Practicality, Physicality & Mysticality

I would like to preface this addition to my exploration of managing time & energy by saying that I have been working on this type of thing for a long time. Not this way, perhaps, and not nearly to the same effect, but that’s kinda my point.  For some people they pick this stuff up and never look back.  Me?  I need to revisit my lessons repeatedly before they get through the thickness of my skull.  That being said, on with the blog…

Periodically I like to (pretend to) get organized.  I list out all the things I want to do in day-to-day living and then I look at how they will possibly fit into the actual time available.

Then my shoulder hunches, my eyelid twitches and weird sounds echo from my mouth.  Because I end up with a combination of overwhelming and impossible.  Cue mental meltdown and failure of whole plan.

Being me, I started doing the same thing this New Year’s.  Did I mention I need repeated lessons on things?

But this time, this time I stopped.

I was already feeling anxious and twitchy just by trying to make the list.  It isn’t possible to live the life I want in the time I want.

Not in the way I was thinking about it anyway.

Time to simplify!  Ah, the joys of simplification.

So instead of squeezing things in and giving everything its time, I realized that my workday evenings generally go in three stages.  On any given day what happens in a particular stage is likely to be different, but the stages are the same.

Already my shoulder was coming out of its quasimoto state.

Stage one:  Practicality.

Upon achieving the blissful state of “thank gods I’m home”, or even in the semi-blissful state of “I’m headed home”, that is the time for me to do the practical things.  If I put them off until later, they will likely never get done (boy have I proven that more times than I care to think of or am capable of remembering!).

So I get home (or on the way home do errands) and cook, eat, tidy, clean, answer email, deal with whatever practical crap needs to get dealt with.  Only for an hour, hour and a half max.  And then it’s done!  Cue happy relaxation music.

Stage two:  Physicality

Ah, the joys of my life.  Physio is here to stay.  Every day is physio, either short or extended depending on what other physical things might happen that day (still in swimming lessons so on those days, much less physio and longer time in this stage).  But it’s a do what my body needs time and one of the highest importance things in my world given what happens if I don’t do it.

Eye twitch starts to disappear as I see how this can be easily and practically applied.

Stage three:  Mysticality
This is where things get more interesting (read difficult).  There are a lot of things I want to do, to accomplish, to experience.  I want to write, bead, blog, meditate, ritual, play, talk, etc etc.  How to schedule it all in?
Right, make it simple!
These are all things I love to do, and ultimately bring me to a place of spiritual/mystical enjoyment when I look into their depths.  They feed my spirit or soul or both.  And if I’m doing something that isn’t feeding that greater part of me, then it damned well doesn’t belong in this section.  No need to plan specifics, just plan the space and time to do what brings me bliss.
This I can do.
But wait, what about a break?  That’s a large part of my 2012 resolution and behavioural change is getting in and really using those breaks to my advantage.  Right, so between stage 2 and 3 I take a break. I go out on my balcony, breath fresh air (and sometimes other things), relax and let go.  Then I’m prepared to come back in and get into whatever it is that needs to be got into.
So far (yeah, only two days, but a good two days!) so good.  And it’s the enjoyment that makes it more likely to continue.
And now, I’m overdue for that break!  Buenos noches, amigos!
~Abysmal Witch

(My) Eight Blisses of Yule: #4 Understanding

Yes, I know, Yule is fading quickly beneath the onslaught of the coming sun, but I still have my litany of 8 blisses to share!  So I’ll try and get them out in the next several weeks (this is me setting a realistic timeframe rather than the one I wish I could make but deep down know that I meet).

Understanding.  One of my favourite things to do at this time of year (we’re pretending it’s still Yule time as I type this) is to give the “perfect” gift.  The perfect gift isn’t in the item.

It is in how it is received.

When the other person’s eyes, face, body light up.  When they get that grin or laugh, get teary or just really solemn before they give you a great, big hug, that’s when I know I’ve given a perfect gift.

Because it was something special to them not necessarily to me.

Giving the perfect gift requires seeing the other person for who THEY are, and not getting sucked into seeing on them reflections of our own needs and wants.

It is so easy to assume fall victim to the “I like it so they’ll like it too” attitude.  There has to be more to recommend something as a gift for a particular person than just that I or you like it.

Giving the perfect gift is allowing yourself insight into the who of someone else.  At the deepest level, you let go of your own ego to let in the sense of the other person, to understand what it is that would bring them joy.

Yes, knowing the person, their likes/dislikes, whether or not they have the same sense of humour as you, their complete addiction to My Little Ponies, these are all tells.  We pay attention to the person, know what they are like, what they’ve shown preference for in the past, or not.  We apply that knowledge in picking out the gift.

Some might say that this isn’t any mystical experience, it’s just good social etiquette.

Well, and it is.  And when done out of duty, that’s all it is.  But when it’s done out of love?  Then it is a gift of love.

Understanding the other person is the gift we receive when we give a perfect gift.

Love is the gift the other person receives when they receive from us the perfect gift.

I firmly believe that we experience love through attention.  Without getting into any real specifics:  We give attention to people we love.  When someone pays attention to us, we feel loved (whether we want it or not, though it always feels nicest when it is mutual).

When we fully embrace understanding (or love) then we have reached a mystical experience.

And when they open the gift, and their face lights up, and I get to see that I was right, that I had connected with that person, understood them, given even just one person a perfect gift for that year, then I know I have understood, truly understood and joy is then mine, too.

~Abysmal Witch


Getting Quiet

My New Year’s resolution (yes, I dared to have one and no, it was not to be nicer to people-sorry, in-joke) is to be better at rest.  Getting a full amount of sleep.  Taking breaks from tasks to recover so that I can do more better in shorter times.  Ideally.

To set the backdrop, I don’t spend a lot of time on my balcony.  It’s nice.  i keep it decorated and decently clean.  But I’m rarely comfortable spending time out there.

Yesterday, I went to visit a friend.  She and her partner regularly go outside for a smoke, they sit in their backyard, look at the trees and relax.

Today I realized that I avoid the balcony because I am bothered by the idea of simply relaxing.  I should be DOING something, not just sitting on my ass.

Or so says the back part of my brain.

Tonight I went outside for my own nip of bud though more importantly to take a distinct break between tasks, between things I was working on.  It felt good at their place, surely I could do something similar in my own home?

And it worked.  Okay, yes, we have to ignore my twitchy, must move, must do something, must must must voice, but after that it was calm, it was peaceful, it allowed me to regroup, as it were, and settle comfortably back into myself.

I didn’t wait until I was too exhausted and then crash out from the exhaustion of pushing myself through the horror of doing what I “should” do.  Instead, when that feeling came on, I went outside, took a break, gave myself just 15 minutes of relaxing and contemplating and BEING.

Then came back in and it was round two of doing…wait, I could do whatever I wanted.  And I did do it.  I did the things on my list but because I wanted them done not so that I wouldn’t feel guilty.

Recognizing and using the power of breaks and rest is my New Year’s resolution.  Here’s planning towards it being a new habit and soon.

A night of fabulousness to all, and to all a fab night.

~Abysmal Witch

No Respite…For Anyone?

Do you remember when stores were CLOSED on New Year’s Day?  And Christmas Day.

I don’t mean a few stores, I mean everything except for a few gas stations, the odd pharmacy and the occasional restaurant.

The streets were near vacant because there was nowhere to go except to friends, family or nature.

Today I drove to a friend’s place.  It is New Year’s Day.  Parking lots had a noticeable amount of cars in them.  Not as bad as during the holiday frenzy and yet, still, a plentitude of cars dotting the asphalt landscape.

But surely I was mistaken!  Surely people aren’t actually shopping on New Year’s Day.

Nope.  That Winners had someone coming out of it.  Those other people were headed into some other store.

Yes, there were still places closed.  But it wasn’t like before.  It wasn’t a case that almost everyone had the day off except for near essential services (food, gas and medication).  Some number were still free from the work world, but many were not so lucky.  Not nearly enough of them.

The joy of these days was that the world rested.  In the midst of the silent season, we would go quiet, rest and celebrate that rest.

Now our culture has led us to strip ourselves of even that.  Despite the joy I take in the season, I see many nasty roads we are taking ourselves down.  This one in particular struck me painfully today.

We’re forgetting how to let ourselves rest, how to turn off, how to let go.  Despite broader understanding of the need for rest and respite, we are taking ever more steps towards a world where that is forgotten, devalued, tossed aside like three day old chicken bones that never saw the inside of a fridge.


~Abysmal Witch