Zero to Sixty

speedometer gauge reading at zero

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m 59 and 11 months today.  Next October 25, I want to know I’ve created my best pathway to sixty, and have blogged along the way to keep myself accountable.

First step along that path is to Train My Mind For Happiness, and step one in that endeavor is to be alert and mindful of toxic patterns of thought.

There are so many books on Happiness and Mindfulness, and courses aplenty as well.  First up for me is UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Foundation Science of Happiness Class.  There, they teach that each of us can create new roads through the superhighway of our brain — that we really can teach an old dog new tricks.

adult animals beautiful daylight

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I need some.  New pathways, that is.  I have well-worn groves along the toxic thoughts highway, starting with that capital “P” Perfectionism.   But believing that I can always be perfect … that when I fall short of perfect I am not enough, I am not worthy, I am a failure … shocking as it may seem, that belief does not lead to happiness.  Not even close.  And it keeps me from taking risks, it encourages me to hold on to (supposed) control, its makes me fearful of vulnerability.  It keeps me constrained in a very small box.

While there are pitstops for moments of pleasure along the Perfection Superhighway — a refueling when I get that fleeting feeling of satisfaction for a job well done, the beauty of the perfect roundness of those zeros in a “100” atop the graded paper — the stop is always too short.  Too soon, I’m back on the road, the short-lived joy of accomplishing something perfectly already forgotten while I search frantically for how to do the next thing just right.

While refueling stations are few and far between, however, there is an over-abundance of other things along that well-worn Highway of Perfect.  Anxiety, Alienation, Knowing I Am Not Enough — those are the oxygen I breath along that drive.  Well, f*ck that.  I’m tossing out the well-worn roadmap of my life and taking Exit 59A.  What’s that sign say?  This Way to Average?  Average????  Yikes!!!  OK, I’m in!  What the hell, it might be fun.   I’m going to do my best to start believing that doing good enough is good enough.  I’m exiting the well-worn highway of striving for perfection, and I’m going to start being happy for putting in the effort, taking the chances, going for it, even if I fall short.  I’m heading to It’s OK to Just Be Me, which is much more accepted, I hear, in Averageville.

highway exittCome and meet me there!

 


Escaping into Dreams

Why is it that my dreams are so vivid, so imaginative, but during the day when I sit down to write I too often struggle with attempting to create the right character arc, or enough drama and tension, or an interesting dialogue.  Why does my mind have no problem telling an intriguing story when left to its own devices?  In my dreams I discover all these rooms I had no idea existed in the very house in which I’d lived for years.  I fly.  I seem to frequent elevators that fail to stop at the appointed floor and instead zoom up into space, sailing over the city until I land, somehow uninjured, in a field.  The ordinary humdrum of life is filtered out, leaving more excitement that I can conjure up when my eyes are open and my body upright.

Speaking of dreams, I had dinner in Bali last month with a man who told me he writes down his dreams every morning, and he has more than 1,500 dreams recorded, which he assured me was “more than any other man on earth.”  I myself haven’t had the discipline to write my dreams each night for 1,500 nights in a row, but I’m not so sure that my dining companion is the only man on earth who has done so.  And he takes his dreams to heart.  God told him in his dreams that he was the King that will bring back an ancient Kingdom for the Indonesian people.  And that he is from the moon.  And all sorts of other quite unusual things that made for a most interesting dinner.

Dreams are a mystery, a way to connect to ourselves at a deeper level, thought-provoking, so scary at times that they haunt us even after we awake.  Dreams are our imagination soaring large, uninhibited by the constraints society and family and responsibility and fear have placed on our consciousness, free to be who we are or who we want to be.

All this writing of dreaming has me thinking of bed, so I think I’ll sign off and snuggle under the covers and await what movie my mind has in store for me tonight!

 


Pensive

Contemplating Life

Peace in the Pacific

Where am I going in my life?  After 25 years of thinking about it, I finally took the leap of leaving the comfort and more-than-comfortable salary of Big Law and started my own, little-ole-me firm — the goal being to free up my life while still maintaining an income and taking advantage of the relationships and experience built up over all these years.

But I have no more time than I had before.  My “to do” list still includes a host of action items that come before the one I know my soul wants to do — work on my book.  That elusive book that exists in my head, in my imagination, in my soul but not on paper.

Am I just treading water?  Am I constitutionally unable to end my procrastination and step into my fear and just force myself to give myself time to write?  I find myself contemplating this quandary often, pensively.  I have no answer.  It’s easy as I lay down at night to plan a different day tomorrow.  Scarlett O’Hara still alive and well, living through me.  Tomorrow, it IS another day.  But every day so far it ends up as just another day that the way I spent my time conflicts with the way I say I want to spend it.

One foot in front of another, blog by blog, I will create a writing habit of butt in seat, writing even when I have no thoughts in my head.  I will be pensive no longer.  Contemplative, yes.  But putting the thoughts into curious, excited, motivated, positive action.

ravens


Trying To Live My Best Life

I’m trying out the WordPress Blogging 101 University again. One of these days I will learn to blog better, at least I’ll keep trying!

Our assignment? To tell you, the Universe, why I’m blogging instead of keeping a personal journal. The answer? I do both, and neither as often as I’d like. I journal to let out my anger, record my thoughts so I can look back on them in later years and remember what this time was like, to explore private thoughts and learn about myself. I blog to share, and to seek feedback from you.

One day I was practicing Kundalini yoga using a DVD of Maya Fiennes and working on Chakra 5, my voice. I’ve always had trouble expressing my needs to others, or even admitting them to myself. In my memory I tried to express myself as a child but if my thoughts/feelings/opinions weren’t the ones my parents thought I “should” hold, then they were considered back-talking and more often than not I’d be in trouble for them. In fact for the most part the only trouble I ever got in was for back-talking. I didn’t drink, didn’t sneak off to the woods to smoke, didn’t steal, didn’t take drugs, didn’t fail to make good grades … but I did “talk back” i.e. say what I thought about a situation. Perhaps I could have tried a different approach, a different tone of voice, a different way of expressing myself but I just stubbornly insisted on speaking my mind. But over time I learned not to own my truth, not to speak my mind, just to think it but outwardly acquiesce.

I suffered from horrible sore throats — strep throat — as a child until finally the doctor said I was old enough to have my tonsils removed to cure the problem … and miraculously I never had strep throat again, at least for years. I always had such a high-pitched voice, even as a 40-year-old, that folks on the phone thought I was a kid. All these signs my body was sending me telling me to OWN MY VOICE.. to speak up, to open up. Determined in my late 40s to give it a try, I was dedicated to practicing the DVD that promises with 40 days of use to accomplish that goal of unblocking my Fifth Chakra when “an enriching life” popped into my head as a phrase that symbolized what I wanted. A rich life not with monetary wealth but with fullness, friendships, experiences, spirituality, and abundance of health, joy, and love.

so this blog is the result. As soon as my DVD ended I hoped up, signed up for the domain An Enriching Life and started to write about any subject I feel has enriched my life or might enrich yours. OK I haven’t done such a great job at it but it’s still a worthy goal and one I’m going to keep attempting to reach.

Blogging itself has enriched my life by giving me an outlet for my random thoughts and sometimes helping to put them in some sort of order. Here’s hoping I get better at it, for your sake as well as my own!
Blessings and Happy 5th of July!


Adding A Blavatar To My Blog … And How Hopeless I Really Am

I’m so hopeless when it comes to anything touching on coding, or requiring any computer skills What So Ever. Eons ago I even took a Fortran programming course in college. Clearly my college counselor who, looking at my background, advised me to include that class on my schedule was inept, and I was even more clearly insane. I had only basic math and that from horrid teachers who hung on only due to the school district’s complete inability to fire anyone. I’d never had calculus and barely any algebra and now I was in a course in which I was to write a program to perform calculus, or some such thing. My Fortran professor was incredibly frustrated that I showed up at every Office Hour, asking what I’m sure were inane questions attempting to figure out what the hell I was supposed to be doing.

Why I did not drop the class I will never know. Finally, fortunately, I found a guy who liked me and was willing to help. But he preferred just to do my work rather than attempt the probably hopeless task of actually teaching me how to do it (which of course wasn’t his job, anyway). So yes, I’m embarrassed to say I somehow made it through that class with his help, scraping by with a D. But I learned nothing about programming other than how precise and perfect you must be in writing code if you want to avoid having the entire thing crash and how incredibly frustrating it is to work for hours and then have to start all over because of one typo that it takes forever just to find.  I guess I learned one more thing, which is that computer programming is not for me.  One possible career choice down, one million more to go!

Although I couldn’t do Fortran programming, the old pre-windows DOS computers communicated with you, giving you, the user, some indication of what was going on.  So that I could sometimes figure out what was wrong and, on occasion, even  do something about it.   But then came Windows and I couldn’t see how things worked and all these years later I have absolutely no idea how to do even the most basic thing. All of which is a long way around to my topic of attempting to add a Blavatar to my blog.  Which requires me to find a photo I like and then figure out how to get it into my blog.

So I searched Getty Images which I just learned had images that could be used, except I cannot figure it out.  I can’t just download a photo instead I have to “embed this text,” and somehow a photo will appear. But if it isn’t already looking like a photo I can’t figure out how to make it appear as a photo in my “Customize Header” page.  There’s no option there for “embed text” it’s just “upload image.”  I give up.  But I do like the photo and I can figure out how to embed text into the blog itself so it’s not a complete waste.  And it created my blog post for the day.  Here’s the photo that started it all …

Embed from Getty Images

Since “they” say Practice Makes Perfect I won’t give up. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of this blogging thing!