I have been subscribing to Leo Baubata’s blog posts for years now.
Yesterday’s post on upward and downward spirals in health and productivity resonated with me more than usual.
I had noticed this tendency in myself many years ago. That I could be in a downward spiral with respect to health and emotional well-being until….little by little, tiny positive change by tiny positive change, I was spiraling my way back up again to a more positive, happier place.
This is a post that I could have written over 10 years ago (but not nearly as beautifully as Leo), except I wasn’t blogging then. (It wasn’t until 2009 that I joined the blogoverse in a real, committed way.)
Leo’s blog is all about changing your life one positive habit at a time. You don’t need to quit your job or leave your relationship or trek up a mountain and meet with a guru.
Although you may eventually do one or more of those things at some point along your journey, instead Leo asks you to make one small positive change at a time. Then build on that with another one. And another one. Until one day you notice you are living a very different (in a good way) life from one you were living a month or 6 months or a year ago. Because this is how he became fit, lost weight, quit smoking, got out of debt etc., etc. Read his story here.
Somebody famous (or infamous) famously said: You only live once but if you do it right, it’s enough. Or very similar wording expressing the same sentiment. Blah blah blah…details!
The point being made that living life fully is the way to go.
For me that means being in the present moment, as much as possible. Not just going through the motions or living life on autopilot while mulling over the past or fretting about the future. Being engaged with people and the community. And saying yes… a lot. But not so much that this happens.
Oh, the mythical Balanced Life – how it eludes me, even now! 😉
Living life right. Easier to say than to do at times. But with practice and determination, I believe it is possible to achieve, even just momentarily.
I am so blessed to have been given 2 of these, making me female.
I remember as a young child becoming very frightened at the thought that I could have been born a boy instead. Followed by immense relief that I could live my life as a girl.
I can’t begin to imagine the torment that transgendered individuals go through when they realize their inner and outer selves don’t match society’s expectations for gender. Thankfully there is beginning to be acceptance for these individuals. To live happier lives and to be able to fully express who they really are. We still have a long way to go as a society but progress is being made.
Late yesterday I found out it was Denim Day. April 27th is a day to wear denim to work in support of a woman who was told by an Italian court that her driving instructor couldn’t have raped her because she was wearing tight jeans at the time. The justice ruled that since she was wearing these jeans she had to have helped her attacker remove them so he could rape her and that meant it was consensual.
So I am wearing denim at work today with this in mind. Okay, confession time – I often wear denim as I work for an agricultural company and denim is our power suit. 😉
But today I am wearing my jeans with intent. Intent to support of all those XX (and XY too) chromosome possessors who have been – and continue to be – told that they or their actions have caused their bodies to be violated by another human being.
Wanna know who is responsible for rapes happening? Rapists. The End.
Sometimes the simplest things are the best, you know?
What could be more simple than walking, for those who are able-bodied enough to do so?
You don’t even need to think about how to do it. You just think about where you need to go and magically your body takes you there!
Which is why walking meditation works so well. The act of walking is so automatic for those of us blessed with working legs that our minds can be freed up for other pursuits while we are walking.
The steady rhythm of walking puts me in a mental state that allows for deep thought (0r the distinct lack thereof, if I am trying to meditate). I often solve problems or come up with fresh plans while I am out walking.
My spirit is renewed by the sights, smells and sounds of nature. My body is energized by the deeper breathing involved in fast walking, and the upright posture that allows my lungs to inflate fully. My mind is rested by the beautiful scenery and the deliberate shutting down of inner chatter (when actively trying to meditate).
Walking can be done just about anywhere and needs no special equipment.
Walking is too often taken for granted by those of us who do it without thinking. Guilty, as charged.
Is what I am envisioning for adventuring with, in my retirement years.
And then sometimes I think I would rather have something like this:
I fell in love with the Airstream Bambi at a camping show this winter.
Thankfully retirement is still a few years away. Maybe by then someone will have come up with the perfect option for me. A VW van with the modern trimmings (A/C, bluetooth…for starters) or a Bambi with an induction stove and solar panels…Hey a girl can dream, can’t she?
Which I am, most of the time. I find it very uncomfortable to be “down”. When I am “down” I spend a lot of time and energy trying to get back to “up” again, because that is my preferred state of being.
I think people tend to fall into either category. I have seen people who had nothing to complain about dig deep into their memories for long-past grievances to recall, so that they can be “down” again, if life happens to going a little too smoothly for their liking at the moment.
On the other hand, I can see how a person who is naturally “up” can sugar-coat or view rather rosily a tough or even appalling situation because of how uncomfortable it is to feel “down”. Been there, done that. Earned that T-shirt.
I could never understand why someone would voluntarily bring themselves down. But maybe it is not voluntary. Are our brains hard-wired for one preference or another?
Can we change, or is this something like handedness? Sure, you can struggle to use the non-dominant hand but will always prefer the other.
If anyone reading would like to respond as to whether they consider themselves an “up” or “down” person in the comments, I think it would make for an interesting impromptu poll.
The ideal (in my mind) would be to live in the moment and see each moment clearly for what it is. Take action if required – deal with it and…
That still stands. I still feel this is the best situation for me, going forward. Two tours of duty in matrimonial land have been enough for this woman.
I had dinner with a friend last night who is in the same mental boat as I am. He lost his partner 22 years ago and has never felt the need to have that kind of committed relationship again since.
In chatting over Indian food last night, we both realized we had experienced very special, deep relationships with our significant others. Once-in-a-lifetime-if-you-are-that-fortunate relationships. When you have that and then lose it through the loss of your loved one, you don’t want to settle for anything less ever again. And frankly, you don’t want to try to look for that again with anyone else.
You are complete, as is. You and your memories. And you don’t want to sully those with a subsequent sub-par relationship. It wouldn’t be fair to either of you.
It is very hard to explain to someone who has never experienced this.
I’ve had many well-meaning friends and acquaintances tell me that I will find someone again, and not to stay alone for the rest of my days. I appreciate that they think I am lonely or sad, and are thinking only of my happiness.
But I am not lonely or sad. I am happy and content. In fact, any mention of having another relationship with a man causes a real visceral experience in my body – I actually get sick to my stomach at the thought. Talk about your gut reaction!
So, I still say never and my body agrees. I’m going with my gut on this one.
This time last year I undertook several major renovation projects at my place – new upper and lower roofs; installation of solar panels; kitchen and bathroom “to the studs” teardown and remodel. And, as luck would have it – they all occurred at once! And I continued to live there the whole time!
So. Much. Fun.
Yet. I. Survived.
Never. Again. I. Said.
Now Round 2 is about to begin – more exterior work including painting, new entrance lights, new entrance doors, and restoration of the clock in the clock tower of my building. Inside, I am doing some improvements in the basement for my tenants as well having work done on my own place.
Three more rooms in my little aerie will be getting the spa treatment – new electrical, new ceilings, refinished hardwood, walls prepped for painting, and the pièce de résistance…a walk-in closet in the room to become my bedroom!
This will leave only my living room as yet needing an overhaul, and I hope to be able to schedule that (if time and budget allows) for later summer/early fall.
It’s gonna be another busy, dusty spring at Chez Badass!
Quadricep muscles of steel are what I am trying to earn through all my physical activities of late. Also, hamstrings of steel, calves of steel, and – might as well put it out there: buns of steel – would be great too.
Between hiking up and down and all around the Niagara Escarpment for my Bruce Trail hikes, and my 5K Learn-to-Run class, I should be well on my way.
Developing my lower body in this way would be a nice complement to my ever-present upper back, shoulder and neck muscles of steel. You know the ones we modern humans get from being hunched over our electronic devices AND from carrying the troubles of the world on our shoulders …the ones I pay a registered massage therapist to tenderizebeat into submission work on, on a monthly basis? Yeah, those.
If only I could learn to carry stress on my butt instead of my shoulders. I’m not saying it’s a Kardashian-worthy butt. There will be no champagne glasses resting comfortably back there any time soon. But there is junk in my trunk. Definitely enough to carry some stress back there instead of in my neck and shoulders, for some respite.
In the meantime, I will continue to forge me some legs of steel.