We only have an hour and there were fewer people last night ~ I missed those who couldn't be there.... I always do. And we shared and I can never do justice to the sharing. These are some of the things we shared.... I was enjoying myself on my bike and suddenly and unexpectedly someone leaned out their window and shouted very loud abuse at me from a passing vehicle. I nearly fell off! It caught me out and was very distressing and unsettling on and off for a long time. Did I do something to cause this or were they just having a laugh? The mind thinks up all sorts of reasons, none of which may be true. We may never know. I had the intention of visiting and paying respects to a long lost loved one at a burial site and was thwarted at the last moment by the current situation. It was definitely upsetting. Couple that with the mind then being distracted away from being present and mindful of the loved one and there was a recipe for further distress. Fortunately, I woke up to the fact ~ they were facts undoubtedly. And being aware and having the intention to recover and forgive myself and others, really helped to liberate the mind from even more distress. Some things just can't be changed. I really did get shouted at and she really did die. I noticed a young boy in the field kicking footballs into a goal in such a laconic and pathetic way and then I saw him seemingly give up and go and lie down in the goal mouth ~ it was so sad. Then his Dad came along (whom I guess he had been waiting for all along) and I had to rewrite the story my mind had made up ~ they were now having terrific fun kicking a ball about together. Who knows what things we see really mean? Made me smile again! I shared something on Facebook about the current crisis because it seemed well worth sharing and all I got back was a rant that I should never have done such a thing! Very upsetting and made me feel angry and the bad feelings stayed with me all day. Could have expressed my anger but glad I sat on it. Surprisingly I got an apology in the end. After a death in the family, because of the distance between us, lots of responsibility fell to others to make all the arrangements. This led to angry emails and somehow I managed to step back from the anger ~ to let it go, to be mindful. There is so much to be mindful of day to day. (Yes, and even when watching online). I'm working from home while lots of others are at home managing away from work ~ and I'm on my own. So there's no separation for me between work and home and even at the weekend I'm turning a diy project into a work thing. I realised this and saw that even the preparation for decorating could be an enjoyable activity that I could be more considered with and mindful of and it wasn't all about getting stuff done. I felt foolish and realised it was only me driving myself. I had been comparing myself with the lives of others too and had been a bit jealous of them. Now I realise I'm blessed with actually having some work. Plus I had started to read a book on mindfulness and I thought, Oh yeh, mindfulness! Discovering the amazing quietness and peace all around and realising that there is time to look, time to notice all the beauty and wonder of nature (it was there all along!) if we allow ourselves time to look. Something I’ve been doing day to day as an important part of my job. I thought to myself, welcome to the world of in-depth mindful observation! I don't know where I'm going with this. I've been deaf in one ear for a few years and it's even worse just now because I have temporary deafness in the other ear. It's alienating, disabling and depressing and it really affects my communication with others. I'm lucky that there is some relief in finding that at least the high notes of bird song are still available to me. And I'm wondering when and how I'm going to be better? The uncertainty of it all. Especially now that the possibility of going to see any medical specialist is becoming more and more remote and risky too.
I've noticed that I'm wanting to get on with things just to get them done so that I can focus on all the creative things that are most important in my life ~ things that I really want to do and achieve. And realising, this is stuff I can be mindful of too, it's not just a vehicle for getting to the good stuff. And seeing this, I can now allow myself to be creative in so many ways with all things considered. These examples reveal something of how the mind works and they show how we can go beyond the SELF. They give us a glimpse of the breadth and depth and potential for human suffering and joy and although everyday life experiences are different for each of us, there are common threads. Sharing helps us to take those threads and see how precious they really are ~ to see rather than have to be the suffering. And sharing ~ even so ~ helps us to recognise that sometimes joy is equally available and accessible. Thanks for sharing! Hope you can be there next time.