Friday, July 31, 2015

"This is just another AFOG. Another F'ing Opportunity to Grow"

"So I just let go, of what I know I don't know
And I know I'll do this by living in the moment
Living our life 
Easy and breezy 
With peace in my mind 
With peace in my heart 
With peace in my soul
Wherever I'm going, I'm already home 
Living in the moment."
Jason Mraz

I had a taste of the secret to a free and joyous life this week.  It's so sweet and delicious that I have to share, and so simple it's shocking.  It's so straightforward that my mind doesn't want to believe it....yet in the past week I have softened ten fold, and I realize that deep within my soul, I  have known this forever.

So.... on this Friday evening I heat up a bowl of frozen mac and cheese, pour a glass from an $11.99 bottle of wine, and meditate that my words will speak to you, just as Anam Thubten's words have spoken to me.
One thing I do know as I get started- this shit is going to be real.

I have spent so much of my life believing that things just weren't the way they should be, and that somehow I would be happier if my circumstances were changed.  As many years as I can remember I have been living a fantasy story told to me by my own crazy thoughts.
As a child I thought: "I would be happier if I didn't have so much work.  Jody doesn't have to do chores...."
As a teenager I complained: "I never get to go out.  I would be happier if my parents weren't so strict."
As an adult my gripes were:
"Teaching would be easier if worked in a more affluent neighborhood."
 "If I didn't live in this city, I would have so many more adventures"
"If I just had a house in this school district...."
"Life would be so much easier if I had more money"
"If he hadn't gotten so sick...."
"If we could have worked it out..."
"If life wasn't so unfair......"
"If I was in charge...."

Thubten explains that this problem begins with our EGO.
 "Like a spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum- Ego doesn't except who we are or the way things are, and when we are under the jurisdiction of ego we don't accept anything.  We don't even like the fact that we are on this planet.......but there is nothing we can do."

So how do we placate this brat trying to get everything that he wants?  How are we supposed to deal with the everyday aspects that materialize in this life we live?

The answer is acceptance.  Easy as pie.

My best friend and I used to always quote: "It is what it is."
How is it that over the years I have forgotten that?

Buddha told us that "everything is emptiness."
All we have to do is accept everything the way it is, without attaching positive or negative thoughts.
There is no good or bad.  There just is.
We accept people the way they are without attaching a label to them, and we are able to love everyone and everybody.
We accept our circumstances as "another fucking opportunity to grow"- without attaching the demons of anger, doubt, loneliness or fear; and life becomes less scary.
We accept that where we are right now is where we are supposed to be without bonds to our job, or to a relationship, or to any moment.......   and all problems dissolve.
Lack of conflict = lack of pain;  and in turn we are free.

So what do we do?
"Surprisingly we don't do anything," says Thubten.  "Just by watching and being in the present moment, we find ourselves in a calm and peaceful space where nothing has ever happened."
How simple it is.  It does not require any special learning or religious rituals , this secret to happy life.
We just be.

Can you do it?  Can you stop fighting and just accept the way things are right now?
Can you trust that your life is unfolding just as it should be, grateful for every opportunity and experience?
Can you just let go?

Don't confuse the story for what your heart knows is really true.
You are enough.   Your life is unfolding just as it should be.
Sometimes we are just presented with another fucking opportunity to grow....and that in itself allows us to evolve.
In this moment, it's all good. Listen to your heart, and believe.

* Special thanks to Aaron Conner for sending me the book: No Self, No Problem by Anam Thubten
and for reminding me to always stay mindful and grateful for the present moment :) 

Friday, July 10, 2015

You get me high........

"I remember feeling this way
You can lose it without knowing
You wake up and you don't know which way
The wind is blowing

Ohhh ohhh, you get me high
You get me high
You give me something so deep
You get me high" 

Tom Petty

Today I felt like I was fucking losing my mind.  I'm not really sure how it happened.
Yesterday was all sunshine and pansies, but today I wanted to crawl out of my existence.
Over nothing.  (Well, a few bills and some tough love- but basically nothing).
Anxiety is a son of a bitch.

And then I went running.  Just 30 min at Arbor Hills trail while my girls played on the playground- and it all melted away.   Nature prevailed, freedom reigned and the answers came.  Endorphins are magical.

Thank you God that I found this drug called running first.