The elegant and obvious solution to feeling rushed off your feet.

Last night I had errands to run after a full day at work. These days a full day at work is a bit much to take, but I do my best. My meds for my neuralgia make me feel like I’m going through molasses. Some days I work at home and that helps cut the stress. It cuts out 4 hours of commuting per week, and that is really helping. Every bit counts.

I had groceries to unpack after my long commute home, then picked up the pup from the neighbors. As I get in the door I have a lot to take care of right away. Geese need to be put in their pen, check water and feed. Make sure the door is raccoon proofed. Haul in and put groceries away. Put the clean dishes away that are on the kitchen counter, and do another batch. (I can’t stand having dirty dishes.) I make dinner for my three dogs. At my house it’s the rule that animals are fed before humans. I make sure the Senior and favorite soul dog, Mr. Google, gets his meds, and I take his leg brace off for the night. Only then I can make myself dinner, and finally sit down. At this point I’ve been going since 5:00 am. It’s now 7:30pm.

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In the middle of doing dishes, I hear my favorite dog whine that his dinner is not enough to eat, I blow a gasket….almost. How can I be grumpy at Soul Dog? He’s 84 in dog years (12 in people years) and my favorite of all my animals. We have a deep connection and he rarely asks for anything from me. If he begs, he is in need. I check my anger and frustration at the door, er, rather in mid dishwashing. I can change my behavior so there is not so much stress. Slow down. Now. Yes. Oh, that’s better. Now I’m not spinning way out of sync with the Universal Flow of energy.

Since I started daily meditation, even if it is only 10 minutes per session, something slides into my reptilian brain and tells me to slow down. There is no need whatsoever to feel rushed. Ever. Not while running errands, or bringing home groceries, or feeding dogs, or doing dishes. The buddhist mindset of doing things mindfully, and being fully into whatever it is, finally makes a spark in my brain and neurons fire. I’ve been telling others about this for years, now I’m finally taking my own advice.

“Hey, I don’t have to ‘hurry’ and do dishes, and all these crazy chores, in order to sit down at a later time tonight and relax. I can relax NOW. In this moment. While doing whatever it is I need to do.”

I re-mind myself that being mind-ful, and deliberate in my actions and thoughts is key to not ever feeling rushed or stressed. Going a little slower, helps me to enjoy all my moments. Not just some. I don’t have to rush around like a nuthead and wait till 7:30pm to enjoy my evening. I can do that any time I want to. It was another moment I realized how silly I was being. I was being a human-doing, not a human-being. 😉 My guru’s Pema Chödrön and Eckhart Tolle have been telling me this for years as I read their materials, quotes, and articles.

For years I have read about, and really tried integrating this mindfulness into everyday life. But life has a way of making you rushed and crazy sometimes. At least I feel a little more connected to this way of being. It’s going to take some time for it to really come home to roost. I’m not yet at the point of 24/7 mindfulness or totally unstressed life. But, coming a little closer to it doesn’t suck!

The reason for sharing this in blog form is, I teach people about not stressing out, being mindful, dumping drama and chaos. Yet I also get caught up in it, like everyone else. Even Ghandi and Mother Theresa got caught up in it! We are not perfect—’specially me. 😉 I like to share my human, not-so-perfect side. It’s part of that great ride of this crazy life! Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has a chance to change course.

I would love to hear from you about your experiences, thoughts, and opinions. This blog is meant to be not only educational but part of a community dialogue with other souls. 

Compassionate or doormat?

Being compassionate and being ‘the wounded healer’ and wanting to help others is a good thing to do. But be careful you don’t overdo it in terms of being a doormat. You should never come away from an experience in compassion feeling used, spent, foolish, tired, or drained. And certainly you should never feel you have been taken advantage of.

Several years back, a local I knew and liked came knocking on my door in a rainstorm. Let’s call him The Farrier. I knew, as did everyone in town, he was recently on the outs with his boss/landlord. He had been kicked out of the place he had been staying, and lost his job. He was at rock bottom. I could not turn him away in the rain. Looking back, he had it timed just right, how could a person turn someone away in a downpour? Once I realized he needed more than shelter from this storm, I made it clear, this was to be temporary. I offered him three months stay, as long as he helped himself to get ahead in the world, not just lay around sleeping. He needed to earn his keep in working toward his future. I stressed it was more important that he work toward his future, than do chores around my home.

At first things went well. He started gathering firewood in the mountains to sell, and he was a farrier, so he had employable skills. He kept his part of the house clean. His needs were few. But I let things go too far too fast. He wanted to constantly borrow my car—a total no no in my book. He needed money all the time, and ate me out of house and home. After only a week his teenaged son and him were reunited. This really complicated things to say the least. His son did not live at my home, but he visited often and of course I had to drive him back and forth, usually a 60 mile round trip. I already drove 84 miles a day round trip Monday through Friday for work. On weekends I strive to never get in my car at all because I am burnt out from driving to work and back.

A few weeks later, on my birthday  (just after Christmas) the Farrier’s son called me. He  wanted to come live with us. Us? Us who? There is no us. I said no, flat out. I think that was the first time in my life the word no came out of my mouth so quickly and so definitively. I patted myself on the back for that one small victory. A few weeks earlier I had been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, an extremely painful, nerve condition. I spent most of my time in bed, in the fetal position trying to figure out how I would have the energy, mental or emotional capacity to carry on with my job and my life. My family was far way, and I needed them. I could hardly manage my own life, much less take on another person in need. Instead of feeling cared for and nurtured, I was the caregiver to two very needy users.

They were nice to me to my face, but together they made my house look like a tornado hit it. They listened to music that was extremely rude toward women, and never helped with a thing. I fed their unending hunger, allowed them to do laundry, shower, and socialize at my place as if it were a flop house. Things were totally out of control within one week of these two reuniting. The son didn’t live with me but it sure felt like it! He was out of school and had no plans of returning—a high school dropout.

The factor that really kept me from kicking both of them out was this 15 year-old kid’s mother had kicked him out and given up on parenting him. All he had was his dad, who didn’t have the financial or mental capacity to deal with him. Emotionally speaking his dad was at the level of a 12 year old. He treated his son like a buddy, not offering any discipline. What would happen to him if I kicked his dad out? Where would they stay? What would they live on? His dad had given up on any sort of employment. He was flat broke. He’d be on drugs so fast and I didn’t want that to happen. Yet I hated myself and them for making me feel like the world’s biggest doormat. When I did suggest they clean up, etc. the change was short lived and things reverted back to chaos and drama. How to resolve this?

Before I gave them both the heave-ho, my compassionate side agonized with my rational side. I kept rolling this problem over and over in my head. How could I deal with this successfully, give this guy and his son the platform and foundation they needed for a better Continue reading

Divine Right Timing

Or thought of another way, you can’t do anything wrong. I learned this saying, this idea, when I was at an evening talk in Albuquerque some years back. It stuck with me and rang true. The idea is, there is no such thing as a coincidence. It’s meant to be. Everything happens at the right time, even if it seems to you that things are going wrong, or you are running late. I’ve heard this many times, and through experience I have come to trust and believe in it.

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Remember this especially when you feel you made mistakes, or are running late, or even can’t make a date you said you could. All things from Spirit come with Divine Right Timing. Always. This is a sort of get out of jail free card in terms of worry. Stop worrying if your late arrival somewhere, or you lack of being able to do such and such is a terrible tragedy or is in some way wrong. It isn’t. Stop worrying. Spirit has your back. You did nothing wrong.

If you still feel bad about being late, or missing a connection of some sort, or not achieving a personal goal by a certain age, time, etc. realize that there is a divine plan, and you are part of it. You just can’t see the whole picture. If you are worried about something not happening at the right time, or are not sure what to ask for, always add the phrase, …with divine right timing. Then let go and be patient.

 

Expect the unexpected

In retrospect the way I handled the delays of my trip back home could have been different had I remained open. I mean totally open to change and delay, not just open to things flowing smoothly. In using the Law of Attraction, being upbeat, imagining a good trip, and being in gratitude do count a lot toward having a great trip. But also being open and flexible in the face of unavoidable delays was something I had forgotten to take into account. I call it going with the Flow (Universal Flow). I usually prepare by imagining and expecting a great trip, all going smoothly. But I should have totally relaxed and been open to any changes that didn’t go with my idea of the timeline for a good day of traveling.

My failure to trust in what was unfolding points to me being more inflexible than I’d like to admit, and wanting to have things my way. Learning to understand, recognize the tug of Universal Flow and work with it, not against it, is an art. It’s the part of co-creating and living a good life that might seem at times inconvenient, irritating and unexpected. By being totally open to all forms of change or delay, that would have made for a happier me, an easier flow. I also believe in Divine Right Timing, or everything happens for a reason. Trust that Spirit has your back. I apparently forgot that, but will do better in the future. That’s all you can do when you flub, is take note and vow to do better.

Jumping to conclusions

As an avid thinker and worrier, I am finding more and more that I jump to conclusions too quickly. They are often the wrong conclusions and the worst case scenario. This is not good for manifesting and co-creating a great life. Being divorced (I’d like to call it single) means I have no partner to support me, and everything is on me to survive. There is no one to lean on for moral or financial support. It’s not what I am used to. Any little change to life’s routine sets my mind immediately to the very worst thing that could happen. But hey, everyone wants their future to be set in stone and taken care of, right? Right! We all know that doesn’t happen and life has no guarantees, right? Right!

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Recently I discovered a leak in my swamp cooler system. The copper wire under the sink in the kitchen was spraying water all over, and had been for some time. Argh! I turned off the tiny valve to stop the flow of water. I asked my neighbor to help Continue reading

Am I doing it right?

You may have heard the phrase, you are exactly where you should be. Usually people who are wondering, Am I doing it right? or Did I make the right decision? find themselves being given this advice. I’m a thinker. I think too much and am in my head too much. I used to worry about whether or not I was doing things right, from a soul perspective. Did I take the right path, learn the right thing? Now that I trust in my own intuition and I trust that things are unfolding as they should, I realize many of the events that I lived through were wonderful for looking back on to gain a different view point.

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My understanding is, you are exactly where you should be at any given moment in life. This considers your past experiences, what you have learned along the way, your current level of knowledge and experience about life and how it all works. No one is perfect! The phrase you are exactly where you should be is a get out of jail free card in terms of worry, and feeling guilty about not being perfect or not doing the right thing. If you feel you screwed up, or could have handled something differently, don’t sweat it. Don’t obsess over those details. You did your best.

You can’t do anything wrong, because each experience, every encounter in life is an opportunity to grow and learn. Much the same way that for scientists there is no such thing as a failed experiment, because at a minimum, knowledge was gained from what did not work. A burnt batch of chocolate chip cookies tell you the oven was too hot, and yet, you might still be able to enjoy a few of those cookies!  Don’t take life so seriously.

 

Life takes practice.

As I like to say “Life takes practice.” All those little details in life, the day-to-day moments, that’s where the real learning is. We all make mistakes, especially me. That’s a joke, sort of. 😉 Living on planet Earth can be crazy, brilliant, confusing or downright difficult. We are each on our own journey. Our paths intersect, meander, collide. We become lost, and then find a new way. On this journey, one thing’s for sure, we never get through life alone. We are all in this together, learning and sharing the experience to expand our awareness. It gives one hope to think we can share our experiences and learn from each other on this crazy ride called life on Earth. Life is in the details. Life takes practice. This blog is meant to share what I learn in a very simple, easy to understand way. I get at the nuts and bolts and give you enough information to do your own research. Happy traveling and hope to see you on the path!