Tag Archives: energy of being

Taking My Daily Dose as Delivered

My annual appointment with my neurosurgeon was scheduled for last Friday. My autoimmune disease was in high gear, skeletal issues less so but pain high and energy low.

In retrospect, I should have listened to my body rather than heeding someone else’s schedule. I arrived to a locked office door. Truthfully, I was rather relieved as I really was not feeling well.

As turned to make my way to my vehicle, I saw the receptionist and office manager returning from what appeared to be a morning stroll. They did not seem surprised to see me.

I stepped back from the office door as the receptionist opened it; the manager quickly disappeared into the dark office. The receptionist asked my name, as she invited me inside.

She told me she had rescheduled my appointment for next week at “around the same time.” I wondered what time that would be as I had not mentioned when my appointment was. Sighing, she said the neurosurgeon was “on a marathon.”

I felt my emotions start to spike. The wasted trip was a huge drain on my energy but if I got upset, I would only further drain my resources. I stayed silent. 

The receptionist put a wall between us and opened its sliding glass window revealing an area rife with paper, including a frayed and worn appointment book.

She asked me if I like Fridays. I said I liked them fine. Pressing the question, she asked me if I prefer Fridays. I told her I do not have a weekday preference. And I don’t.

“So, did you call me about the appointment being rescheduled?”

“I did make some calls,” she admits. “If I did call you, it was late at night.”

I recognize this is supposed to be meaningful to me but it is not. I feel my anger, again. “There was no call.”

As my response is no surprise to her, she asks, “Next Friday, around the same time?”

I have no intention of agreeing to the first date offered. “No,” I say. “Any day after May 4th.” Of course, we settle on a Friday and I am given a card.

I don’t know that there is a Zen moment in this experience but if there is, I discovered it in today’s #DailyDose. It has been another rough day in terms of pain and energy but I recognized early they were today’s dose. And it made all the difference.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

As Long As There Is Light

For me, mindfulness is the source of infinite possibilities. In mining the details of the present, I set up my options for the future. Yet, nothing stays, even in stone.

I like the fluidity of the present but the past is immutable. Once, I spent a lot of time there but rarely do I visit now, which does not keep my mind from offering.

Memory after memory rolls by; action captured as still life. Mindfulness through a philosophical perspective.

However, my reality on this day is anything but abstract. My physical pain is beyond the distraction level, and it shows no sign of abating.

Recent lab report results support the presence of increased inflammation and the ever-present chronic anemia.

I don’t usually post on such a day but working with the reality I have–every day–is the purpose of Aim For Even (AFE).

For decades, I lost days and jobs trying to rest so that the days to come would be better. Sometimes, that took months or even years. In chronic illness, rest is elusive. The body is at war. Mine is fighting itself and has been for four decades.

Some seven years ago I began working with my day-to-day reality rather than discarding a day because I could not meet expectations. I immersed myself in the experience of being chronically ill–“sat with it” through hours of mindful meditation.

It is a practice I never left.

I try to bring an evenness of mind into the experience of my day. It requires an ongoing adjustment of my energy. It means I must stay present, no matter what. That’s AFE.

I am old and have not aged well. And yes, that once swallowed hard. I no longer look at my face in terms of how it may be filtered but as is. There is still light in my eyes.

I want to live the rest of my life a #DailyDose at a time, preferably with equanimity. I fail on so many days. Still, I immerse myself completely into any activity–even the most mundane—it is how I learn another way, find a new option, or my perspective broadens.

In equanimity, there is space for signals from both body and mind. I am not transcending either one but sitting with both. I know my pain level will change— life is impermanent— I choose not to attach to that pain nor do I avoid its presence.

I make room for it. Rather than rising and falling with the peaks and valleys of pain, I meet it at its base. Impermanence will do the rest.

In some ways, change has lost its edge for me, not that I don’t give it respect. I do. I don’t fear it. Indeed, in my more philosophical moments, I wonder why I ever did.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Its Own Kind of Joy

Often, I write of looking through the life lens of chronic illness. It is the experience I have, the reality I know. Sometimes, it breaks me open, and that is not a bad thing.

Letting go of what is already slipping away

is how we actually enjoy our life

Lewis Richmond 

“Enjoying life” may not seem an apt phrase when writing of chronic illness but in release there is relief. And that is its own kind of joy.

Zen teaches me that peace is available in every moment. It is up to me to settle into the series of signals I know as pain. Through meditation and yoga, curiosity edges out fear.compassion-102016

These low-energy days of a single spark are more productive than not. There is rest in this reflection. In stillness, the body softens, rather than struggling to satisfy.

There is no loss in what slips away on days such as these. It was never mine to keep, just to experience. I am given a new life lens. It, too, is its own kind of joy.

I no longer sip from a half-full glass or even become a lake. Mine is to become the oceans, to be ever at sea, stopping only by land when I have the legs for it.

And someday to be free of land and sea.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Yesterday’s Perfection

Possibilities no longer linger in a portrait of a day that was. Every yesterday is framed, in and of itself–perfect–some seemingly more so than others.

I’m not much on pulling from the past, even if it’s just a day previous but every day is its own energy. Sometimes, aiming for even means a look back.

So, here is my yesterday: I saw the x-ray of my left hip, six weeks after joint replacement surgery. It was perfect! So straight, certain–shiny!–unlike the erosive white of my bones. wheels-0716

My entire being filled with the possibility of walking, not only without a walker but going shopping, going hiking… all a gallery of yesterdays. Not my reality.

I returned my focus to the x-ray image of what is now my hip joint, sturdy and flexible. That is its function, its perfection. And for me, a moment of pure joy within the frame of chronic illness.

That reality has not changed but it does not diminish the joy. It lightens the maintenance of living with chronic illness. It’s so much more than a sliver of light.

With less pain, there is less demand on my energy on any given day. Once again, less is more. It’s an incentive to stay curious about what comes next.perfect-shell-0514

That did not happen without six weeks of hard work or unexpected loss. But I do not dwell there, either.

I keep my focus on the x-ray, the joy of the “small change, small wonder— the currency of my endurance and ultimately of my life” (Barbara Kingsolver).

And then I leave to buy a small carton of cashew milk, chocolate truffle ice cream.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page

The Meditative Compass

There is the initial awakening to a day unexplored–full of possibilities–there is waking to the final awareness of the day, sleep. Day or night, the energy of being is its own clarity.  

It is like a river, sometimes rushing but other times, meandering to the sea. Every day, I put in The Pause of Life 101313my boat and set my oar. How hard I row or whether I row at all depends on the energy of the day. But always there is a current.

The meditative state is my compass.

Bringing it into the energy of the day sounds more like a goal than an eventuality. It takes practice. Meditation is more than measured minutes–it is a state of being.

When I meet rapids, the meditative state allows me a momentary pause for a nanosecond of objectivity, and sometimes, that will shoot me through.

Other times, I crash upon the rocks and get soaking wet. I have built many boats and no doubt, I will build many more.

Bringing the meditative state into my day gives me confidence, whether I am building a boat or have managed to ride the rapids. Less and less do I push through rapids best left to others.

I remove my boat and walk around.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

A Mary Oliver Kind of Sunday

Roses

Everyone now and again wonders about

those questions that have no ready

answers: first cause, God’s existence,

what happens when the curtain goes down

and nothing stops it, not kissing,

not going to the mall, not the Super

Bowl.

Bud Opening 0814“Wild roses,” I said to them one morning.

“Do you have the answers? And if you do,

would you tell me?”

The roses laughed softly. “Forgive us,”

they said. “But as you can see, we are

just now entirely busy being roses.”

Mary Oliver 

Best I, too, be busy being for too long have I tarried at everything else. 

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

Perfect Storm: My Energy for the Day

Physically, this is a perfect storm day for me. My spinal cord and autoimmune disease are merging into my version of a category one hurricane. I predict it will not become a category five.

After 40 years, my forecasts are fairly reliable.

How I engage this powerful energy determines the life of the storm. There is no destroying chronic illness but there are ways to extract its energy.

My immune system is stuck in on–fight mode–so infections are rare but joint pain, fatigue, and anemia are chronic. Spinal cord disease affects my limbs.

Together, they have taught me to appreciate the daily doses of energy available.

As they are teachers, they require attendance and attention. Always, there are daily lessons. No day begins without meditation, the mind-body’s way of becoming completely present both within and outside the body.

perfect-storm-091916

I practice mindfulness meditation–“sitting” with sensations—immersing myself in their rising and detaching as they subside. I do not meditate to escape.

A gentle yoga practice works with the signals my body sends, in particular pain. Meditation strips away the fear and anxiety surrounding pain, leaving pure energy; in yoga, the breath softens the signals into a solitary, vibrant flow.

Both meditation and yoga open me to the experience that is this day and this day alone. Tomorrow is, well…tomorrow. What they have in common is love, the energy that animates our being.

The only meaningful thing we can offer one another is love.

Not advice, not questions about our choices,

not suggestions for the future, just love.

 Glennon Doyle Melton

I know that life is impermanent; I suspect love is invincible.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.