Slow Down…Number Two

This is why i came here.  i knew my anxiety was getting worse in the city.  Much worse.  i would come up here alone, sometimes, as kids were still at home.  When i left, Sarah had one less child to look after, so it was fine with her.

And now i am here still, but alone.  No one else is here.  That would drive some people mad.  Not me.  i guess i really don’t mind people.  i just need time without all of them once in a while.  Maybe not even everyone.  i just need, sometimes, to slow down and think.  “What do you think of while you are out in the deep, dark woods in the isolation of northern Ontario?”

If i am fortunate, nothing in particular.  A busy mind is not useful to me.  i have significant memory and focus issues.  i can guarantee i will absolutely nothing done, for example, if i do not begin by taking a few deep breaths to start my day.  i take time to think about how i feel right now.  What is going on with my body right now?  Is my brain cluttered or clear?

But if there is something, i am now aware of its presence.  Anger?  Fear?  Peace, in spite of outward pressures?  Physical pain?  I go to a site hosted by a friend up here called, “Growing Your Gratitude” where people simply share their gratefulness.  That has been helpful to me in my morning time.  i start my day by being grateful for something.  Here is the site, if you are interested.

They are up here- real pioneers- living off grid in the bush and learning new skills, like raising chickens, etc.  Very cool.

At the point i feel i am at least casually aware of what is going on with me, i can begin my day.  Now that i am in tune with my mental and physical state, i can plan and organize myself.   If it is necessary, i can put a safety plan into place.  i can decide i will attack certain aspects of my life this way or that way.

When i am suffering this can be a difficult thing.  Who wants to begin their day by getting in touch with those feelings?  Who wants to be aware of their sufferings?  You don’t need to stay there, you know.  You can simply brush over it, be aware of its presence and move on.  No one wants to start their day mired down in the quicksands of pain and suffering.  Not me, anyway.  Not ready to play victim just yet.

We live in the country.  i blow snow in my pyjama pants because they are warm and comfy and the snow brushes off them.  i have a full snow suit, but it has to be cold to wear all that.  Really cold.  So who cares if i put on pants or not, really?  As long as i am not going to town that way.  I sometimes wander around naked, now i am on my own.  i always tell people to call before they come out.  It is just safer…for everyone.

i know you have to wear pants.  i understand.  Being aware of my emotions and physical state.  Now i know i told you i would keep spirituality in a safe, labelled compartment, but that is also part of my awareness search.  i want to know if i feel connected or disjointed from what gives my life meaning.  That is a source of strength for me, and it is something i let slip away for a while.  It was a core part of my being and i ignored it at my own peril.   So i’ll sneak that in.  Sue me.

Yes you do.  You have the same 24 hours i have.  If it is not worth it to you, don’t bother.  If you feel it that the people in your life are not worth it, don’t bother.  Insist on being unaware of your own internal crap if you like.  Suffer like hell if you want.  But don’t tell me you do not have time to do a little self-assessment at some point in the day.  I am done being obtuse.

i do not want to come to the end of life being a victim.  When i come to the end of life, i, like Thoreau, i want to know i have lived…that i have not wasted the humanity with which all of us are gifted.  i need some sense of control and purpose in my life.  if it seems like bullshit, to you, don’t bother.  i find it helpful in my journey toward recovery and if it helps another, so much the better.  It is called mindfulness.  And it deserves a post just for that topic, so that is up next.


Mindful John



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