Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Battle for My Mind;-).

I had a tough day Monday, learning that the second IVF cycle had failed. The day before I learned the editor who is doing the line edit had taken on another project, putting mine on hold. During this time, I have been listening to The Power by Rhonda Bryne, author of The Secret. In her book, she stresses again and again that your thoughts determine your world. And I absolutely believe that.

What can be disconcerting then, is how often I find negative thoughts streaming through my mind. I have started my flower painting (paint by number kit) which I love. It allows me to be completely still and focused. And yet at that time in particular, I hear fear thoughts come streaming through (what if the baby dream never works out) irritation thoughts (I can't believe that neighbor keeps letting her dog bark) sadness (mom looked quite a bit older the last time I saw her and I wish she would take better care of herself).

I myself am shocked at how much negative energy/ideas there are floating around in my head, when I generally think of myself as a positive person. What is all that muck? Why am I not sitting with my paintbrush in hand thinking how lucky I am to be married to a man who not only loves me and the kids, but has a kind heart, is a phenomenal provider and thinks I'm quite pretty. Why am I not overwhelmed at how lucky I am to have two healthy, smart, funny boys who love me and Greg and our families. Why don't I think more about how blessed I am to have wonderful parents, in-laws, financial stability, a new career start writing fiction, good health and to top it all off, happen to live in the free est country in the world?

In her book, The Power, Bryne suggests you train your mind, not unlike training your body, to focus on what you love, what you're grateful for, what makes you happy. I took out a new notepad a few days ago that I entitled Gratitude and Serendipity journal and am now making a nightly habit to remind myself of all the good I already have and to remind myself daily to appreciate all this wealth.

If any of you have little tricks that help you come out of the dole drums and focus on the awesomeness of life, I'd love to hear them. Good wishes! Eileen

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Science Fairs and dirty dishes;-)

Kirk was really proud of his science fair experiment today - tornado in a jar. All the kids got medals and it was a good experience all around. I'm absolutely sure the time that was spent on this was more important than cleaning the kitchen, but the result was a mess of dishes still waiting to be done at 10 p.m. I'm finding myself a bit stretched as time goes on and deciding that I'm just going to have to be okay with dirty dishes more often. Greg has been a trooper taking up some of the slack - he just offered to do the big weekly grocery shopping, but there is just not time for everything and I've decided to try and be okay with the house not like I'd like it to be. Well that or just a whole lot less stuff at the house. Kirk and I were just reading a little blurb about the Greeks tonight, and the closing paragraph was timely.
"The story of Greek life is the story of both moderation and simplicity. Our material possessions, such as houses, furniture, books, and cars take up a great deal of the owner's time and attention. They have to be polished, brushed, painted, mended, and guarded. The Greeks would probably feel that we are not so much the owners of property as the slaves to our possessions. The Greeks wanted to be free in both body and mind. So that they could keep their liberty and be truly free in spirit, they reduced their daily needs to the lowest possible point."

But what to toss? What is excess? Tonight we watched a video called Science Rock from Schoolhouse Rock, we played a game called Marketplace before dinner and did two puzzles after dinner. All these things, purchased from thrift stores, do add to our lives in education and enjoyment, but admittely, all those things take time to organize, sort, find lost pieces, etc. I don't have a really good criteria list for what to keep/what to toss. Any thoughts? Good wishes! Eileen

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Making some progress on those November goals

...if you want something very badly, you can achieve it. It may take patience, very hard work, a real struggle, and a long time; but it can be done. That much faith is the prerequisite of any undertaking, artistic or otherwise. Margo Jones (1913-1955)

November goals are coming along quite well, and as silly perhaps as it sounds, the star chart is helping. I see it every time I go to the refrigerator and it reminds me both how much I've accomplished this month and what areas could use a bit of work in the ten or twenty odd minutes of free time before I need to head out the door or while I wait for the school bus to arrive. There's never any doubt how to focus my time in those bits and pieces.

The credit for the idea goes to the author of the Happiness Challenge - Gretchen Rubin. I posted about her book earlier. I LOVE it!!! It is a concrete way to live more happily and after my run-in with the crazy political guy, I think we all should do all we can to live each day in a happy frame of mind. The author is quite impressive too; she clerked for the Supreme Court and her research skills and analytical thinking are clearly evident throughout. It's both a thoughtful and thought provoking book.

I finally ordered a paint by number kit and have started painting my floral masterpiece, a goal I swear I've had five years but never got around to. But now it was on my November list and there was no way I was going to not get a star;-).

Hope all your dreams and hopes and plans are coming along well. Good wishes. Eileen
P.S. Should you be interested, the author also has a website

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Got cussed out today - road rage goes political;-).

You can transcend all negativity when you realize that the only power it has over you is your belief in it. As you experience this truth about yourself you are set free. Eileen Caddy
I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It was there all the time. Anna Freud (1895-1982)
I helped out at a friend's campaign today and held signs near a polling place - staying the legal distance away. A guy in a suit stopped his black BMW and his face mottled purple with rage, began ranting, "You're F#$(ing breaking the law." I assured him I was over 100 yards away, the legal limit. He then broke into, "I'm F*(#_ing calling the cops. And you're f#(&ing supporting an idiot." Lots of rage there. Other than thinking the guy might want to try some meditation exercises;-),
the experience really made me conscious of the sacrifices that people made during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's and women's efforts to get the vote in the 1920's (and before). To be on the receiving end of all that hate, merely for holding a sign, was eye opening. I can't imagine doing a sit in at a lunch counter with rabid police dogs waiting on the street outside or speaking up for women's rights while an audience of men yelled derogatory remarks and threw things - those were some tough people and we owe them a lot!

On happier news, I kept my goals for writing three hours today. And I met a wonderful children's librarian who graciously told me about some of the ins and outs of good kids' books.

Happy election day to all - be glad we live where we can all express our viewpoints! Eileen