Some months ago I had a six month plan to write a series of articles on how to find peace & calm in our busy world focusing on meditation. Part of the plan was to interview women in the field of spirituality & wellness. However, this did not really happen because I realized that I am not that kind of writer.The truth is, that like any stereotypical ‘artist’, I am self-centered when it comes to writing. It needs to be personal. It needs to share my voice, perspective & personal monologue on the world. Unfortunately, I am not fascinated enough by others to share their stories for them. I am happy to read inspiring stories that others want to share either by their own hand or another’s, but not by mine.I realize this may sound horrible, but such as it is. Part of my belief in the world is that we are individuals. Instead of waiting around for someone else to notice us or to tell our stories, we are sentient beings fully capable of speaking for ourselves. If we want the world to know about us, then we should take the steps to do so. Waiting for someone else is pure laziness or lack of conviction, suggesting that it isn’t that important to us at the moment. Maybe later it will be.This is not to say that the role of journalism is not important, just that close-ups and profiles is not for me.Instead, I write my story. Or, I write about my own experience & knowledge.So, my latest article has been published.I am quite happy with it because it was written from the heart. Although it did not take me long to actually write it in the end, the processing time had been going on for a while. I felt as if my voice & heart was in it.It is times like this when I feel the itch to write my story with this heartfelt voice. I wonder if I can weave my thoughts well enough to inspire others?When I read the novels of those I know, I am impressed by their skill in storytelling. At the same time, I feel slightly disappointed that I am reading fiction. Imagine, with this gift of storytelling, what they could do in the world to touch hearts & minds? But, is that their purpose? Why isn’t entertainment a sufficient purpose?Because it’s me!Recall, I am a self-centered ‘artist’ type when it comes to writing – perhaps in life too. :PIn any case, I am contemplating taking my judgy self to task and setting a goal of actually writing that book within.No time like the present, right?We’ll see….~T 😀
The days are getting warmer even though it remains cold outside. Spring is coming.
Just this morning we were reminiscing on the fact that it seems like we just saw the leaves fall off the trees, and now the soft green buds are forming in preparation for the spring blossoms.
When I see this, I am reminded so clearly how fast time passes and the impermanence of that which happens in our lives.
In meditation, one of the keys to learning to quiet the mind is learning that our thoughts will continue to come, but we do not need to dwell on them because they pass as does everything in life. When we learn to accept this reality, then we learn to let go of the thoughts and feelings that do not serve to make our lives better. Why spend the little time we have in this season of our lives focusing on negatives when there is so much to enjoy? -for example, the changing season. The fresh green buds starting anew to bring beauty.
So, each day I am waking with more joy and even a smile – after meditation – for I am trying to focus on the fact that life is impermanent and there is much to be grateful for everyday.
Yesterday, I wrote about my dark mood thinking that it was ‘frustration’, but that didn’t quite seem to fit. As I let it sit for the night and enjoyed being “lazy” for an evening, it freed my mind to be able to reflect and relax.
This morning, during my meditation, a more accurate explanation came to mind.
I think that perhaps what is wrong is a growing sense that I have moved away from work that fulfills me. Sure, some might see it as a luxury to be able to do that which fulfills us or seems to be completing our life purpose.
However, those same people are very likely carrying around a dark hole inside them as well. This darkness is what I honestly believe leads to illnesses in the body.
While I am happy to have a job with a regular income – in fact a couple of sources of income – , I find that my heart is not fulfilled. I thought also that maybe I needed more creative outlets, but I have plenty of writing opportunities, so that can’t be it.
What is missing is connecting with others on a spiritual level through a physical activity. It is a lack of fullness of breath and the Opening of Sunshine into the Heart to remove the dark spots that get us down in this life that we share.
This also gives new meaning to the name I chose for my yoga business. I have recently been pondering how to describe the type of yoga that I offer and was thinking to call it something like “Correction Yoga” since we cannot use the word “therapy” in this type of yoga. I’ll keep thinking on this, but this is close, as the yoga practice and focus corrects spinal alignment, fullness of breath and perspective on life through OSH.
As if to tell me that I’m on the right track in my thought pattern, I reached out to say “Hello” to my yoga teacher. She replied quickly, saying she’d had a dream about me and wants to Skype. Somehow, we are connected, as every time I feel that I need some spiritual fulfillment she comes into the forefront of my life again.
So, I feel as if I have put my finger on what I was searching for yesterday. It’s a satisfying and uplifting feeling for sure.
There are plenty of good ‘F’ words out there!! O
Is that the word I am looking for? I am not sure. It feels right at the moment. What do I have to be frustrated about, though?
Life on the whole is good. We finally have money coming in regularly. Our rent gets paid on time every month. The bills are getting paid. We even have enough money to splurge on little things here and there throughout the month. There is even a glimmer of hope that our (mostly my) things in storage could actually be in the shipping process by the end of the month. That’s extreme progress if you look at where we were just six short months ago.
Yet, there’s an underlying dark spot in my mind that is starting to grow and overwhelm me. If I can name it, will I know how to deal with it?
By now, I should have more awareness and strategies in place to cope with my ups and downs, regular hormonal cycle and stresses of living. Yet, there are times when I feel like our goldfish with short term memories – did I just eat? Am I hungry now?
So, at the moment, the name that comes to mind is frustration.
Perhaps it is the mundane routine of ‘work’. Although my job is fairly diverse, and not every day is the same kind of work, I still feel unchallenged by it. Of course, if I do manage to keep my patience, it will change and I’ll be able to do some new projects soon. It’s just a matter of time.
Still, knowing that doesn’t alleviate the stress I feel.
In any case, I think I am close to putting my finger on this dark place and once I do, then the light will indeed shine again on it. Until then, I shall lightly brood….
You know those mornings when you open your eyes and you just know it’s a day that should just be spent sleeping? Those days when you realize before it has begun that it is not going to go your way AT ALL?
Well, that was this morning. Thankfully, at the time I am writing this, the day has seemingly turned around, thanks to a reset button called “Starbucks”.
Perhaps it is the biological step closer to menopause and raging hormones (and I don’t mean like a teenager!), but whatever it is, I knew this morning that if it weren’t for the fact that I had a full day of teaching ahead, I would have spent it under the covers pretending that the ‘real world’ didn’t exist.
It started with the fact that I should have gotten up to face the cold to do my meditation. I probably would have benefited from a quieter start rather than trying to avoid it altogether…. So, that upset 😠 me. Then, my very enthusiastic morning-person husband couldn’t keep from chit-chatting, which – if anyone knows me – annoys the f&*@k out of me! I am not what one would call a ‘morning-person’ in terms of friendliness towards others. In fact, I am never that kind of person! 😂 However, I do like to wake up early and enjoy the peace and QUIET 🤐that it offers.
As an aside, I often wonder if I even cried loudly as a newborn or if it was a whimper to let the doctors know that I was alive, but not interested in howling…? Or maybe I was a screamer???
Anyway, the morning went from bad to worse for me. Somehow, the distraction of teaching and a bit of time to myself has turned the day around. 👍🏽🙏🏽☀️ So, my zen has returned a bit as I prepare for my next class this evening. 🙂
Guess, I got a bit of a reset after all…?!
This morning as I begrudgingly prevented myself from feeling annoyed by my husband’s late schedule, in other words his presence and interruption to my daily routine, we were discussing life.
Lately, we have both been quite busy and realized it would be quite easy to lose touch with one another. We thought about how having children disrupts the marital relationship – or, work or life in general. It is often said that you have to work at keeping a marriage going. This is true. But, at the same time, it is not so much that it is ‘work’ as in an endurance or obligation in life like it is to make money or take care of your children. Instead, to me, it is about making it a priority to enjoy the moments you have together.
This goes for life.
So many people have accepted that complaining about life, work, partners, etc. is what we do. However, when we stop to enjoy moments that we share then suddenly things just are not so negative. I, like everyone, need to be reminded from time to time to switch my perspective – even just a little – and then the moment becomes enjoyable.
Take for example, our recent snow storm in Tokyo. It was amazing. I was excited. Of course, it has been nine years since I’ve had the experience of snow and I was lucky enough to have a free-ish schedule to allow me to avoid any dangerous aspects that it might cause. However, as I was speaking to a colleague who is my age, single with no kids, etc. she was surprised at my excitement. She kept pointing out that it is dangerous to walk, or that it’s cold and wet or that the trains get disrupted, or, or , or…. To me, these were not good enough reasons to not be excited at the ❄️ snow.
As I walked home, I took pictures of its beauty and enjoyed the cold that I felt. It was a moment to enjoy.
I wondered what perspective shift would be required to make my colleague excited about this weather. Mostly, I just felt sad for her lack of ability to enjoy a temporary moment. That’s it, isn’t it? Every moment is temporary. Life passes by quickly and our situations change all the time. So, through the good and the bad are moments for us to learn and grow from. Most of all, they are for us to take in and live!
**Apologies for the bit of stream of conscientiousness style today….** 😛
The temperatures have continued to drop, although still not quite as cold as it could be at this time of year. However, there is just enough bite in the air to make the early morning rise a mental battle each day.
With the exception of a few days (like today), I have managed to get up with the alarm and sit on the mat for meditation . Even though my husband or others around me might not agree, 😜 the morning meditations are helping me to stay calm and collected on the inside, if not on the outside.
I try to alternate my running and yoga days depending on the weather, temperature and mood. Once I am out in the cold, I actually quite enjoy the activity. It is always nearly pitch black when I start, but then the light begins to increase as I pass the elderly people who are out for a morning walk, or those who are giving their dogs some brisk exercise (reason #1 to not have a dog! 🐶). There are also others out who are running/walking 🏃🏽♀️that I pass by with a sense of camaraderie even though I am slow as a 🐌 right now. 😅 The yoga days are nice and quiet with a smooth flow of sun salutations right now as I’m just trying to build my body back up to the strength and balance it once was.
t Drynuary last again only until the 12/13th of the month. I have only had a few drinks over the past weekend, but I think it is also part of the brain knowing it can’t have something and then really wanting it. Actually, I think that I just have no willpower when it comes to booze. It’s not that I want it all the time, but if it is offered, I am not likely to say no. Partially, I know that I don’t really have a problem with it, so depriving myself of it just for the sake of it, doesn’t mean anything because it just isn’t a big deal. I was avoiding it to help M, but when he decided to give up, I went along. 🤷🏽♀️
At the m
working. I worked six days last week and have six days this week. It is a lot for my old, 👵🏽introverted person. It is not so much that it is burdensome work, but it is tiresome. My mind can only take so much focus in a day and then having to interact with others for so long does me in. Last week, having Sunday to do my errands and take care of things was good. It was good for my soul as well since my hormones were starting to rage. (TMI?) Still, I just need to keep on going.
If we are&
d focus o
ery week of every month counts toward us reaching our goals this year. It is only the beginning, but perserverance is required. There are tests of it along the way, but I know in the end it will be worth it. So, until then, 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽!
As I began to set my new goals for this year, I wondered how easy it would be to get into the routine I had laid out especially with a partner who loves to have a morning snuggle rather than get up and go.
However, thanks to jet lag and no time to waste before heading back to work, the first day has gone incredibly well so far.
We managed to stay awake until about 8:45pm last night, which almost met the “don’t sleep before 9pm” travel rule for getting over jet lag. We both still woke up a couple of times, but by the time the alarm went off at 5am, I was ready to face the cold.
With a quick change into my workout gear, I managed a 20-minute meditation session with only the beginnings of dead leg by the time the bell gonged. 😉
Then, after a quick stretch on the mat, I was out the door with my new wireless Bluetooth headphones for a refreshing morning jog.
I was fairly pleased with these stats for my first run back and in the chilly temps.
Also, I have decided to go back to a fairly Paleo & plant-based diet removing the carbs/sugars in our diet. So, that meant having a good breakfast of scrambled eggs 🥚 , sausages 🌭(not ideal to have processed meat, but that was what I could get last minute) and spinach with some pickled cucumbers 🥒 (tsukemono).
Another benefit of this early start is that I have time to write again – journaling and blogging. I am on a mission to re-focus on my writing again as it does/can bring me money and I enjoy it more than some of the other “easy-money”-making activities that I am doing. While I will try to maintain a balance as income is our priority this year, I am going to do my best to stay true to my passions again.
So, gotta say we are off to a great first day back ‘home’ in Japan 🇯🇵 .
Another year begins with the usual hopefulness of what possibilities lay ahead.
As I look back on all that I had laid out last year when time was my frenemy and naivety was embraced with the fervor of those who have no idea what is in store for them.
Although I still owe the story of what transpired in the middle of last year (and it will come eventually), its events changed my worldview a bit. Some truths came to light for me.
- Asking for help is a humbling experience that allows the heart to be opened in unexpected ways.
- Sharing crisis moments with others reveals true characters – a spectrum of ignoring, offering ‘good lucks’, asking for updates, offering help, and taking action.
- My love runs far deeper than I realized and left me incapacitated when I did not know how to take action.
- Timing is everything, and
- Truly everything works out in the end.
My faith in God and belief in the workings of the Universe strengthened as well over the latter half of the year.
An example is my unknown sense that I should refresh my Japanese by teaching beginner level to Emiratis and taking on a Japanese student for English with some Japanese language exchange. Also, I visited Japan earlier in the year for a possible job that didn’t work out but began turning the wheels of possibilities.
So, while the attempt at a balanced life in my 2017 Reflections did not quite pan out exactly as I had planned, I think that overall we are in a better place than we could have expected a year ago.
Therefore, with less time on my hands I have made some personal and financial goals for this year with a more relaxed sense of expectation as I know that what I put forth into the world will return to me/us twofold.
With that in mind I am looking forward to what 2018 has in store as I work on focusing my mind more on creativity and stability.
I was just looking through my posts on my phone app where I sometimes write drafts while on the move. I found these in the draft folder and thought I’d post them now even though they may not be pertinent at the moment.
There are moments when I wonder why I don’t stay in the moment long enough to finish a post or to acknowledge the feelings of that time.
Now as I feel as if work is finding a balance I can begin to reflect and see how I can prepare for another year…
The sun shines today and the laundry commences. The decision on when laundry is done is no longer left to my own schedule or choice, but is determined by the whims of nature.
In this one wonders how much free choice we truly have or are we just wandering about fulfilling what the universe already knows?
Perhaps where our freedom lies is deciding when to stop refusing to take the path before us toward ourselves. Perhaps our unhappiness and discontent is because we think we know a better way….
When I look at the people around me and talk to the ones I love, I see how true this might be for them. Yet before I judge them I look inward.
Am I avoiding the path before me? Am I refusing to see a way that is meant to be?
The truth I really don’t know. I would like to say that I am not. My ego wants to believe that I am slightly more aware and conscience than those around me and yet… perhaps I am equally deluded. The only way to know is to judge by my state of being.
I am happy. I am more content with life than I have been for a long time. I feel peaces in my heart and mind. While I may have debates in my mind about decisions to be made, I feel satisfied with where I am.
Our New Digs
We have admittedly been extremely lucky to have been able to procure a regular living space so quickly in our time here in Japan.
For most people, a visa and resident’s card is required before a landlord or real estate agency will consider starting the process for full-time accommodations.
It takes quite a while to obtain these items if the process is started after arriving in Japan – in fact, we are both still waiting for a certificate of eligibility to get working visas. However, my ability to speak Japanese and the amazing generosity of long-time friends (aka family) to serve as a guarantor made it possible for us to get a lovely space to set up as home.
We did do a small monthly rental for a month until we could get our place. Here is a video of that place.
Now, we are slowly settling in to our new place. Here’s a little video I made of the place. Hopefully, we will have some visitors – well, we have one coming tomorrow, but more on that later. 😛
So, step-by-step we are getting into our new lives. Now, just for me to get my visa sorted….