Pleasures and Ponderings

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1991 Friendship with a Man

How do I want it? Let me share the ways.
I want the comfort I'd have with a loving mother,
The aliveness I feel with a you-can-say-it-all friend,
The stimulation of a trip with a fellow adventurer,
The quietude of a peaceful walk in the forest,
The openness of a scientist with her experiment,
The compassion of a nurse with a patient in pain,
The easy reassurance of a coach to a boy who missed a ball,
The physical closeness of a baby at the breast,
The sigh of fullness at completing a poignant story,
The clapping hands and jumping feet of a child invited overnight,
The shy smile the first day of school with a new friend,
The hope, blessed, eternal hope,
That this man's shock absorbers
Can keep smooth any ride we take.

I'm ready! Are you?

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Sitting on the Steps

I don't have a car, so when I get a ride, I sometimes sit on the steps in front of my house. I'm reminded of waiting for the school bus and looking forward to what the day will bring.

I've seen others sitting on their steps, sometimes anticipating, other times not covering up their dismay and loneliness.

I wonder if every person who sat on their steps was approached with a "Hi, are you waiting for someone?" if there'd be more grins or more frowns. How I'd like to see more grins!

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What I Know at 70

I feel as though by now I'd have no unanswered questions. After all, at 70, we should have our act together. And I do know that writing, and teaching Compassionate Communication, are important to me. What gets in the way is pleasure. I get more enjoyment from doing a google search on almost any topic than I do on marketing--having to keep track of who I called, when to call back, if I left voice mail, and all those details.

I've learned that when I make a commitment to a coach or a friend, I'm likely to follow through. So Monday I promised I'd make at least 20 calls this week to promote my workshops. And I have. This ties into another thing I know: I love to contribute. And I know teaching Compassionate Communication makes a big difference for people. I'm also gratified by how many appreciate my resourcefulness. I love to read about health issues, the Mayan calendar, string theory, travel bargains, books, The Law of Attraction, and at least 76 other topics. And I am as pleased as the listener when I share what I learned. So far, so good. No problem, right? Well, there's the remnant, possibly from an authority-centered Catholic upbringing on an Iowa farm, that prods me to productivity. Now that may've been useful years ago, but I'd like, after seven decades, to do what I want, when I want. And yes, I always love teaching my classes and writing. But it's all those other parts of life that make me feel stuck on the tractor or at the sink. I find myself most days at the computer and on the phone 6-8 hours.

I've tried more organizing systems than Staples sells, it feels like. I'm an Enneagram 7, an adventurer, and my biggest joy is a new experience, or a repeat of a fun one. Even though I try to remember to stretch, or to dance to my favorite song, Mony Mony, every hour or two, I can't quite define much time at my desk as pleasurable. I'm doing shoulds, and yes, I feel good when emails are responded to, and I complete the 6-16 things I've ambitiously entered on my To Do list.

What I do know is that I'm the only one stepping on the compter treadmill each day. And the webinar last night suggested we were doing more for our well being by pursuing what delighted us. Now when I learn and practice that, I may have more to add to what I know at 70.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

What It's Like to Be Incapacitated

I broke my wrist March 8, a date I'm likely to remember. Two weeks later, I'm often grateful that this is temporary. I prefer to put out to the Universe I am healing, I am cared for, I am peaceful, rather than focus on what isn't working. And when I shower (left arm in plastic) or tie both shoes or successfully get dressed or undressed on my own, I feel good! I haven't figured out how one hand can put on a bra yet, or cut raw meat, or easily sort and organize. And I'm pretty sure that if one of the two men I met recently (and liked!) from my craigs list ad wants to be lovers that I may have really mixed feelings about that till my cast is off. Just think about that for a minute!

What other observations have I noticed these two weeks? I've learned to walk slowly and look around very carefully, lest I trip over anything else. It's been a learning experience for this woman who's used to go go go and do do do. Friends have been very helpful, with house chores, meals and personal needs. And still, I remember feeling pride when I managed to scrub the dish drainer tray with one hand. And now I can pull lids off leftovers and heat them. Who'd have thought there'd be a day I'd even notice the tasks I do so automatically.

A highlight this past half month was a trip to Dairy Queen. I love their Blizzards, and through March 31, a 2nd Blizzard cost only 99 cents. So friend Pam and I enjoyed our ice cream while she shared notes from A Course in Miracles workshop I'd missed. Part of the added joy was remembering the next day that I had the 2nd Blizzard in my freezer. I scampered downstairs and even saved 1/2 for a 3rd treat another day.

Thursday I was at my weekly writers group that meets 1-2:30 at Uptown Espresso, grateful it was my left wrist that is unusable. I wrote this piece and an Ode to Char and Dejon, to the tune of Amazing Grace, for their amazing friendship, including washing my hair, sitting with me in the Emergency Room, organizing my bedroom and even recycling boxes of unsorted paper that I had not yet had the will power to let go of. And I celebrated quelling my desire to be productive, at least Mon. to Friday, on the day I went to their place and watched three movies.

I had a pest problem also that was dealt with during this month, including having 20 large bags with fumigation strips left at room temperature in the dining and living room, not to be touched for 14 days. Hey, I LIKE 2-for-1s, but only when it's meals or entertainment. THIS 2-for-1 holds me down, including having accessible only ONE pair of shoes for anywhere I go till the heavy bags are opened March 28. (My oversight, and I can handle some embarrassment, so I can deal with it.)

I'm grateful I've been able to go with the flow, propping up my arm when I watch TV, keeping the left hand and arm dry, receiving help even on the street, when my scarf or shoelaces need to be tied again.

This morning I read a quote suggesting that action leads to inspiration, not waiting for inspiration to get me into action. So I did my marketing calls and felt good about the contacts I made and the potential Compassionate Communication workshops.

What have I learned for when the cast is off? To be in the moment, conscious, present. I'm also working on the Buddhist guidelines I just learned: limitless kindness, limitless compassion, limitless joy, and limitless equanimity. If it's true that resistance to what is causes suffering, I should be in a pretty good emotional place.

Are there any advantages to being incapacitated?. Well, it's easier to accept assistance when I know I'm doing my best. I hope my greater awareness of my environment will serve me toward greater safety and Presence. I'd love if my contentment with doing what IS possible and easy would carry over, and lower my self-expectations to what IS reasonable and comfortable.

My Inner Critic has been given time off, and I hope she'll stay on leave for a long time. Perhaps I'll be wise enough to focus on what is important in the long run, and let other things take their place on my "if there is time" list. Hm, what might you do, short of injuring yourself, to slow down as I've been forced to do, and learn whatever there is for you to learn?

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Friday, March 16, 2012

I Promise!

The promises I've made to myself have usually been harder to keep than those to others.I have committed to spending an hour a day marketing my CompassionateCommunication classes. That lasted a month or two, as did my vow to eat only one sweet/ day and to stop eating by 8:00 pm. (I can blame it on my friend who didn't check up on me as often as I needed her to, but of course it ends up my responsibility). I've made promises to finish what I start--and I still get sidetracked online by new topics to google, and new connections I see with emails I've already started. I don't want to miss anything, so I keep subscribing to a variety of informative and stimulating sites online. I probably did better with the promises I made when my children were small,though I heard recently from my daughter that a lot of our agreements required them to do something in order to get a treat or a desired activity. I wonder if all of us wish we could undo and redo some of the things we did as parents.These days I try very hard not to make promises unless I can and will keep them. Intentions are a good start, but they don't keep a promise. What has helped most is teaming up with someone to give mutual support to keep our separate agreements. I am unstoppable with daily connection. It feels wonderful to tell a friend, "Yes, I did what I said I'd do. Did you?" I'd like to believe I could one day be my own partner. If that happens, I will celebrate. In the meantime, I will honor my sincere wish to be in integrity by doing what I say I will do. I promise!
posted by Moreah @ 9:14 PM

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Dec. 24 at my Neighborhood Church

It's a Fri. night in December and I'm in the neighborhood church. I knew it was going to be the Christmas story, but I felt the desire to be around people more than my lack of connection with Bible stories. I thought of leaving, guessed no one would care, yet felt some draw to this musical story. There was some familiarity that brought me back to growing up in a large farm family in Iowa.

What a long way this is from today's hours spent at the tax deed sale, followed by a nap, an apple and snacks, and a phone call with a friend sharing an MLM with me. I'm easily drawn to TV shows, and will probably watch World's Dumbest and a movie later. In this church, where I recognize no one, I feel no loneliness. (I knew I wanted to be "out" this evening, again feeling connected. I hear now a well sung song about miracles when you believe.)

Now we're all singing "Joy to the World" and 'The First Noel." I am aware I'm curious if there will be food afterward. When I brought snacks to share earlier, it looked like people had already eaten. Rev. Terry had Snuggies for guests here from Tent City. I'm reminded ever so gently how blessed I am. A young teen reminded us to share good will 12 months a year, not just in December.

I'm always curious about the thoughts that push themselves into most any activity I am part of. In the past few minutes, I've thought of grapefruit juice in my fridge, TV ballet on at 9, the 1000's of unread emails in my inbox, how the homeless people here and out in the cold are managing, when I'm going to turn my 2 books into e-books, how warm I feel toward my Unitarian church community, how much more intimate live performances are, and why I've not put dozens of my short pieces on my blog.

A few minutes later, the performance is over, and I walk the half-block home. I welcome the sense of connection, though I spoke to no one. The day feels surprisingly complete.

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