Entry 70,

Accepting that where I am is exactly where I should be has brought me much relief in the past few days. Nothing has really changed except that I feel less conflicted and more at peace living in the moment in the same circumstances as before. So in a way everything has changed and nothing at the same time. It takes faith to accept that things will enter my life when it is time for them to. Each time I find my faith lacking I also find myself trying too hard to make change happen which is when I start feeling not so good. When I say feeling not so good , what I mean is angry, frustrated and if I don’t catch it early even depressed.

I am finding it to be a challenge to stay vigilant about how I am perceiving my world when I am constantly bombarded with alternative perspectives on a regular basis. This is perhaps why I have a tendency to spend a fair bit of time on my own away from outside influences. I cannot be sure if it’s even possible for me to remain unaffected by the influence of others as I am quite sensitive to it. My vibration is under constant bombardment by all of the other vibes around me and I am perhaps not rigid enough to avoid them affecting me. Perhaps my path lies in allowing them to change me and then on a regular basis find a way to rediscover my new self.

Meditation works sometimes when I am able to fully quiet my mind although there are times when I am not able to do that. Maybe that is a good time to use writing as a tool in an effort to get the thoughts out of my head when I cannot simply let them pass. That is an interesting idea, Perhaps the thoughts that are not easily released are there for a specific purpose and I must acknowledge them. I may not see their value at the time but I do often find value in looking over my writings when I have calmed my mind.

Today I practice acceptance of myself, my environment and of others.

Entry 69, Giggity, Frustration

I have been feeling increasingly frustrated over the past week and I cannot pinpoint the cause. One thing that I can say for sure is this, the more frustrated I get the more my eczema acts up which in turn is frustrating. It seems like every little thing is getting under my skin and each day there are more things to be frustrated about. At work there is no end to the things that can irritate me and at home if I’m not trying to avoid a cloud of vape smoke then I am dealing with dry itchy patches and never ending mucus in my lungs. Even the cat has been pissing me off lately.

So the original thing that I found to be frustrating might very well have passed and now my feeling of frustration is bringing to me frustrating things. It would make sense then to find relief and maybe reset my vibe will allow me the opportunity to start from neutral again. I have been trying to meditate but always seem to be in a time crunch for some reason. Maybe I have been trying to fit too much into my days or just fell back into my old habit of hurrying everything. I have been getting restless and hurried which leads me to  frustration when things don’t move as fast as I want them to which leads to the dark side.

Putting this into words really does make it easier to see what’s going on. Time to try meditating.

I meditated and had a good nights sleep which has offered me some distance from my frustration and I think has enabled me to see it from a different perspective. It is not some big thing that is frustrating me at all, it’s all of the little things that I am looking at in a negative light each moment of my day. I have been looking at a situation and choosing to take the approach that it isn’t how it should be which is frustrating. Instead I can choose to see that it is exactly how it should be and to accept it for what it is which brings relief.

At work I am faced with the problem that so many of the staff leave jobs unfinished or don’t return things to the place they got them from. I like things to be done right the first time, kept orderly and put back where they came from so I find myself cleaning up after everyone and then resenting them for it. This is an old pattern of mine that I want to change. It feels like I only have two choices: I can accept the chaos and for what it is and try to flow with it or I can try to control the environment in an effort to make me feel better. I don’t really like my work space to be chaotic but trying to control everyone will drive me mad so I guess for now my best bet is to withdraw (care less) and try to relax a bit.

I suppose it’s not really caring less, it’s more about caring about my state of mind more than the order of the workplace, Re-prioritizing in a way that benefits me. My desire to control my environment has snuck  up on me again and so smoothly too. I am trying to find this state of mind where I am accepting of where I am and looking forward to things getting better. What I have achieved is a state of mind where I am dissatisfied with where I am and trying to change it to something better which is frustrating.

I am where I am and that’s ok, it is ok because that’s where I am. I am where I am and that’s ok, it has to be ok because it’s where I am. Staying focused in this moment and keeping my mind calm can be challenging especially when faced with the expectations of others. With practice I will get better, I have gotten better.  Take a deep breath and release it slowly paying attention to air filling my lungs and then the fall of my chest as I exhale. I feel a bit more hopeful now.

Entry 68, Transition

It has been a few days now since my last entry and during that time I have had this feeling of being generally dis-interested. It feels like I am slowly falling back into the same old rhythm that I have repeated over and over again. I go to work each day to a job that I don’t really care for, just to make money which I spend most of on housing, food and transportation so that I can go back to work again. The longer this pattern goes on the more I will spend on booze and other things to numb the pain of this hollow and repetitive cycle. My days off are spent getting groceries and trying to relax although I have been finding myself bored on my days off lately as well as at work. I don’t know what to do with myself as everything that looks like fun requires me to not have a busted ankle and extra money to spend.

It’s almost like I have dealt with all of my personal drama and now in the absence of conflict I am feeling lost. Almost like I am uncomfortable being at peace which would mean that I am not really at peace. I have known for many years that routine and repetition quickly become frustrating and boring to me, what I haven’t figured out is whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It’s times like this when I struggle with identifying whether I am looking at my current situation from a negative perspective or whether I am resisting my flow by staying where I am. Should I stay or should I go? I have made the wrong choice many times before but maybe i’ll get it right this time.

My current job has served me well as a source of income and challenged me to face some of my personal issues and alter my own beliefs to better suit me. Now I am feeling like I have plateaued at this job in terms of personal growth and financial, It has just become a place where I can go to rinse and repeat for cash which is boring and feels like a waste of time. I am faced with the issue of my broken foot which hasn’t fully healed yet and that I think it would be extremely hard to find a new job while being broken.

There is a new climbing gym opening up right beside my current work place which is quite appealing to me as I find the sport of rock climbing or bouldering to be quite interesting. Again It feels like a long shot to work at a climbing gym before my ankle is healed especially since my experience is very limited. There has got to be a way that I can get more enjoyment out of where I am now, at least until I am back on my feet.

Today at work I could see how excited the teenagers get over the smallest things like a free slice of pizza or even which cleaning task they get to do at the end of the day. I saw how exuberant they were and thought to myself “I would love to get that excited about anything” It feels like I have dissected my thoughts and beliefs to the point where I neither get upset nor excited about much of anything.

I am in an odd head space where I am not clear on what to do with myself as I am in a kind of holding pattern as I heal physically. Then It occurs to me that if my physical is in a holding pattern then that means my mental and spiritual are also in a holding pattern. Perhaps this feels so odd to me because I have not experienced this sensation before because I have made changes to my-self and am now walking a new path. I do know that whether I am walking towards something good or bad it will get easier to recognize the longer I walk the path.

For now I will focus on strengthening my ankle and look for ways to make my current work more interesting or enjoyable.

Entry 67, Ownership.

Today I am struggling with a unsuspected situation involving my Friend/Roommate who I will dub “Jedediah” for this entry. “Jed” and I have shared space and enjoyed each others company for about six months before he chose to start living at his families cabin a couple months ago. He is still renting his room here as a storage space until the end of this month (3 days left) when I will be moving into that room and paying another fifty percent rent.

Over the coarse of our time together I developed an understanding that Jed exaggerates almost everything in an effort to get his desired reaction from people which can make for some really funny stories. It can be very hard to know what is truth and what is fiction when Jed tell me something and normally I don’t care to figure it out as it’s usually just jokes. So I have learned to take everything he says with a grain of salt and to not really take him seriously at all.

During the past couple months while Jed has been living at the cabin and devoting all of his time, energy and money to making it livable he has been back to our apartment to gather his belongings that he wants to keep and leaving his garbage in the shared space “Incase we want it”. A couple of those times he showed up, looked in his room, turned around and left leaving a room with crap he doesn’t want and piles of garbage. This isn’t a huge deal as the room is still his till the end of the month.

My other roommate’s father is scheduled to fly in and move into my room later this coming month so we already have made plans for the space. A couple of days ago I get a message from Jed saying that things are really bad at the cabin : His dock and boat are at risk of floating away or sinking and the cabin is at risk of washing away. I am not sure how much is truth or fiction but I give him benefit of the doubt and assume he’s being honest. He says he might need to stay here for a bit which based on his description of the issues I actually thought he was talking about living here.

I responded by saying that my cost for the room is twenty dollars a day and he can stay as long as the 15th before we have to move things around to make space for the incoming father and I will be going out of town for xmas. I didn’t say it but he would be more than welcome to use the laundry room (which I currently live in) or stay on a couch for free. I was getting the impression that he simply didn’t want to clean up his mess or dispose of the furniture he no longer wanted as that was the pattern I have noticed over the past while.

This was not the response that Jed was looking to get from me and he went on to explain how bad all of the things in his life are going and that none of it had anything to do with him or his choices. I got the impression that he was just looking for someone to dump his baggage on instead of taking ownership for it himself. Jed made a pretty long-winded and solid effort to try and guilt trip me, at this point I was not even sure what he wanted other than for someone to join him in misery. He did clarify that he only needed a couple extra days over the weekend to clean out his room to which I told him “no problem, I was under the impression you needed to stay for a while” this might have been due to his exaggerating nature.

The messages went back and forth for a while with Jed’s making less and less sense and becoming confusing to read. I stopped trying to read the words and focused on the feeling which felt like panic, despair and confusion. So I changed my approach because twice he had ignored my telling him that over the weekend was no problem. Instead of trying to argue with someone who is panicking and only wants to argue I made effort to end the conversation by telling him that he should try and relax as I am pretty sure he is stuck in panic mode.

Jed continued to try and bait me back into his struggle and I was getting upset with myself for taking that bait and being dragged into this mess. I decided to stop it and told him that “he chose this path for himself”, “Me feeling bad with you doesn’t help either of us and would only make you feel better because you would not be alone in your misery.” He did not respond.

Today I have gotten word that Jed’s mother and brother are going to be coming by to gather his stuff and from another friend that Jed has been saying some exaggerated things about me to all involved. I can only hope that they understand the source of the information they are receiving and make their own decisions about it.

I just received a message from Jed that he had a panic attack at work and was sent home so he now will be coming by today to clean his stuff up. I can believe the panic attack part as I could sense he was panicked in his messages although I am not sure he will actually come by as I have made arrangements previously to help him and for him to not show up. This is all just so fucked up.

Looking back, If Jed had said I screwed up and cant have my room cleaned out before the weekend, do you mind if I do it over the weekend? I would have said no problem right from the beginning. No issue, instead Jed has not once taken ownership of any part in this and has been blaming everything and everyone else for his problems. If my ability to see this and call him on it makes me the bad guy then so be it.

I cannot help someone find peace by joining them is suffering, all I can do is offer them my hand from a place of peace and that person has to make the choice to leave their suffering behind.

So then why do I feel conflicted? I think I should have asked him for clarity at the start of this instead of assuming what he meant. All of this on my part has been the result of poor communication which has been within my control the whole time. Here I have been blaming Jed for the way I am feeling just like he has been doing which means I did join him in suffering. How to find relief from this then?

It was so easy to take the bait that I didn’t even notice when I did, I had to meditate for almost an hour last night before I could calm down and go to sleep. This morning I could still feel the conflict within me which led to me writing all of this in an effort to find relief. I do feel a bit better now realizing that I did this to myself and taking my power back. I think I was feeling out of whack because I had begun to see Jed in a very negative light and I don’t want that. So then what do I want?

I want to see Jed as the happy go lucky funny guy that he can be, I want to have a nice clean room to move into on the first that I am paying for and I want to feel good about it. I do feel a bit better now, a little bit lighter at least.

 

 

Entry 66, Fluidity in practice.

Today has been a day for rest and relaxation. I meditated for a bit, walked my friends dog in the rain, played some games and watched a couple movies. The only drama I experienced today was either in a game or in a movie. I was going to take a picture of a page in my journal to write about until the moment I went to set up my webcam my hands became very itchy, so I stopped and decided to just start writing.

It is a rare event that I get two days off in a row and today has been day two of my break from work. Yesterday I went out and took part in a card game (Magic: The Gathering) tournament for the first time in about twenty years and I promptly got my ass whooped. I learned a valuable lesson from that whooping, Adhering too strictly to an idea or plan can stifle it’s potential whereas allowing that idea/belief to naturally develop can unlock the potential that is at first unseen. Forcing something to be as I think it should be will only limit its potential and lead to frustration when it fails to meet my expectations. Of course I am referring directly to deck building in this case although the same philosophy translates to pretty much anything else in life.

I also got to experience first hand the growth that comes with diversity and exposure to other ideas. I have been able to adjust my process for deck building because of my experience of playing with a larger variety of players than I had previously available. The same principle can be applied to all ideas, philosophies, beliefs and so on.

When I was a Practicing Auto-collision repair tech I had several apprentices work with me and the one thing that I told each of them was this “Learn everything you can from each tech you meet whether you think you know better or not, Then when you are a tech yourself use whatever works best for you”. This idea is something I forgot to continue applying to my own life over time and resulted in my toolkit becoming stunted. Learn ideas and techniques from everyone and use the ones that work best at that time.

I am having these seemingly simple lesson taught to me on a daily basis that remind me there is no “one right path” to take. I have to find the path which flows best for me and then walk that path until it no longer flows at which point I must alter direction and so on. I have said many times over the past few yeas that I don’t deal in absolutes, what I meant was that I don’t use words like “never” or “Always” when I speak which is mostly true 🙂 .

I think I have been searching for an “absolute” path or the one right way to live my life. The fact that I kept facing the reality of my path requiring alteration was then frustrating for me because I was not finding what I was looking for. I have been so focused on making my beliefs follow one truth or ideal that I missed the point entirely. Life is constantly evolving and there is an ebb and flow to it that defies uniform ideas. There is no final answer to the question because with each new moment the question evolves along with my circumstances.

Living in the moment can be a really hard idea to really grasp ahold of, maybe because its a not a solid idea but a fluid one. The only way to understand it is to flow with it and the moment I try to contain it, it simply flows from my understanding.

This is a very intriguing thought, Perhaps there really are no absolutes in this universe besides the ones that are man-made and those are all the result of resisting the natural flow of the universe. Evolution is our birthright and it cannot be denied no matter how determined man is to contain, control or stop it.

Entry 65, Cabbies wisdom

During my cab ride home the other day something happened that I made a point to write down the moment I got home, I then forgot about it as I usually do once I write something down. I found it today and it got me thinking again, so here it is. As we were passing an older person with a walker who was struggling to pick up something they had dropped The cab driver commented ” The oxygen tank is still smok’n, People round here don’t know when to give up” At first this caught me by surprise. I think it was the honesty within his statement as it wasn’t hateful or mean spirited, just his honest observation. It got me wondering how many other things I see differently because I might see it as being mean or heartless.

Is there a trend among our culture to praise the people who fight till the end and never give up? I think its safe to say that there are people who feel that way and who would see the ones who choose not to fight as weak. I myself was one of those people who viewed the fighters with high regard and considered everyone else a quitter, considering the term quitter to be a bad thing. My perspective has changed quite a bit over the past few years as I see the ones who won’t give up or quit as the ones who continue to suffer as I did. I wonder if this mentality is encouraged because it keeps people from rising above the conflict and finding peace. Is it an idea that we have learned to think is admirable and desirable even though when viewed without Bias ( like my cab driver) is seen as being silly or sad. Is the struggle really worth it in the end?

When I was younger, My friend and I stopped at a bank so he could do a transaction. As he was on his way out a man ran past him and flew out of the doors in front of him, He wondered what the hell was his deal? When he got outside he saw the man helping a woman get to her feet who had tripped on the last step of some stairs right in front of the bank. My friend had not even seen the woman fall and it had happened almost right beside him , he walked by and got into the truck where he saw me. I was looking away and trying not to laugh as I had seen the whole thing and found it all to be very amusing. To this day some of the funniest things I have ever seen are people falling and that includes myself as I have had some pretty spectacular falls in my day, some of which I have seen on video and laughed at. Does that make me a bad person for laughing at another persons misfortune or a good person for finding the humor in someone’s learning experience?

I am neither a good person nor a bad person, Just a person who finds a lot of things funny much to the dissatisfaction of those people who take things very seriously. The more rigid the beliefs that I hold, The more conflict I find trying to defend or enforce those beliefs. If someone chooses to struggle and fight then that is there choice and they can have it along with all of the glory they believe is waiting for them at the end. I have found that taking life seriously only puts me into a downward spiral towards depression and learning to relax and find relief has taken me quite a while to get a handle on. I am still figuring this all out as I think that I have a few more old rigid beliefs that I haven’t even uncovered yet.

Seeing life the way I currently do, Me in a boat flowing down the river of life. Fighting and struggling represents trying to paddle against the current upstream and quitting or giving up is letting the current take me. Eventually I will end up in the same place whether I struggle or not so why not relax and try to enjoy the ride as much as I can?

Another way to say It is this : We are all going to die. Do I want to live a life of strife and struggle or a life of peace and joy? I’ll admit that a little drama can be very exciting although I would rather experience that drama in a movie than in my real life.

 

 

Entry 64, Plateau

First off, I have decided to change to entries instead of tracking days after missing a couple days. Also I took a day off from writing every week or two up to this point as well so doing entries seems like a more honest approach.

I have been feeling dis-interested over the past few days almost like I hit a plateau of sorts. I do not enjoy repetition of things that aren’t much fun which is what reviewing my journal entries was starting to feel like. It feels like I am grinding my way through them just to do it because that’s what I said I was going to do. There must be a way to use them that doesn’t feel so repetitious. This feels like one of those instances where something that was once lifting me up is now holding me down.

Perhaps I will read through and find entries that offer something of value to me in the place I am in now. That feels like a better idea than grinding my way through just for the sake of getting through it. This way feels more like going with the flow.

As for this plateau feeling that I have been feeling, Trying to put it into words is difficult. The word plateau is pretty descriptive in itself although in this case it feels like the plateau is at the top of the mountain I was climbing and I am now standing on this flat surface surrounded by clouds not sure where to go next. Another way to describe it would be having made my way through the rapids and arriving in a calm lake where the water is so deep there seems to be no current and the fog has rolled in. This unfamiliar feeling of … is it peace?  or something else?

It feels like I finished my to-do list and now I don’t know what to do with myself which is exactly what happened at work yesterday. I had a list of tasks that I was hoping to get done by the end of the day which I finished  a couple hours early and was left sitting there with my thumb up my butt and feeling tired for an hour before I decided to leave early. When I got home I still felt fatigued and had nothing that I needed to do nor really wanted to do so I grabbed a beer and watched a movie and some T.V. before going to bed.

I have this feeling that I have to make good use of my day off from work by accomplishing something. Perhaps that idea/belief is not really serving me too well as the best use for this day off might simply be to rest. The issue I am having is that I feel restless which makes sense now that I think of it. How can I rest while feeling rest-less? I want to let go of this go-go-go mentality that I have developed for work as I don’t think its really doing me much good right now. It also leaves me exhausted at the end of the work day so it might not be the best approach then either. Meditating and writing down anything that I am trying to remember for later will allow me to clear my mind and start with a blank slate. Then I can Rest.