I need to slow things down in my life. From time to time, I pause to reflect on how I’m doing, and then I take steps to correct any problems. Over the last several days, I have been taking stock and evaluating, and I’ve decided it is time to slow things down and simplify my life.
This is a holistic effort. I’m making sure that I spend more time at home with what I have rather than being on the go. One of my goals is to lose weight, and I can do that by not eating carry-out food. I can prepare meals here at home that is simple and filling.
Taking that step will also help me to save money. One thing that studying and practicing meditation has taught me is that I need to be happy with what I have now and not worry about the future based on material things.
I mentioned losing weight. Hal convinced me to monitor my sugar intake closely. He warned me that this change would be uncomfortable and difficult. I know it is a worthwhile goal, so each morning, I set aside a few cans of diet soda to keep a steady track of what I consume. Once I can manage that comfortably, I will take one less can each subsequent week.
It sounds like a lot to accomplish, and it is. The key to success is my mindset as I begin this journey. Positive thoughts.
I read a great article by a blogger I follow about Gratitude and Thankfulness, in which he pointed out that we forget to grateful for ourselves. There is nothing wrong with being thankful for ourselves, indeed it is what makes each of us unique.
My Gratitude journal never mentioned being thankful for just being me, and after reading my friend’s blog post, I saw exactly what he meant. My attention was going outward when some of it should have been focused inward. If we can not see the good in ourselves, then we are truly blind.
I am in a bind financially until the end of this month. I had an unexpected car expense of nearly $600 that had to be taken care of, which destroyed my monthly budget. While this is unpleasant and uncomfortable, it does make me focus on what I have rather than what I lack. In fact, I have to be thankful that I could take care of the expense at the time.
I can also be thankful that I recognize my budget needs to be adjusted in the future for the next unexpected expense. While I make plans for the future, I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads and enough food to make it until next payday.
I am thankful that this is the first time I’m facing a situation like this. I’m thankful that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I take solace from the lesson learned after reading “Down and Out in Paris and London” by George Orwell many years ago. Once you hit bottom, you realize that you are still alive.
I’m thankful for the desire to write and express myself, and I’m thankful for those who read my words. I’m thankful if my words help someone else, and I hope they pay that help forward to someone else who can then be thankful.
To be fair, day 2 is a repeat of day 1. I’ll be doing the introductory program for a week before moving to the next level. There’s no reason for me to push myself so hard that I get discouraged and quit.
The introductory exercises are gentle and formulated to “wake up” muscles that haven’t been used in a long time. Having said that, I feel the stretch that I’ve done the first two days.
I realized that I wasn’t going to feel better unless I did something to get myself moving. I overcame a few obstacles with the yoga app before starting because I didn’t want things messed up with my account.
I feel better after the first day. I know that real change takes time, but at least I’ve taken the first step.
Tonight I joined a group meditation session on the Headspace app. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was a session just like any other, but there were approximately 45 other people taking part.
The only voice was the group moderator. Like I said, if it weren’t for the other people participating, it would have been just like any other solo meditation. The amazing thing is that as I relaxed and really got into the session, I could sense the presence of the other people. It sounds crazy, but I genuinely felt that I wasn’t alone. It was a wonderful feeling that I hope to experience again.
I had a weird dream that woke me up. I was in a Navy school-type environment, with a mixture of college dorm life has thrown in; at some points, I was in a school barracks/dorm, and at others, I was in a band at the school.
I didn’t fit in at either place. A real-life former Navy friend was somehow continually making trouble for me, ostracizing me from the group to make himself look better, and it seemed that no matter what my talents were, either on the job or musically. Everyone ignored me because I didn’t conform, and I wasn’t popular.
The last thing I remember from the dream was a band trip to play at some stupid trump rally because everyone else supported him. Details weren’t precise, but the band left me on my own to return to the school after being humiliated publicly. I submitted my resignation and left. I felt so alone in that dream.
A lot of this dream resembles real-life experience as far as the settings go. The ostracism didn’t happen, although I later found out that my former friend would sell his mother if it helped him and his career.
I woke up feeling angry and alone. Immediately, I started writing down everything I could remember in my journal. Then I realized my dream would make an interesting blog post as well.
I find this quote very refreshing as I lay awake in bed. Life is about living, not about finding what you’ll be like at some future point. The journey is the important thing to recognize every day as we build the foundation for tomorrow.
This morning was a real test of my ability to keep from losing my temper. I had to get a replacement windshield on my car, I was under the impression that everything was all set. When the work was completed, I was told that I owed almost $600. The temptation to just go off on those people was strong, but I thought quickly about how long I have fought my own inner struggle to remain calm.
I immediately put my inner brakes on. I did not raise my voice with the receptionist but she knew that I was upset. I think that the calm exterior frightened her more than if I just started screaming.
I caught her in a lie when she said that she had called and told me that insurance was not going to cover the expense. In a cold and calculating voice, I told her that IF she had ever spoken to me and told me that I was going to be charged nearly $600, I would have canceled the appointment and never shown up. She knew that I caught her lying.
I still feel proud of myself for not losing my cool. I haven’t felt the stress and panic type anxiety that I would in the past. The meditation is working.