A Day Off

Since quitting my full-time job in July, my life is my own. Or is it? What am I taking a day off from? (warning: this post evolved into total stream of consciousness!)

Starting from last Saturday, let’s take a look at my schedule for the past week, and most weeks. My 3 year old granddaughter stayed overnight with me Saturday, and again on Monday, while her mama worked. Thursday I spend with the now 6 month old twins. Tuesday evening is my Ayurvedic Spiritual Counseling course. I worked, albeit from home, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, for a total of 18 hours.

Today, Friday, is the only day this week that I have nothing on my calendar. Not even a yoga class. So there you have it, a day off.

I always think I am going to “accomplish” big things when a day like this comes along. But what does that mean, anyway? I have in mind to get all my homework done, do some painting, do some writing, cook a delicious meal, go for a long walk, do laundry, clean the bathroom. I doubt if I’ll do all that, and I may do other things. It just feels good to have an entire blank slate of a day.

Right now it is the middle of the day and Robert is fixing lunch, some kind of garden veggie burgers, and vegetables and grains and it smells delicious! I guess if I’m going to cook it will be dinner!

wp-1484932347137.pngI got up at 6:45 and meditated.  Then I went back to bed for a bit. Got up and had tea, wrote in my journal, did some Yoga with Adriene, my favorite youtube yoga teacher. Ate my favorite breakfast of oatmeal with raisins, walnuts, and stewed apples. Took a shower and washed my hair. Threw some paint on a canvas, almost literally!

And I’ve been sitting here on the couch writing between doing laundry. I started a new blog this week, The Cat’s Advice – just for fun, check it out!

While we are on that subject, I also started Finding Ayurveda. It’s purpose is mostly for me to put together what I’ve learned into content that makes sense to people who don’t know anything about Ayurveda.

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Now it is after lunch, which is just as delicious as I expected. I sit here writing with my phone propped against the screen  skyping the aforesaid granddaughter. Lately, we’ve been doing this more frequently, just “hanging out” so her mama can have 30 minutes to do some organizing or whatever.  Precious time, precious child. I don’t post pictures of her at her mother’s request.

wp-1484942917585.jpgIn a little while, I will drive down to the nature trail and take a walk. Today it is a balmy 77 degrees, a beautiful summer like day in the middle of January.  Yeah I’m doing that instead of watching the inauguration. You’ll never find anything political here.

Whatever you do today, may you be happy and look for the good. Remember, whatever you put your attention on grows and strengthens.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Ending and beginning

I have had an amazing week!

Just as I expected, the five day intensive to wrap up my ayurvedic studies was exciting, confidence building, wonderful, and intense! I got to spend 5 days with my amazing teacher and 20 like-minded people who became, in a very short time, my family as well as my friends – my “peeps”.

As I have been away from home, immersed in study and then for the last two days on a mini vacation, I have also been given inspiration on what to do next and looked at my present job situation with new perspective.

The first thing I am going to do is start a new blog which will be focused on ayurveda as well as my personal journey in finding it and how it can be useful in daily life.  I think it will be helpful to me to pull together what I have learned by writing about it, with the goal of being able to teach others and have my own clients.

Stepping away from my day to day usual routine and the job that provides me with a roof over my head and food to eat is always a mind bender, and this time even more so. I had set a goal a little over a year ago to quit my job in June of 2016, when I finished with this course. And here it is, June 2016. A few months ago I decided to stay, to not be so drastic, and then things started happening that make me think that I am being guided away. My boss quit, and I was evicted from the office space I’ve had for 4 years due to what is the equivalent of office politics in a hospital.  Middle management isn’t supportive, and upper management doesn’t care, and as I write this, it just makes me wonder what am I holding on to?

I’ve had a tendency to hold on to relationships and jobs long past time to let go and move on, and I think that is what I am doing. Fear, again. Uncertainty, as usual. As difficult as it is, it is the known. But I have a new tool that I gained recently. Instead of fighting with the fear, or running from it, I have learned to make friends with it, to look at it as serving a purpose. And so I will sit with the fear for a bit, talk to it, question it.

I will go back to the job.  I want to take a zen mindset with me. Zen as defined in the urban dictionary:

swans on the lotus lagoon

One way to think of zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.  

I’ve had a tendency to try to fight what is inevitable, to act as if I have some sort of secret power to change the minds of management if I just dig in my heels hard enough.  I think I’m done with that. I need to stop holding on to what doesn’t serve me well.

I know, deep down that the timing is perfect for great change. That there is nothing to fear. That walking away from a closed door is walking towards an open one.

You can’t win a battle against those who have no honor. There is no reasoning with closed minds and no persuasion that will open a closed heart.  – mystical Cat tarot card

 

And now I turn my heart towards home.

 

Here I go again

Uncertainty, again.

Things are changing in my workplace.

The boss who has only been there 7 months is leaving. Some of my co-workers are looking to me for leadership, but this is not my path, I don’t want it. I want to stay settled in my little space until I decide it is time for change.

But that’s not the way it works.

In addition to that, my little office space, where I’ve been settled for a good four of the six years I’ve been employed at this hospital, is being commandeered by someone else. I was told that I would have to move to a non-private space on the first floor, but still be the case manager for the fourth floor. I said no, no way, no how.

This is not only impractical and not the only solution, but it shows blatant disrespect for all the case managers in my hospital. My first thought when I was informed of this potential move was “they have no idea what I do!” It is simply not acceptable to me, or to anyone in my department.  We feel like this is an affront to Case Management in general.

So I got really angry, in a way that I haven’t in a long time. Since I started meditating regularly about two years ago, I generally don’t get upset about much. I want to approach all situations and all people with a heart of love. But this hit a nerve. Fortunately, I was able to process through that first day, think about what was important to me, and go back to work the next day.

Because I thought about just quitting. Or at least resigning. Maybe this is a push from the universe. Sometimes I’m too tenacious, hold on to things for too long. I’ve done it in jobs before, and in marriage.  And I’d had a plan, last year, to make a change in June of 2016 – I am finishing my Ayurvedic Practioner Studies, and could live on savings for at least a couple of months.

But then I changed my mind, decided to try to hold on another year until my youngest graduates from college, pad my wallet a little more, build a practice while still being employed.  So then this happens. It really gave me pause.

wp-1464454141289.pngSo we shall see. This could be that final straw. Another solution that I proposed has been accepted, I’m told. However, it involves putting a door up where there is none, and I might be asked to vacate my space before they do that. Again, I will say no. I will move when and if I have an acceptable space. And if that’s not ok with the powers that be, I will move out of the building and on to what is next for me.

I’m actually getting a little excited about that prospect.

The next few weeks are going to be interesting.

 

Life after vacation

I had the best vacation ever. Three weeks of traveling through Massachusetts, Maine, and Nova Scotia with a great guy + seeing beautiful scenery + staying in interesting places + meeting interesting people = heaven on earth!

I kept thinking I would blog about it like I did earlier in the year, but since we were on the road alot, and out of the country, internet was sometimes iffy so I just wrote longhand in my journal and took a lot of pictures. If you want to see them, here is a link to the google album.

Robert bought me a book at the airport on the way home. I wasn’t sure I would like it, but turns out it is really speaking to me. The book is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read more than half on the trip home. Mostly what I am taking away from it is that if a person decides to pursue a life of creativity, there will always be uncertainty. And that if I pursue perfectionism, I will never be happy. Just write, or paint, or knit, or… whatever you feel like doing. And don’t fret about the outcome. Do it if you love it, and if you don’t love it, don’t do it.

I think that’s great advice. I have written quite a bit just for myself since I came home. I put paint to canvas – actually I want to try to paint some version of the beauty that I saw on my trip. I painted over a painting that I had done in one of those paint with wine classes.  So far, this is what I have: wpid-wp-1446310034715.jpeg

This is what I’d like to paint:
wpid-wp-1446310097952.png

I imagine I’ll end up with some sort of abstract, which is what I’m usually most happy with. The great thing about paint is that you can paint over it!

The other thing I’m taking from the book is that you are never too old to learn something new. The author shared a story about a 90 year old woman she’d met who has spent the last 10 years learning about ancient Mesopotamia and is now considered an expert! Very encouraging for me as I continue to pursue my study of ayurveda. I was doing quite a bit of moaning about it, but no more! I am a youngster compared to her!

The first few days back at work I felt very zen. My mind was clear and full of memories of beauty, like the above picture from Maine. It’s been two weeks now, and the last few days were so busy that I lost some of that. But I am working on practicing mindfulness, which is really just being aware of what I am doing when I am doing it. I have found inspiration in this area through the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh.

While we were traveling, we ate, drank, and were merry, so when we got home we decided to get back in shape with the Hot Belly Diet. I had felt rather sluggish but within a few days regained my usual vigor. I am also walking more and am using a couple of those 30 day app challenges – one for the arms and the other for the butt! The ones I chose are by Teer, and are very doable. I tried  a different one but it had jumping jacks and side planks so I quickly deleted it. Gotta be realistic.

So life goes on, with its joys and sorrows. Today it is raining, tomorrow the sun will come out. I work to feed the body and create to feed the soul.

What will the next adventure be?  I’m already speculating.