I am listening to a music list called “Kindness.” What a great name to give.

We could all do with more kindness in our lives. We always seem to be focusing on things through anger rather than kindness and love. I am guilty of this mistake, and I have written about overcoming it. It will take time and effort, and concentration, but the inner peace is worth it.

My challenge is to carry through with this effort and not give up. The reward is worth the effort because this affects my sanity and my health. I feel better just listening to the music and letting the words flow out of me. I feel more relaxed than I expected would in the morning. My mood is changing, and I know that it will be a struggle, but I want to make this change in my life.

When I was in the hospital, the nurses and doctors told me that meditation and writing were excellent therapy forms. I can see what they are talking about right now, and I am enjoying myself.

A theme throughout the “Kindness” playlist is water. The sounds of rain or running water are always present. I believe this represents a cleansing or purification of the mind. Letting the unimportant things wash away to leave a clean, pure surface to build the day on is a beautiful image that comes to mind. As I focus on the music, the words come pouring out so effortlessly. It feels incredible and relaxing and refreshing at the same time.

The simple melodies that occur repeat, but not in an annoying way, the pieces keep my mind focused, and then as the songs build and become more complex, it helps my mind open and relaxes me even more.

I just fell into such a wonderful sense of calm. I actually began purging my reading list of some topics that only upset me. I believe this is that proverbial first step on a journey that I am starting this morning, one that I hope will bring me joy, peace, and happiness.

Ignorance is Killing Us – Part 2 – Racism

    The second danger that we are facing now is Racism. I have been with my partner Hal, who is black, for more than 20 years, and in that time, I have learned a lot about how he sees the world as a black man. The things that he has seen in his life are frightening to think about for me. As a white man, I grew up with privilege that I never realized I had. To me, the local police were people I could put my trust in, especially in a small townh. I never thought that the black children I grew up with could have such a completely different view of the world, but after being with Hal, and then talking to some of the people I grew up with, I now know that the feelings of fear and distrust did exist even when I was a child.
    Those fears and feelings were never shared with me growing up because those feelings are deeply held in the black community. The common perception is that no white outsider can ever appreciate those feelings, that they would be called irrational or ridiculous. I never knowingly felt that way towards my friends, but I never realized that those feelings were being hidden from me either. My parents taught me as best they could to respect everyone, and to never look down on anyone. I am glad that those friends I had growing up never associated me personally with any of the problems that they encountered, but I wish that I had known about those problems so I could have helped to overcome them.
    As the number of murders committed by the police continue to grow, it becomes apparent that the real problem is ignorance. Pretending that this is a recent phenomenon completely proves the very point that my childhood friends, and Hal, have taught me. The problem has been around for over 400 years and is deeply rooted in our society. Slavery might have been outlawed, but the repercussions remain to this very day. White society has the remarkable ability to filter out unpleasant things and pretend that things are completely fine, unless the problems affect white society. This willful choice to be ignorant is a huge part of the problem.
    I am proud to be part of the #BLM movement, but I can never speak for  those directly affected. I can only speak from the perspective of a white man who is woke and proud of it. I choose to not be ignorant, because ignorance is killing us, all of us. To be silent is to be complicit.

DDP Yoga Days 26-29

    I got so busy and tired that I neglected to make my daily entries about DDP Yoga. I have not stopped working out, but I have decided that I need to focus on getting more rest. Another factor is that because Phase 2 of the program is much longer per session so far, I don’t have time to work out in the morning and have to make time after work in the early evening. This is also the time when I am the most tired.
     Last night I finally forced myself to go to bed at around 2030. This is extremely early, but I know that I need to make this change to my routine so I can sleep better and longer each night. This change will also give me more energy and that in turn will make my workouts even better.

Middle Of The Night

Waking up with low blood glucose isn’t a pleasant experience. For the second night in a row, it has happened to me, and I have to take the time to bring my blood glucose back up slowly so I don’t jump too high.

The recovery process is always the same. Take a measurement, then suck on a glucose tablet and let it dissolve in my mouth, then wait a few minutes and measure again. The process repeats until my blood glucose returns to normal. Depending on the severity of the drop in the first place, recovery can take up to 30 minutes, so I know that writing is a good way to pass the time.

At least the week will be halfway over after work ends later today. I’m sure that I’m going to want nothing more than to go to sleep once work is over this afternoon. The only interruption to my schedule might be spaghetti preparation this evening because I plan to make some for dinner.

I sometimes struggle to keep a positive outlook when I’m going through an episode like this. But then I remember the times that have truly been worse in my life, and perspective gives me calmness and peace. This is nothing that should upset me because no amount of worry or stress will make my diabetes magically vanish, it is something that I’ve learned to deal with.

Since I began this post, my blood glucose has just about returned to normal. I’ll wrap this entry up and post it before trying to get back to sleep.

Be Kind to One Another,

My Own Private Idaho

It sounds strange, but in the midst of all the chaos and turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic, I seem to be closer than ever to my own Private Idaho of Inner Peace. For whatever reason, things are falling into place with my life. There are still struggles, there always will be, but they no longer seem as insurmountable as they used to.

We moved on the first of April and have settled into our new place. As quiet as the last apartment was, this one puts it to shame. We are basically in the country in a medium size apartment complex, but without a major airport within 10 miles like the last place. Planes flew over all day and into the evening until 2300 or so each night. I don’t remember seeing vapor trails here in the sky since we arrived.

My sinuses acted up immediately after we arrived here. There were several days when I began to think that we must have moved to the worst place in the world for my sinus problems. But after starting Yoga on a daily basis, I have gotten better rather quickly, and I am sleeping better at night as well. I cannot describe how much better I feel.

Hal and I have not had any problems with the new neighbors. Everyone here is in the same situation as us with regards to the world situation, and that gives us all common ground to stand on.

We will save money by living here. I am relaxing with the knowledge that I can pay things off without as much stress every pay period. Things got too damned expensive at the last apartment, we just couldn’t stay there.

So there you have it. My personal story although a brief one, about how I have found my own Private Idaho and Inner Peace.

Be Kind to One Another

Chicken Souvlaki For The Soul

After a long day at work, and then celebrating our new water heater that was finally installed in the apartment, I decided that a small celebration was in order. We ordered from a pizza place we hadn’t tried yet after I noticed they also served Greek food.

We got chicken souvlaki platters and brought them home. Each meal included a small Greek salad and fries. Thankfully everything was delicious. I predict that when things return to almost normal we will have dinner AT the restaurant. Here’s to better days ahead.

DDP Yoga Day 7

Today was a day to get motivated. I watched a short video from DDP as he talked about motivation and the desire to improve. Good advice all around with some I am looking forward to my next session tomorrow. additional videos to watch about diet and what we eat, and how our food has been genetically modified. Kinda disturbing actually.

The advice is sound and it does help with motivation. I’m looking forward to my next session tomorrow.

DDP Yoga Day 5

Day 5 on the DDP Yoga plan introduced me to the next set of exercises. I could really feel a difference as I got in the shower afterwards. It is amazing that a 15-minute workout can make me feel so different. 
I took more care with my breathing during this workout and I believe that also made a difference in how I felt. The irony is that yesterday was a planned day off, and tomorrow is another planned day off. I think this is designed to keep me from getting discouraged or from getting too tired and losing motivation for either reason. This second set of exercises will carry me into next week and gradually build me up. 
On the negative side, I got almost no sleep last night because my sinuses were so congested. I couldn’t breathe through my nose, and breathing through my mouth resulted in my mouth getting so dry that it was ridiculous. I got my DDP Yoga workout in early because I didn’t want to skip it. I know that if I can get my sinuses under control that I will probably fall asleep at some point during the day.
I will cook during my breaks on the job and that should keep me busy and my mind occupied to stave off exhaustion until the afternoon. I also changed out all of the bed linens this morning to get whatever was irritating my sinuses away from me as much as possible tonight. A nice long hot shower should help things as well this evening.
The main thing is that as tired as I am, I do feel better overall than I have in a while. I will keep up with the DDP Yoga training because I truly believe that it will help me.

DDP Yoga Day 4 – A Day Off

Today marks the 4th day of my DDP Yoga journey. According to the workout plan, today is also my first day off. I took the time this morning to sleep in for 30 minutes before hitting the shower. I wrote yesterday about not expecting too much too fast, and that remains true today. I will take this journey one step, one day, at a time and see where I end up.
I know already that one thing I will have to stop thinking about is my weight. I know instinctively that as I get into better shape that my weight will stop going down because muscle weighs more than fat. I find it impossible to achieve both weight loss and getting stronger at the same time. Therefore I am tracking my weight, but not stressing over it, especially this early in the program.
I am more interested in feeling stronger and healthier. I want to take long walks without having to stop for a break. I want to feel better in the morning when I wake up. I want to modify my body to alleviate aches and pains that are part of getting older. I want to feel less neck pain each day and to have less pain in my shoulders.
All of these goals are what I hope to achieve during thie journey and I hope that DDP Yoga will help me get there and have some fun along the way.