"I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion, or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness..." ~ H.H. Dalai Lama
I've been on a quest for some time now. The quest for inner peace. That quest has taken me on some very interesting journey's. Although I have obtained a certain amount of inner peace, and I have learned many things about myself, the quest continues. Not that that should be a shock. Of course the quest continues - there is so much to learn!
Lately, I have come to the realization that I have no idea how to relax. Wait. That's a lie. I have known for sometime that I don't know how to relax, but I THOUGHT I had figured it all out. Definitely, when I had a daily meditation practice, I was much calmer. A new job with a long commute seemed to put an end to that practice and since then I have kept saying I need to get it back.
A recent surgery and recovery period brought to light, once again, that I still haven't mastered the art of 'just being'. The lack of a daily meditation practice certainly contributed to the realization. Still, it was a hard pill to swallow. These things tend to come to light when you spend three weeks mostly horizontal. As my body had nothing to do but heal, my mind took over in the 'keep busy' department.
Since this re-discovery, as shall we call it, I have tripped along trying to find ways to be more calm. To reach that place of peace that I felt I once had. Perhaps if I can obtain that place once again, I may actually be able to sleep. See, for me, one of the downsides of not relaxing, or having inner peace, is that I don't get a good nights sleep. Sure, I may appear to be sleeping, but really I am in that upper layer of sleep where even a bugs sneeze can awaken me. I dream a lot too, which leads to waking up exhausted because I have been so busy in my sleep.
Part of the problem is I am a planner. This can be a good quality and it can be a bad quality. An example if you will - I am about to merge homes with my partner, M. This will entail a move of my belongings from my current rental to a new rental a couple of blocks away, and his move from a city four hours away. Phew. Can you imagine how my mind is working like a gerbil on a wheel?? Sleep?Ha, not until the move I am sure! (At which point my mind will find something else to glom onto.)
So the good quality of being a planner in a situation like this is I have formulated move times, gathered gracious friends to help, called the utilities, organized moving van, taken measurements of the new place, secured storage for extra items that won't fit and have, and, in my mind, determined where all of our merged items will go in the new place.
The bad quality of being a planner, all of the above has been done in advance of required and has reduced my sleep ability to almost non existent. A lot of this planning, aside from calling around, has been done in my head as I sleep, or eat, or sit, etc.
To those who know me this whole planning thing will be of no surprise. What may surprise them is I wish I didn't do this! Okay, I do like having a plan. But I really don't want to be thinking like this ALL THE TIME. I want quiet in my head. I want to sleep like a kitten in your lap. I want to stop the monkey brain! You'd think it would be easy just to shut it off!
And of course what has helped, in the past, with this quieting of the monkeys? Sitting meditation. So why am I not doing it? I don't know.
Perhaps it's because I am spending my time trying to find relaxing things to do. As I write that I am giggling to myself. I am sure there is an oxymoron in there. I have come to the realization that I want too many things. I want it all. I want to be fit and healthy so I used to run and participate in triathlon. Then when I moved here I hit the trails hiking and running. All until an unexpected trip to the emergency room, (aren't they all unexpected??) turned my life around. I spent four months pretty much doing nothing except being frustrated at not being able to do anything physical.
Now that i can do something physical, I have decided to take up yoga again. I figure this would be one way that I could tap into the meditation I love so much, but also to get my body started back on the path to total wellness. In addition to this, I have started hiking again. I am waffling on getting back into running, but seeing as I would like to start barefoot running, I have decided this is as good a time as any. Mainly because I will have to go back to square one of running.
In addition to this, I am learning more about food and it's relationship to health and the environment. Which means reading a vast array of books on veganism and raw foods. I've also signed up for a raw food chef class. Again this is part of the total wellness quest.
Then there are all the other things I love to do: being with M, kayaking, swimming, riding my Harley, visiting with friends, seeing family, volunteering, exploring, reading, writing, knitting, sitting....
Are you starting to see a pattern here?
I want to do everything and yet I want to relax. How to fit it all in, without the aid of winning the lottery so I don't have to work full time ergo I would have more spare time??
That I will have to discover I guess... Today I made an honest effort to relax. I drank tea in bed and read. At least till 8 am. I read in my livingroom after that. I did make some buckwheat crispies in the dehydrator and started the tomato wraps going, but that was pretty relaxing. The dehydrator does all the work. And I sat and read in between that. Oh, and I attempted a nap! I managed to stay horizontal for 30 minutes...too bad I didn't fall asleep. My mind was busy with the thought of whether or not I should put together the new IKEA dresser I got. I looked at the box. I put the box flat on the floor. Then I said to myself, 'Susi, just walk away. Leave it be....' Likely a good thing as M said he wanted to do it. He is a blessing to me!!
Okay, so maybe it wasn't a total relaxation day, but it was a start. Every new day is a start come to think of it.
As I write this I see my meditation cushion and it's calling to me. Perhaps I will go have a good sit. That sounds pretty relaxing....
Peace out my lovelies...