Random Saturdays – Eventful August

Back in January, Cathy did a tarot reading for me for the year.  August was the 3 of Cups – Celebrating with Friends.  August started out pretty roughly, so I wasn’t sure, but now, I think the card completely fits.

  • 12 Day Meditation Challenge – After I got so bummed out the first week, I decided not to do the guided meditations.  Meditating on each day’s lesson was better.  The third week, I was busy, so I slacked off completely.  I still did my normal meditation before bed, but I didn’t pay much attention to the daily lessons.  I’ve kept all of the emails from the challenge so that I can still look back at the daily lessons as I see fit.
  • Amanda and I were able to take a few of the same days off this month.  I’ll write more on that in a different post, but it was fun.  We decided that one of the things we should do is try to get drunk.  We never get drunk.  We always have to drive home and go to work or wake up early to run errands or we don’t wanna risk headaches or blah blah blah.  Between the two of us, we had half a bottle of Malibu rum and half a bottle of some kind of good amaretto whose name I don’t remember while watching Bad Santa (I had never seen it.  Everyone says it’s funny, and it was, but it made me sad.)  By the end of the movie, we weren’t drunk, just sleepy and hot.  It was cold in the apartment, but we were burning up.  We set out to get drunk, but went through peri-menopause instead.
  • RQ School – We had our first session of RQ School this month.  Cathy, Lomo, and I were the only ones able to make it this time, but we recorded it and put it online. (I’ll be posting that later, but if you’re real smart, you can figure out how to see it now.)  I forgot that we were recording this for public consumption, and even though I only expect nobody else to watch it, I said some potentially offensive, but funny, things.  Once we stopped recording, I said some really offensive, but much funnier things.  That was actually the best part, the chat afterwards.  Doncha just love goofing around with your friends?
  • Paris – I decided to go to Paris with Cathy for Christmas.  She was going to go to Ghana with her boyfriend to see his sister, who is in the Peace Corps.  Cathy and Matt broke up this year, though, so Cathy decided to continue saving for a trip, but not to Ghana.  She settled on a Rick Steves tour of Paris.  I have always wanted to go to France, but mostly the south of France.  I have had alot of run-ins with snooty Francophiles who turned me off on Paris.  Even though I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and such, I didn’t want to deal with d-bags like that, or worse, be mistaken for one of Those People.  However, I realize that this is a stupid reason to avoid Paris.  Aussi, c’est trés amusant practiquer mon français a Paris!  I will have to put part of this trip (mostly airfare) on my credit card, but after lots of number crunching, and advice from friends, I decided to go anyway.  In 2005, I began planning a trip to Italy with the RQ Babes, but have yet to go.  I always put off fun for the sake of responsibility.  I’m willing to deal with a little credit card debt for the sake of renewing my spirit by visiting Paris with one of my best friends.  Besides, think of all the money I’ll save on therapy and antidepressants!
  • Root Canal – I went for my first cap fitting (of three) this month, and ended up needing a root canal.  Two hours later, the dentist told me that my canals were too small, which makes cleaning difficult.  So, I had to come back a few days later to finish the root canal and cap fitting.  That was not fun on any level at all.  Friggin’ teeth.

Despite my meditation fail and my small canals, August has, indeed, lived up to the promise of being the month that I celebrate with friends.  Who knew?

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Random Saturdays – Week 1 of the Miraculous Relationships 21-Day Meditation Challenge

As I mentioned in a previous post, I signed up for the 21-Day Meditation Challenge this month.  The RQ Babes always say that if you think that you are something, that you want something, that you can do something, etc., then The Universe will ask, “ARE YOU SURE?!”

After the Hay House World Summit in June, I got back into a regular meditation habit and was working on other spiritual endeavors.  The high started to wear off about the time that moving stress took over me.  During the moving stress, I began listening to Eat, Pray, Love again, in a brilliant effort to keep my spiritual learning momentum going.  I LOVE Italy.  I have never been, but I love it nonetheless.  So, I listened to the first third of her book devouring her descriptions of her experiences in Italy in much the same manner as I have been known to devour Italian food.  I knew that India was next, and even though I remembered being surprisingly delighted at that part of the book when I listened to it before, I still felt kinda like:

Eating – Check! Praying – I’m out.
(Gif Credit: http://kailz-h.tumblr.com/)

The Pray part of the book started about the same time that my meditation challenge began.  I interpreted this as The Universe encouraging me to do the meditation challenge.  Every morning, I’d get an email from Deepak Chopra and Oprah telling me what the meditation lesson would be.  My schedule’s weird and so am I, so I would do the daily practice at night instead of at the start of my day.

Day 1 – The challenge started with, “I am open to the presence of miracles.”  Cool, I would keep that in mind as I went through the day, and then I’d come home and do the lesson.  Of course, that’s the day that I got into an argument with a stranger at a Redbox.

Day 2 – I had difficulty remembering the lesson.  Something about being a soul?  A good soul?  That night, I read the email again.  “I am a radiant spiritual being.”  I had a good meditation that night, but still forgot the lesson the next day.  Even typing this, I had to look at the email to remember what the lesson was.  At the end of my work day, I got into an email argument with someone.  Well, he argued.  I gave up because I have such little respect for him that I don’t care.  Except that I did care.  I kept thinking about it and then had to remind myself that it doesn’t matter and he’s a jerk and nobody likes him and that’s really sad and though I wanted to say something to make him feel bad about himself, what I actually wanted was for him to get some perspective, calm down, become responsible, and learn to play nice with others because I am…an enlightened being?  I didn’t even sit down to eat dinner until after 10 pm that night, so I didn’t do my meditation, not the formal Deepak/Oprah one, anyway.  Maybe I’d double up the next day…

Days 3 & 4 – Doubled up on my meditations before I went to work.  One was about me being a miracle of life and the other was something about loving myself in order to love others.  I think we’re going into the self love and self esteem part of the meditations, and that’s always difficult for me.  When I got to work, my boss asked how I was doing, knowing about the argument I had the night before because she spent the morning arguing with the guy, too.  I replied, “I’m good.  I’ve been meditating.  I’m a damn miracle of life.”  I kept trying to think about the meditation lesson during the day, but I was tired and distracted and didn’t really believe the words that I was telling myself anyway.

Days 5-7 – I only remember that they all included me having to love myself and the frustration of that, combined with my ongoing headache, led to me spending the weekend depressed and exhausted.

At this point, the meditation challenge isn’t going well.  I’m going to keep at it;  I only have two weeks to go.  This self-esteem crap is something I haven’t had since I realized there was a world outside of my home and learned that that world didn’t like me very much.  So, it stands to reason that self-esteem isn’t something that I could become Super Number One at having or practicing (or whatever the hell you do with self-esteem) in three weeks or less.  I assume that you have to bust yourself up in order to put yourself back together again, kind of like what they do in the military, but with less physical activity and with even more crying.  In that sense, I suppose it’s more like kindergarten or birthdays or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  There is a strong military tradition on my dad’s side of the family and a long line of Harry Potter books on my side of the family.  So, even if this meditation challenge doesn’t leave me relationally enlightened, I will have at least tried.

Random Saturdays – I Dare You To Meditate

On the way to work on Monday, I got into an argument with a guy while returning Redbox movies. He was mad at me because he thought I should have pulled into the parking lot further so that his truck wouldn’t stick out in the street. I was upset that he didn’t seem to care that I was waiting on a guy to finish walking in front of me. A little girl around the age of 10 or 12 was there to hear the whole argument, except for when she covered her ears, which was most of the time. I refrained from yelling, cussing, or personal attacks until the point where he called me an idiot after I walked away. I told him that he was an idiot and a jerk for being so inconsiderate to me, the guy crossing the street, and for doing all of this in front of his daughter. Then, he made a vulgar sexual gesture at me, right in front of this little girl, because that’s how you win an argument at a Redbox.

I was upset with him, but I was more disappointed in myself for letting him get to me. Why didn’t I take the high road? Just because I didn’t yell, cuss, and flail wildly doesn’t mean that I handled the situation well. I tried to calm down by thinking about how this incident wouldn’t matter 10 years from now, or even tomorrow. I thought about how aggressive that guy was driving before he even pulled up behind me in the parking lot, which might indicate that he’s just an angry and aggressive person anyway. He’ll have to go through life as a jerk and I’ll have to go through life as…

…me.

And that’s when the tears started.

I cried the rest of the 45 min drive to work before calming down just before getting out of the car and walking into the building. Within 15 min of sitting at my desk, I was in tears again. Thankfully, I wasn’t snot crying. It was just a steady stream of hopelessness and disappointment. I distracted myself with work and eventually stopped crying.

I kept reminding myself that the start of the 21-Day Meditation Challenge was that day. When I got home, I could meditate and really get some perspective, rather than just distracting myself enough to function for eight hours. When I signed up for the challenge, I really just meant to continue working on my own meditation practice. Ironically, this challenge’s focus is on relationships.

Because this is a Deepak Chopra challenge, I felt that I didn’t need to worry about it being 21 days of learning how to get a boyfriend/husband. Still, I am reluctant to tell people that I am participating, in case they think it’s some desperate hippy dippy attempt of mine to rope in a man. Also, there are some lines from a song called “1000 Times” on Sara Bareilles‘s new album that describe exactly what’s going through my muddled head about 50% of the time nowadays:

In another life I wouldn’t need to
Console myself as I resign to
Release you

When you relate most to those words in a song about an unrequited crush, then you probably shouldn’t sign up for a 21-day challenge to get a boyfriend. I already knew this, though. What I hoped to gain from the challenge was a more disciplined meditation practice and some perspective on how I interact with others.

I’m not a particularly kind or good person, not bad, but not kind or good. I don’t adequately express my love and gratitude for the people that I love most in the world. I live in my head so much, that it’s hard for me to remember that people can’t just sense how much they mean to me. I’m alone so much (and like it that way) that I forget that I have to speak to other people when we’re spending time together. I’m so grateful for the people in my life that I feel like my heart could burst at any moment and I weep when I think about it (as I am doing now while typing, so much crying today), so I don’t say anything because people don’t understand tears coupled with heart attacks is my way of saying, “I am immeasurably grateful to have you in my life!!!”

So, I was hoping that this meditation challenge could help me gain some insight into how better to deal with how much I love people vs. how difficult it is for me to be around people. Then, I had an argument with a stranger in front of his daughter. Apparently, I need to do this challenge because I need some clarity on my relationship with everyone in the entire world. I have always been an overachiever.