Slow down, I move too fast

If I had to give myself a song for this week, it would be slow down you move too fast by Simon and Garfunkel. Seriously, this is the lesson I needed to learn this week. Last Saturday, I was trying to do too much. I was breaking all my own rules and as a result did not pay attention to how I was putting the top on my new teapot. As a result, after putting the tea blend in the infuser basket and filling it with boiling water, my left hand plunged in because I had not put the top on properly. At the same time, our home was rapidly filling up with guests. So with a hand which was red, swollen and puffy, I graciously retreated to my office to keep ice on it, let the waves of pain move through my hand, the tears roll down my face, and work on meditating my way back to a place where I was controlling my pain and not vice versa. The process I was assisted by loving friends, of which one is an LPN, and my wife who kept people away from me while I calmed down and suggested I take a pain killer. Of course, I also did what I always do when I am in need of prayer; I posted on Facebook about how I had just burned the crap out of my hand and asked for prayer. LOL isn’t that what everyone does when they are in my situation.
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Rethinking Relationship

I teach this all the time to my students, do we really know what a word means. What is work? Does it mean the same to you as it does to me? Or as we are discussing this module, what is poverty? What is well being? What is quality of life? In my head, I theoretically get the idea that words can carry individualized meanings. How I define something like compassion for example, may not be the same as how somebody else defines it, yet both are right. What got me here was this whole notion of relationship as an event in a talk given by Barbara Emrys. She said, “Relationship is an event that holds your attention.”
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No more documentaries

Trying to undo all these years of internalized negativity and oppression is not always easy. I have clearly made progress in my pursuit of living the four agreements. I have made significant progress in terms of never saying anything negative about others. It seems like that was the easy part, although there are a few times when a student will say something, which I allow to get on my nerves for a moment. Then I have to stop and ask myself “why are you taking this personally, this is not about you?” This just happened to me recently and as I worked through it, I realized that I had internalized some fear from a conversation with someone a few years ago. I had to release the fear so that I could let it go. The thing I am happiest about is that I have learned how to make these moments commercials and not allow them to become full-length documentaries that take over my day.
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There is no mindfulness in multitasking.

Every once in a while I get a fortune cookie, or a thought for the day on one of my FB apps that just kind of slaps me in the face and shouts it’s pay attention time. This morning was one of those moments. I was going through my morning FB ritual and my Zen thought for the day was “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” Hmm, I guess it was no coincidence I read this as I drank my water, ate breakfast and FBed, all at the same time. Then I started thinking about how many times in my day I am not being mindful because I am multitasking. Like when my son calls and is telling me the details of his day and I am not fully listening to him because I am also cooking dinner. Or how many times has Zoë been talking to me about something and I have not stopped what I was doing to fully listen. Or how many times have I been doing two or three things at one time. I guess there is a reason that Zoë sometimes calls me the queen of multitasking.
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The force is with me.

For whatever reason this morning, I found myself thinking about this line from star wars – may the force be with you. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Star Wars movie; they were never my favorites. It is funny though how lines from movies you have never seen somehow manage to get into the recesses of your memory banks. I am not even sure what triggered that thought for me. Maybe it was the conversation I just had with Reggie about Tim Tebow, Louis Farrakhan, dogs, and the moon. Who knows? What I know is that the force is with me or as Zoë would sing if she were awake with me this morning, “I’ve got the power.”
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The power of the past and the importance of the present.

Once again, I have learned how easy it is to be sucked into the power of the past and forget that none of us is the same person we were in the past. The other day, my son called crying and then hung up on me and immediately I became concerned for him, his caregivers, and the other young man in his life. Why? Because I remembered all the other times he had lost control when he was with me and how he was. I remembered the time he nearly hit me over the head with a 2 x 4. I remembered all the other times he had become angry and became physically aggressive with myself and others and I assumed that this was what was happening again. The next day when I spoke to his caregiver, I learned that he had not been physical at all. He had been far more appropriate then I have ever known him to be.
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Week 9, Day 2 – Present Time

Hmm, I am sitting here wondering if I have done anything kind today. I am sure I have, but that I am not even aware of it is interesting. When I asked my wife if I did anything kind for her today, as she is the only I have seen, she looked at me like I am crazy. She said, hmm, well obviously you have kept me on track with my school work and kept me out of panic city and that in and of itself is worth a lot of money. When I stopped and thought more about it, I began to see all the little things I do each day not just for my wife, but for our kitties, friends, clients, students, etc. I guess it is just such an inherent part of who I am that I am not always mindful of it anymore. So am I not mindful of it because it is not the present, this morning is the past, or am I just not being present. Zoë can get pretty stressed and off track with her studies, and so she asked me to put a daily schedule together for her as I am the just do it gurl.
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