Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I'm More Zen Than You!

Yesterday was my FIFTIETH day in a row to meditate. So....today was 51! The money I could have made if I had laid a wagering line on that streak!

The stats indicate that you are bored with this topic and very few of you are reading and keeping up. I totally understand that. However, your lack of interest forces me to remember that this exercise was supposed to be all about me, anyway, and hopefully, I could find some peace by simply getting these thoughts out of my head and launching them into cyber-space.

It's been suggested by at least one of you that I'm not "a meditative, mindful kind of guy" and that this fad will soon pass and I will get back to being the curmudgeon that I so relish in portraying. I'm not sure I can argue with that. There probably should be an "odds line" put on that notion.

But I will say this....I think....no, I know I have NEVER done something so potentially positive for 51 consecutive days in my entire life! For those of you thinking that I'm exaggerating because I'm a "man of prayer," the contention remains true.

Now, here's the rub: I am really bad at it. At least I think I am. My little monk keeps reiterating that it's okay to find theses exercises difficult. But I just keep thinking that this Cat has no idea what a dangerous neighborhood I'm in when I'm in my head! Bless his heart! Everyday, though, he continues to provide a positive, encouraging word that is seemingly beneficial, even though I struggle to process exactly what is going on here.  At age 50, however, I am experiencing a few things for the very first time:

1) REST---Not sleep. Rest for my tired head! At the conclusion of each session, I feel as though I have given my busy, racing, churning brain a rest. It's just like a cool drink of water. Refreshing.

2) PRESENT---For 15 minutes each morning, I am present. At least as much as I can be. Of course my mind wanders. But, I am getting such a pay-off for simply trying to be right HERE, right NOW, for a few minutes each day. If only for 15 minutes, I am attempting to avoid the wreckage of the future. Relief.

3) MINDFUL---I hate this new catch-phrase as much as you do. I actually find it annoying. But mindful is the only word I can come up with. This has especially been true as I am in the middle of the series on Relationships. Wow! I'm spending time being mindful of the ones I love, the ones I'm indifferent to (weird...have no idea why he added that element), and you guessed it, the ones I truly do NOT care for.....the ANNOYING ones....99% of you! Respect.

I am not going to try and educate you as to what is happening here. As stated earlier, I'm not sure I know.  It is no different than the running. There is no way I can describe what "hitting the wall" at Mile 20 feels like. You have to experience it for yourself. Less than 1% of the population of the globe will ever experience it. My guess is that the same is true for meditation and mindfulness. I can promise you this, though. It's not for those who need it. YOU ALL NEED IT! It is only for those who want it.

Today, I want it.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mindfulness Versus the Shirt

The few of you who are friends with me on FB are aware of the Shirt. It is glorious! It is beautiful! Truth is, it's down right funny! The Shirt says "I Don't Even Like the People I Like." Shoe delivered it Saturday night. His wife custom made it for me, pursuant to my specific instructions. I really do the love the Shirt.

The timing, however, could not be worse. The shirt is harshing my newly acquired mindfulness. No, that's not exactly true. The shirt is inconsistent with my recent attempts to learn to meditate and be more present and mindful throughout the day.

So, here's the update and the reason for my dilemma. The meditation website I subscribed to started out with a 30 day Foundation Series that was supposed to teach me the basics and "how to" meditate. The first 10 days were 10 minute sessions. The next 10 days were 15 minute sessions. Finally, the third 10 days were 20 MINUTE SESSIONS! Do I need to repeat that? 20 Minute Sessions! Does anyone understand just how long that is?

Yay me! I did the first 30 sessions in 30 consecutive days! Buy the plane ticket! Time to head off to Tibet and teach those boys how it's done!

One of the main reasons for wanting to get through the Foundation Series is that ALL of the other "Subjects" were locked until I completed the entry level, beginner stuff. And I truly needed to unlock that Library. I could see the offerings.....Performance, Health, Relationships and a plethora of sub-titles under each of these  categories. I was SO interested in moving on! I am a runner, for crying out loud! I need to get done with this elementary stuff and get into the Performance Library!

Well......I didn't click on the Performance Library. Seemingly, I need to address more important issues. I once read a book that describes folks like me. This book indicated that I was "seemingly incapable of forming a true partnership with another human being!" Kind of a tough indictment, huh? So......I clicked on Relationships. And this morning was my 6th consecutive day of meditating on and being mindful of my relationships with you!

Which brings me to the T-shirt. Coincidence? I think not. Just at the time in my life when I am finally open to the idea of learning mindfulness and meditating on my relationships with you, the T-shirt arrives.....I DON'T EVEN LIKE THE PEOPLE I LIKE!

It's anybody's guess as to how this is going to turn out!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

England Swings Like a Pendelum Do!

Today has been a Super Bowl Sunday unlike any other I've ever experienced. To say I've been distracted would be a major understatement. My mind has been "across the pond" most of the day. Typhoo tea, double-decker buses, Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus. All things that I experienced as a teenager in the late 70's. But someone else is about to experience them this time.

Last Saturday, the 24th, we took Jentry to Love Field and put her on a plane bound for Nashville. Yesterday, the 31st, she left Nashville with a group from Lipscomb University headed to London to spend a semester "abroad."

Many of you read my "Peanut Butter Sandwich" post in August of 2013. We had just returned from taking my Angel Baby to Nashville and I was trying to process the fact that my little girl was 680 miles away and I was a feeling a little powerless.

At 3 o'clock this morning she texted from Heathrow Airport, where they had landed safely and had just cleared Customs, or whatever they call it. Living in Texas, I think of it as Border Patrol. This time, however, she was 4,745 miles away and it seemed like a world away.

I slept through the text and the attempted phone call. Upon awakening this morning, I learned that Teressa had been in contact with her and discovered that she had felt a little ill on the flight. I spent the next several hours without taking a full breath. She texted about 4 PM, 10 PM London time. She was going to bed and was exhibiting no real interest in the Super Bowl. She said that it had been the longest two days of her life. But a shower, and anticipated rest had made her feel a little better. I finally exhaled.

Jentry has dreamed of studying abroad since she was 10 years old. When she learned that Lipscomb was adding England to its Global Learning Program, the decision was clear for her. She was headed to Nashville for college and probably, by her Sophomore year, she was heading overseas. Maybe, I thought it would really never happen. Well, it has happened! How am I gonna get through the next three months?

It truly is the opportunity of a lifetime. I am SO excited for her! But that doesn't make my role any easier. This world is changing. And it seems that most of the residents of this Planet are breaking their standards faster than they can lower them. That causes me anxiety. No, that really scares me to death!

My prayer life has certainly changed in the last few days. And I am RE-learning the same lesson everyday. God doesn't have any grand kids! He just has His kids. And my Angel Baby is one of His kids.

"England swings like a pendulum do. Bobbies on bicycles, two by two.
Westminster Abbey, the Tower of Big Ben.
The rosy red cheeks of the little children."