Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Reconnecting to the rhythm of life ....

This past few weeks have been .. um.. challenging.

It's amazing how fast we can forget certain things and go back, full-fledged, into negativity of a life we've left behind. I've spent the past few weeks flopping around like a big fish on the deck of an old river boat, not connected to the things I should be ~ and totally connected to things that are not healthy and just take me back to an old way of being.

This is going to sound silly but I truly recognized it when I got up this morning, made tea, got dressed and didn't even bother with my jewelry.

That sounds goofy ~ but symbols are important to me and my stinky mind was disconnecting me from my symbols.

I revisited the past and got stuck there for a while. Anyone who has read here at all has probably noticed that my moodiness is a real problem. Sometimes I never know when it will come. It just hits me like a hurricane. It's my own personal Katrina.

Long long ago in a land far away, I learned an important lesson from AA. What they call "stinkin' thinkin'" is what gets most of us in trouble. Our minds start working overtime, taking our hard-earned and precious serenity, pulling it over rocks and sticks until it finds the one vulnerable place to attack. My lizard brain started taunting me:

Everyone hates you. I hate you. Life sucks, so go eat worms until you die! No one will give a shit anyway! You'll never get to Thailand, you unworthy piece of crap! Let's just go get drunk! C'mon! It won't hurt.. and no one will even know!

What am I? 15?

Grow up!

Five years of work can cascade down the drain in a few minutes if we begin to listen to those thoughts. That's what stinking thinking will do. Somehow, our minds are always our worst enemy.

I made an impulsive decision. I called my spiritual advisor in Thailand. It will probably cost me more than fifty dollars but it was worth every dime. I truly needed him. It was time to get my thinking straight again ... but needed guidance from someone wiser. It is 14 hours later in Khon Kaen and I had perhaps 20 minutes before it would become too late to call. I picked up the phone ....

Your problem has always been discipline. This is your weakness.

Ajahn S. and I talked about self-mastery and the level of discipline we need to take care of ourselves. When he mentioned that, I realized the truth in his statement. I get up each day and wander through it, no direction, no purpose. I just exist from sunrise to sunset.

Your problem has always been discipline. This is your weakness.

He knew what I'd been doing without my telling him.

When I first began all of this, meaning when I got back from Thailand, I knew to get up at a certain time, meditate, go for a walk, come back and have tea ~ then decide on something to do for the day. Whether it is reading, writing, working in the garden, cooking, studying something, practicing my language lessons, exercising, cleaning or doing something for one of my housemates or a neighbor, I kept reasonably busy. Not frenetic, just comfortably occupied. There is always more than enough to fill a day but when the stinkin' thinkin' comes, I don't do anything. I've been known to sit in front of the tube all day which is seriously the worse thing anyone can do. Getting bombarded hour after hour with advertising and crappy cultural dreck values will begin to make a dent in anyone's serenity.

Not good.. and completely within my control.

He gave me an "assignment". I won't go into the details of it because it wouldn't make sense to anyone who isn't involved in the same type of spiritual practice but I can honestly say that it is helping already.

I am still going a few rounds with my lizard brain but feel strong enough to fend it off.

Peace, all...



liv said...

I think this stinking thinking or whatever anyone chooses to call it is going around---not that it's any consolation.

I spent Sunday night wallowing and trying to escape, and then Monday worrying that I had managed to almost escape the best part of my life right now.

I guess I don't know really what the essence is of what I'm saying but to mean that your post really spoke to me where I am, was, will be right now.


MsLittlePea said...

I wish I had a spiritual advisor. I've been feeling a little lost myself. I try not to let myself go down that road when I start "stinky thinking" and for the most part I can drown it out. I hope your advisor guided you to "feeling better"path.

QT said...

Yes, I agree- it is going around! I am glad you found a way to break the hold and move forward, Chani. Very important!

KC said...

I'm sorry to hear about this resurfacing of demons...but glad to hear you have found a way to fight it.

Thinking about you.

jen said...

beautiful. and how wonderful that you have somewhere to go when you need help - someone who can listen, understand, and advise.

we should all have someone like that. the earth is already vibrating differently now.

Pam said...

I'm so glad you have an advisor to help you out of the pit, it can have steep walls and slippery slopes. What's worse, it's easier to fall than it is to climb.

Sounds like you have the help you need, and the motivation. Added to that, maybe the longer, warmer days will help.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what Liv said. I'm so thankful I'm feeling better this week, and I'm determined to make some changes to try to eliminate or at least smooth out some of the ups and downs, and make some progress toward some of the needs and goals in MY life - mostly revolving around taking care of myself better.

I've noticed this morning that there seems to be a really positive energy - maybe it's just me - but I'm trying to hang on to it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

You have more personal power than you realize. Try not to take on too much pain from your housemates or anyone else. Just do your assignment as if your life depended on it, because your inner life does.

Calling your spiritual adviser was a good idea. You are actually connected to many people who would do anything for you, if you asked.

Bob said...

I wish peace for you, too.

Anonymous said...

Stinking thinking, I like that and yes, there does seem to be a lot of it going around lately. We need spring, we need a huge celebration of life, of renewal, of hope, of fertility. We need to break loose from winter and shake it up. Of course you don't have much winter, but it seems that there is a serious funk going around.

Susanne said...

Sound advice. Sometimes we need some discipline to ground us again. (And of course watching tv all day only makes us feel bad.)

Peace to you as well...

Anvilcloud said...

Moving is so important. It doesn't have to be physical although that is wonderful, but we need to be doing things much of the time.

Laurie said...

You are a very wise woman, Chani. I think that what you've said here applies to most people. I have found myself a victim of my own stinkin' thinkin' many times in life. It can take over and destroy everything, if you aren't wise enough to nip it in the bud.

Thailand Gal said...

Liv, I'm glad you recognized it.. and I'm also glad you saw a doctor. Most of these things do have some logical explanation.


MsPea, it's not that difficult to find a spiritual advisor, once your own beliefs are fairly clear. When I chose this particular path and found how well it speaks to me, I was more willing to hear what the elders have to say.


QT, yeah.. it was definitely important. A drunk Chani is not a pleasant experience. :)


KC, it's weird because it was kind of out of the blue! It's been years since I even thought about drinking!


Jen, definitely. We all need that somehow ~ and when it's critical, we need to know that we can talk to someone whose voice we trust and respect. There's all kinds of advice out there. It has to come from someone who understands so completely that it's effortless.


Pam, I think the longer days will help although each time change does throw me off for a while. I noticed a definite change in me when the DST started.


De, I am so thankful for you feeling better, too! I know you were in the mire for a while, too.

Mercury has been retrograde. Maybe that's why...


Susan, thanks for reminding me. I know I have personal power but when I get into such a destructive frame of mind, I feel so alone that I lose all perspective.


Bob, thank you. I'll take it! :)


Deb, you're right. We do need that. We need that.


Susanne, watching TV all day is something I do only when I feel really crappy. Even knowing it is the worse possible thing I can do, someone who gets physically ill with too much exposure to crap culture, and yet I do it anyway.

There's no explanation for the lizard brain sometimes.


Anvil, I know. Intellectually. Sometimes my stinky thinking overrides intellect and I do stupid things. :)


Laurie.. amen! It's something we can control although I'm a firm believer that sometimes we need a little boot in the butt to get us back on track. :)


Thanks, everyone... very, very much!