Meditation for slackers and insomniacs

When you think of meditation, does the idea of eliminating thoughts come to mind? It’s really more about substituting one thought for another. A mantra, sound or vision can fill the vacuum that is typically filled with our “to do” list and other annoying thoughts.

Meditation is not so much a destination as it is a journey. Years ago I used to let my brain get a cramp trying to get somewhere. Now I sometimes use a mantra learned decades ago with TM or picture myself under a lovely evergreen tree. You can use the classic OM sound or picture something that gives you tranquility.

Other techniques that required me to remember successive affirmations have long ago been forgotten. I found them burdensome. When I’m awake at night I use the meditation tool to fall back asleep. I’m sure I’ll be scolded by some as you’re taught to sit upright so that you’re in a state of calm consciousness. I think I hit that zone during the transition back to sleep in my bed at night!

Interbeing

Thailand_Lana
Today I left Thailand
A beautiful country
Monkeys snatch water bottles
Cliffs loom high to climb
Mountains and oceans delight

Mangos ripe and
Motorbike rides to Golden Triangle
Buddhist temples
Songkran water festival and
Snorkeling in southern isles

I know these things
Through my daughter’s being

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches the mystery
Of being one with another
Who can say where one ends
And the other begins?

I felt the saltiness on our skin
And the rocks beneath our feet
Now the pause at the plane’s gate

I cry to leave Thailand
as I sit
halfway around the world.

My friends say “Let’s go!”

EPSON scanner image

I don’t have anything profound to accomplish. I’m pretty well through making a mark in my career. My daughters are out in the working world. The holidays are over, and the small respite from life’s continuum is over. What’s next?

“My journey” is what echoes in my brain. That was the undone thing this past year. I didn’t get to West Virginia and I really wanted to. I didn’t have a specific place or town in mind. Seeing the mountains from somewhere within that state is a goal.

It’s funny to think that a trip so simple could have been delayed. It’s not as if I need money to go on a two-week trip to Italy or a week’s cruise to the Caribbean. My flannel shirt hangs on my closet door, and my trusty Timberland boots are itching for a walk.

Not so many years ago I would have chosen a very rural backdrop for a travel focus. These days, the security of having people around me is more comforting. Some music, a walk along a river, a little shopping and a nice restaurant over a long weekend would be sweet. It would get me past the sense of having deprived myself of a trip.

What lies past a trip to the mountain state? I have three weeks vacation time. I’m not certain, but I’m sure my wearable companions will remind me in good time.

A dress story

dress small2I can’t decide if I’m pretty or odd. Maybe both. I tried to look up my ancestry, but am a bit confused. I can’t find too much written about me. My label reads “Kroshetta By Papillon.”

Let me tell you a little something about my life.

Someone I’ve tried to forget took me to a consignment shop. I think I was taken out of the closet three or four times in that life. Once I got my outer self snagged on a chair railing. The last time worn, my previous owner thought her stomach a bit too round to wear me. That’s how I ended up in the shop in the first place.

It’s not fair to say that I was abused, but I can’t say that I was treated with much respect. After being worn, I was dropped on a closet floor and kicked to the side until a delicate washday. That didn’t come around too often. Yes, if truth were told, I did my part to make my original owner feel less than beautiful when wearing me. I knew I was destined for a better life.

My newest owner was browsing for something “resort casual” in that same consignment boutique with a day to spare in her search. Turns out that I was themed pretty well for an evening at Margaritaville Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL. I am a lovely blue color and have starfish in my crochet design.

Are those deep scalloped edges on the bottom a bit much? I’ve been sensitive about them, as my former owner mentioned she might chop them off to make the dress a bit more conservative. A vintage dress, for sure, I ride the current trend of making a statement, but am not too over the top. A low front perhaps, but you could never call me vulgar.

I’m the kind of dress that nobody else has. We had an interesting first date, my new owner and I. The night was a windy one on the 11th floor, bar/balcony of the hotel. Pieces of lettuce flew by the other guests like confetti on New Year’s Eve. Drinks were tossed about as if in gale force winds. Fortunately, my weight and length kept me down securely.

There was one positive compliment, and one comment about the dress looking comfortable. What does “comfortable” mean anyway? I hope that’s good. My under-slip is a lighter blue and smooth against the skin. The color matches her blue eyes well. Yes, I think we were an excellent match that night.

The big test will be if she chooses me again. Where will I hang in the closet? Will I be placed in the front as a favored piece of art to trigger memories of an excellent adventure? Will her 20-something daughters ever ask to wear me? It’s a new closet, and a new life. Anything is possible.

 

The joyful shopper

shopperSome of you have read my other blogs that include child-friendly stories triggered by my own experiences. Today I am reflecting on another familiar experience from my grown up life: the annual holiday shopping excursion.

It’s right before the holiday and I wandered into our local mall today. It felt good to have a day free of work pressures and to be able shop with a reasonable number of other shoppers. With no large list of gifts to purchase, I was able to enjoy the experience.

Today I saw that shoes were beautiful art pieces for feet, and purses were soft and colorful pouches to grace the shoulder. Neither was on my purchase list today. I chose, however, to enjoy all of the sights, sounds and smells I could discover.

Wandering up and down the center displays at Macy’s, I sprayed numerous samples of perfume for consideration. What a joy it is to see the different shaped bottles, varying colors of liquid in them (pinks, purples, green and gold) and with such delightful scents! It’s hard to buy a perfect perfume, so the hunt itself can be a sweet experience.

The rest of my experience at the local mall was similar. I had two stockings to fill for my grown daughters, and I wanted each item to be special. That’s a tradition I keep that will not be going away any time soon.

Over the years, I’ve found a way to make Christmas shopping a pleasurable experience. I only choose to go to stores (or online merchants) that bring me joy. My parents and uncle are delighted recipients of gifts from L.L. Bean’s Christmas wreath and evergreen centerpiece collection. I like to place my order by phone because they are so nice! (Are you sensing a common theme here?)

I had to stop at Barnes & Noble and drop a few dollars there. During the year I read many a magazine that I don’t end up purchasing. Bringing the score more even during the holiday season felt right. Oh, yes, and thank you Macy’s for the beautiful parade on Thanksgiving. That’s a big reason why I shop with you.

Many in my circle prefer not to exchange gifts, and that’s more than fine with me! Some like money. I’ve talked to many co-workers and family about holiday shopping. Many participate in the craziness, but don’t enjoy it. Others, like me, have found a method that suits their own beliefs and needs.

When I was a child, I knitted a hat for my dad one year and a pair of mittens the next. At the time, I couldn’t have fully understood how dear that was to do. If I had the time and half the patience I had when I was young, I would hand-make all of my gifts. Alas, that’s not my current reality. You may relate to this modern-day dilemma.

This posting is not an anti-materialistic rant, for sure. It is, however, a call to be mindful of each purchase. You don’t have to shop like me (unless it suits you), but by all means find a system that doesn’t rob you of your joy.