raybear: (Default)
At the new year's eve service at temple, one of the rituals is the burning of one's defilements, or 'bad habits' as they gently put it. You have a piece of a paper, about 4x6 and a small golf pencil and a few minutes to write down all the things from the past year you want to let go of, send up in smoke. Last year, they started a new tradition of giving out a second piece of paper. On this one, you write down all the 'good habits' you desire to cultivate in the next year. Last year, I left my paper blank. I folded it in quarters and stuck it in my pocket and I still have it -- stuck into my 'writing altar' in the office which is basically my MFA thesis, lots of blank books, and inspirational notes on post-its. The emptiness sort of represented possibility of all the things I could and would do in 2007. It also represented the state of mind I was in, weighed down and paralyzed and trying to get rid of so much of my 'bad habits' that I couldn't even conceive of what positive aspirations I had.

This year, I wrote out my defilements and I felt like I had more jotted down than years' past, but only because I was able to write out specifically what things were bothering me, what I wanted to let go. And when it came time for the good habits, I knew right away what to right there as well, it was very clear the things I want to cultivate and do more of:

sit
write
breathe
speak
move
love

Now I'm about to drink coffee and pull out the paper journal and see the concrete 'resolutions' I made last year. I know that I did not achieve lots of them, but I'm okay with most all of it -- because I either learned something concrete about myself in why I didn't do it, or I'm okay with just adding it to the list for this year. Like learning to do a headstand.
raybear: (red)
Maybe it's the clouds moving out and the glimpse of blue sky so it's sunny while snowing. Maybe its the blankets and drifts and odd shapes of frozen white outside the window which are a total pain when you have to be in it, but when you can sit at home and look out, it's quite beautiful. Maybe it was the slow dance last night. Maybe its the mix of space music mix I'm listening to this morning. Maybe its joy in watching Sophie go running around into the banks taller than her and getting lost in her own pleasure of racing through the snow.

But today, I'm just like "fuck that shit". In a good way.

Fcked up isht happens to us, so much trauma, and our minds and bodies do extraordinary things to cope and heal and protect us from it. Then sometimes the protection are walls and the coping has dictator-like ways of shaping our lives for fear that it will happen again and bullying ourselves and those around us, and its like all the good things we were doing for ourselves turns inward and implodes and we're continuing the cycle without even knowing it. This morning I thought, I spent 20something years feeling like everyday I was a messed up freak who had to look in the mirror at an image that was nothing like the one in my head, and now, I'm an adult, I have power and choice and freedom, and most importantly, I have a body I don't hate, in fact it kinda fcking rocks. I was able to keep my brain in the process, I still have all those idealized dreams and puzzling thoughts I've collected through all the days of this life and I risked a lot to make all that happen (including losing some key figures), and if I just sit here and don't breakthrough and enjoy it, then what was the point of doing it in the first place? To merely stay alive, to get by, to force the whole world to conform to my vision of how things should happen? Fuck that shit.

It's like what Sunim talked about one time, that buddhists are inherently loving happy people, not the somber stern idea people have (are); it's just like what a former pastor talked about one time, that christians are inherently loving happy people, not the somber judgmental idea people have (are) -- why are we, human beings collectively, continually getting bogged down into it? Life is fcked up and hard, no doubt. And for some, it is way harder than others. But damn, sometimes we're just perpetuating that isht. There's enough real trauma in the world, why make it worse but creating more, dwelling in it, revelling in it? For the sake of excitement? Because it makes us feel something intense? Because we don't think we deserve something better? Because we don't think we're capable of something better? Fuck that shit.

Yeah, I'm still going to have that pain in my chest sometimes. I'm still going to want to lie down and nap when I get overwhelmed by it all. I'm still going to hurt like hell sometimes for no obviously discernible reason. But damn, can't I laugh and have fun sometimes too? Can't I cut myself and everyone around me some loving slack? Can't I break the part of the cycle that I'm consciously or unconsciously creating out of habit, at every moment possible when I see with clarity how I'm unintentionally hurting myself?

Yes. Yes, I can. Happy Valentine's Day to me. I choo-choo-choose you!
raybear: (red)
Not to be all Garfield, but Mondays suck. They are hard. [Which, why the hell did he hate Mondays? He was a fcking cat who didn't have to go to work or do anything substantial.] I mean, its just the whole week is stretched out in front of me and its overwhelming. Last night I had a hard time falling asleep, I had all these ideas, and today I couldn't even make it more than 3 blocks away from the house. I got to the bus stop and just said "uh-uh". So I went to the grocery store for coffee, as a lesson in gifting to my future self and having hope (i.e. I used up all the coffee and tomorrow morning I would be very happy that my self today did this). Then I came home and I'm making a cake.

I've decided to declare today is National Fake It Til You Make It Day. And I will compile all the ridiculous and powerful fortune-style affirmations that I say to myself frequently, depending on what the current monologue I'm trying to battle. Um, one or two of them might only make sense to me.

- Just because something is hard or sad doesn't mean it's 'bad'.

- It's easier to get stuck in the negative and harder to remember and cultivate the positive, but it's worth it if you manage to conquer what's harder.

- Do what you need to make it in this world.

- I'm not crazy and you're not nice.

- It could be worse....but it could also be better. It is what it is.

- Hold on.

- I am capable of a better love than what has been shown to me.

- Crutches help you walk, man.

- "Coping" is much better than the alternative, which is NOT coping.

- Fig jam + goat cheese + rye bread = delicious.

Ok, the last one isn't an affirmation, it's my lunch. But it does make me happy and inspired to think about. And even better to eat.

P.S. The tag for this entry was stolen from [livejournal.com profile] saltjam. And one of the affirmations came from [livejournal.com profile] tracijean

May 2010

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