Stop Drinking the Kool-Aid

     Every day we are subjected to the control mechanisms that keep the world running. All the hatred, conflicts, and fear exist because we created them in the first place. We allow those toxic circumstances to govern our lives were designed to preserve the status quo.

     Humanity can’t move forward while carrying all that baggage. When so many people live in poverty due to preventable diseases, lack of education, and health care, we all share the blame for these things. We have surrendered our humanity generation after generation, all in the pursuit of personal gain. There is nothing wrong with successful people, but we still have a moral obligation to help those around us.

     Two things we lack are KINDNESS and COMPASSION. When we highlight simple human kindness and compassion because they are so infrequent, we know we’re in trouble. Don’t attack someone helpless; defend them. Teach

 someone; don’t criticize their lack of knowledge. When you see someone hungry, give them something to eat. You get the idea.

. Let’s inject more kindness and compassion into the world for a change.

A Feel Good Story. History is made as reparations start to flow in Evanston, Illinois

EVANSTON, Ill. — Grey Avenue explains everything. Start at the southern end and walk north, through three blocks of working-class families living in weathered h…
— Read on theundefeated.com/features/history-is-made-as-reparations-start-to-flow-in-evanston-illinois/

The First Step

Enforcing calm in my life is a huge step. It flies in the face of a lifetime of experiences and training. The concept that I am in complete control of my life is thrilling and scary at the same time. I will have a lot of adjusting to do as I move along, but the reward will be worth it. 

Each day, I take ideas that pop into my head and save them for future posting without forgetting them altogether. I know this will gradually change how I write, and I am OK with that. There is plenty to write about if I just let life happen instead of forcing things. If I keep a blog post open for several days before posting it, so be it. The result is what I care about. Quality over quantity. 

Adjusting my Blog

     One of the first steps I take to improve my life and outlook (apologies to Microsoft) is re-organizing my blog. I no longer worry about posting something every day. That just produces unnecessary pressure on me to meet an artificial deadline.

     Now I think of ideas for a blog post and put those into a “Blank” folder as blank documents. I can go back to them when inspiration strikes. I feel better controlling what I write. I can write a bit and then come back to the post later. When I finally finish, I publish it and move the document to a “Published” folder.

     My thoughts are more organized now. I predict my writing will improve because there is more time and thought in each post. I feel a sense of calm with this approach that I never felt before. This patience is a sure sign that I am onto something good.
     Taking the time to write carefully pays off by boosting my self-confidence. I feel better about what I write when I take the extra timer to get it right. I play a game, trying to make as few mistakes as possible for Grammarly to catch as I write. I know that the grammar will turn out ok in the end.

     So, all of this is how I adjusted my blog. Pretty dull, huh?

My Journey 14 OCT 21 – Out of Control

Photo by Beth Easton on Pexels.com

     Sometimes it feels like life is an out-of-control car rushing down a twisting mountain road towards disaster with no brakes and minimal steering. I don’t like that feeling because I want to control my life and not be at the mercy of things.

     Making what seems like a simple change is more complicated than it looks. Meditation teaches me that I am in control of my life. My mind controls how I feel and react to the outside world. Changing the habits of a lifetime is not easy. Society trains us to respond to things around us. Being “in control” is not taught to children. We learn how to react to outside events. Western society keeps this training through adulthood. Social media reinforces the behavior.

     I have been a constant user of social media to react to events in the world. I need to generate calm through social media that I can reflect on the world instead. I was meditating to find inner peace and knew that social media was not an answer but a tool. I was using social media to reinforce bad habits. I will use social media now to better myself.

     I can slow the car careening down the mountain road. I am in control of it. Failing to take control is my fault, not the problem, but my response to those problems. If I cannot pass a few simple tests, then anything I wrote is meaningless.

  1. Is what I am saying TRUE? Is it something that I believe? Or is it false?
  2. Is it NECESSARY? Do I add anything worthwhile? Or am I just repeating what others already said?
  3. Is it KIND? Does what I say help others? If my words express positivity and calming thoughts, that is good. If they hurt others or put them down, I am writing to cover my problems and insecurities.

Rather than write or repost articles at breakneck speed, I will take time to think before I type. I want to feel good when I post something for a change. I am in control of my life. Deadlines are meaningless to me. I write when I think that I can answer the three items above affirmatively.

     The car is no longer speeding out of control. I am driving carefully down the mountain. I will reach my destination, but until then, I will enjoy the journey.

Reflection

     I tried many times to be optimistic about things. An easy thing to say is that it is much harder than it seems. I try again now because life is too short to let the world drag me down. I want to be informed, but not at the cost of my sanity.

     My observations are not that important to the world as much as I want them to be. It is time to turn my focus inward and be a better person.

     One year ago, I was in and out of the hospital, and I didn’t know if I would survive to be here now. Thankfully, I am here, and there must be a reason for it. I learned a lot lying in a hospital bed for weeks at a time about myself and the world around me. I got better through medicine and therapy, including meditation. Since I left the hospital for the last time (knock on wood) on 16 DEC 20, I have maintained some degree of meditation, but it has been slipping recently.

     The last thing I want is to go back to the hospital again. I struggled to put my life back together, and for the most part, I succeeded. But I have a terrible nagging feeling that I am losing my grip on things because I let the world govern me instead of focusing on myself and my life first.

     It is hard to stay positive, the world does its best to drag me down, and I feel I’m not strong enough to fight back. Deep inside, I know that I can change my life, but that means turning away from the outside world and focusing my attention on taking care of myself.

     The best way for me to make a difference is to be a positive influence on others. That is my goal going forward. I must stop and think before responding to someone by answering these three questions before speaking or typing.

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it Necessary?
  3. Is it Kind?

If I can answer those three questions affirmatively, then it is worth saying.

     Wish me luck.

My Journey 12 OCT 21

     I’m awake. Insomnia happens at the weirdest times, but since I am on disability, it doesn’t wreck my days like it used to. I can just sleep during the day when I get tired now.

     One thing that I am motivated about is cooking. Since I got my new cookware set, I am focused on making meals here at home than ever before. I am planning meals to prepare and the associated grocery lists to make it happen. My cooking skills could always stand some improvement, but I do a damn good job if I say so myself.

     I will make chicken breasts marinated in homemade sauce with green bean casserole and baked beans or corn with mashed potatoes. That will give us more than enough food to get through until our next Stir Friday Night. I already have ingredients for that ready here in the freezer.

     All of this involves changing my habits. I cannot grab something while we’re out all the time. We are staying home more once again as the flu and COVID situations merge and create new hazards. I believe that the same people refusing to take the COVID vaccine will now refuse to get a flu shot, compounding our problems. We noticed the shortage of items at the grocery store on our last visit. We decided to use the curbside pickup option again because so many people don’t wear protective masks anymore when they are out in public.

     Cooking meals save us money. Staying home saves us money. Not being exposed to potentially sick people unnecessarily saves us money and health. We have each other, and that is more than enough.