Off the Cuff – How Do You Do It?

It’s one of those weeks when everything just built up to a point of “giving a way”.  I say “giving a way”, because I liken it to running a race, and I’m always trying to stay ahead of or in synch with something – which is usually TIME.  In a 24 hour period when we try to fit in the “work to live”, “live to work”, “working out” and “no work” I decided something’s gotta give.  That something is probably my idea of how my life should be assembled.  I have this image of a pie chart and it’s divided into my ideal of how to allocate my time, and then I compare it to the reality, the other pie chart that’s chewed out at the edges, unevenly browned and probably undercooked inside.

Time out.  I reached my “giving a way” point subconsciously, I think, around 3 weeks ago.  There was a death of someone who was very close to me, and someone who was still quite young.  He passed away with cancer at 51.  I was planning a trip to the memorial service in Canada, but some constraints prevented my good intentions.  It would’ve been a time of gathering with people I have not seen in so long (too long), and to remember the good times and how much we need to create more of them with every moment.

So I hung back in Los Angeles and took care of my dog.  My German Shepherd is aging gracefully at 14.5 years old, though she and I are struggling with her incontinence… (Let me tell you that I do her laundry 6 times as much as I do mine.)  I was really bummed out not going and then I was buried in work.  My manager quit, my work place is in a state of flux, my application for a perm visa is therefore in an unsteady state and I developed sciatica.  Me?  Not me?!  I’m the one who keeps saying I’m going to be hiking well into my 80’s. 

Wow.  This is really happening.  I felt overwhelmed and my pie chart became one whole “No fun” activity.  But something turned around somehow.  I believed I was not going to quit.  I just didn’t know how to do it.  I didn’t want to continue spinning my wheels in the same muddy puddle.  By grace I decided to tackle one thing that I can control which was my health.  It wasn’t just a matter of dealing with the sciatica, but before I can do that, I had to work on my mentality.  I needed to shift my attention from ‘poor, poor me.’

I was hunting around the internet for inspirational stories and found this on The Wellness Clinic, “Top Five Regrets before Dying By Bronnie Ware.  It was an article written on February 3rd, 2011.  Bronnie worked in palliative care for many years and gathered a list of the regrets and common themes that surfaced from people at the gates to the other side.  Here is the link to the article:

The list:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier

That last one summed it all up for me.  Yes, there’ll be very rough times, and I can choose to get down and wallow, and even let it defeat me (for awhile.)  Or I can choose to see the bigger picture and have a deeper insight to what’s really going on.  What value can I take from this experience?  For one thing, always having the courage to go on.  Another thing is getting to know myself in the face of adversity.  And then just choose to be happy and choose to be grateful that I can experience life. 

After all these years I’m starting to get it, and that is life is not an idea.  It is what I’m actively thinking and doing, and what unfolds in the next moment is a result of what I was thinking and doing.  Those things I have control of.  So having boosted my mentality I decided to tackle how to heal my sciatica.  I came upon a book by Letha hadady,  D. Ac., called “Asian Health Secrets”.  The book is a holistic approach to healing.  To my surprise there were presciptions specific to sciatica.  I dug into the book, and my world opened up to a new attitude about herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  I started the anti-phlegm cleanse which improved my condition on all planes:  mental, physical and emotional.  So far so good.

My heightened awareness from the cleanse has allowed me to slow down my breathing, rather than not breathing at all.  I’m taking the time to appreciate what I’ve got.  It’s such a good feeling.  It was a matter of choice to remind myself what really matters to me.  I catch myself still mindful of time, but with a perspective that time is relative.  (By the way, I’ve started reading Gary Zukav’s “The Dancing Wu Li Masters” which is described as “a mysticists interpretation of quantum physics”.)  It fell into my radar just after I was pondering about Einsteins Theory of Relativity.  I believe my thought created this possibility of the book coming to me.

Bronne concludes his article with this: 

Life is a choice.  It is YOUR ife.  Choose consciously, choose wisely, and choose honestly.  Choose happiness.

This is my favourite Goethe quote:

Choose well.  Your choice is brief and yet endless.

So I’ve made a commitment to a director to finish my rewrite of “Original Sin”.  I’m not going to say what date, but I did make a choice to put the play into others’ hands now.  I’m sharing the gift.  I somewhat left myself without a choice but to do it.

Thank you.




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