Day 326

Ball of Light Mandala, by Denis Smith


Well, it’s been a Day.

I’m sitting here on the couch checking work email, with a pile of laundry next to me and evening chores still to do. But here I am instead. Feeling overwhelmed with everything that needs to happen tomorrow so procrastinating, obviously.

Work was extra strenuous today, making me question the idea of giving up freelance for a staff position at this place. And I found out that my old boss, the alcoholic sexual harasser, has resurfaced from whatever swamp he’s been in for the last 2 years. This time, he’s on his second round of interviews at one of the agencies I used to work at (and still do, frequently, as a freelancer). 

While today’s workload didn’t leave room for drama, some still managed to squeeze in and left me remembering how quickly the gossip travels around here, in this tiny local pond of agencies where everyone has worked everywhere.

I tried half-heartedly to psych myself up for a totally sober evening, but gave up after putting the boys to bed solo (C had volleyball) which, after today’s insanity left me feeling like I deserved to escape for a bit. So I smoked and sorted my closet for clothes to donate. 

While I feel like I’m in a slump lately, there are moments when a little glimmer of the Better Me peeks out. Like the fact that I didn’t get that hung up on a tense conversation with C last night. 

A video of a monk explaining consciousness has helped me (great video about how we practice distraction in today’s age of technology). He explained that consciousness was like a ball of light inside your mind. Your mind has all sorts of places it goes, some positive, some negative, some helpful, some unproductive, etc. And with awareness, we can move that ball anywhere we want. If we don’t like what we’re illuminating with it, we can move to something else. That’s not to say that we ignore the problems in our life… just that if we are not enjoying focusing on them, or if it’s unhelpful, we have the choice to focus on something else.

And I’ve been practicing it on occasion. Honestly, it’s been a relief especially related to C.

While relaxing my mind in this way, it has occurred to me that his intense avoidance of any sort of complex emotional relationship with me (or anyone else for that matter) comes from a place of fear. Consciously or unconsciously, he is aware that he is not good at emotional connection, that he struggles with it and it’s not fun, so he avoids it. He can be relatively inflexible about trying something new – or doing anything that takes him outside of his usual comfort zone (aren’t we all, to some extent). So of course, it would only be natural that he would avoid emotional connection like the plague.

Not sure where that gets me, maybe just a more empathetic place.

Plans are afoot to jumpstart my mojo again in September, with another 30-day Challenge together with a friend. I also just received the brandy-new book, Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence by Daniel Siegel and am looking forward to diving into it. 

An in-depth look at the science that underlies meditation’s effectiveness, this book teaches readers how to harness the power of the principle “Where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows.” Siegel reveals how developing a Wheel of Awareness practice to focus attention, open awareness, and cultivate kind intention can literally help you grow a healthier brain and reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in your life.