Mindfulness Monday – Pain

water scene

painting by W. Holcombe 

“Pain can change you,

but that doesn’t mean

it has to be a bad change.

Take that pain and

turn it into wisdom.

~Dalai Lama

“To diminish the suffering of pain,

We need to make a crucial distinction

Between pain of pain,

And the pain we create

By our thoughts about the pain.

Fear, anger, guilt, loneliness and helplessness

Are all mental and emotional responses

That can intensify pain.”

~Howard Cutler

“Pain is not wrong.

reacting to pain as wrong initiates

the trance of unworthiness.

The moment we believe something is wrong,

our world shrinks and

we lose ourselves in the effort

to combat the pain.”

~Tara Brach

 

 

*painting by W. Holcombe.  All rights reserved. Please do not use without permission.

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It’s really happening….life is changing fast.

“Everything changes, nothing remains without change.” ~ Buddha

Okay so I started this a number of times and just can’t get my words to come out right, so I’m going to try the mindful writing for this post and see how it goes.  What you are about to read will be written with my eyes closed and I’ll be taking a deep breath after each sentence….let’s see how it goes.

Okay, so deep. deep breath.  In.  Out.  Breathe.  I must take time to do that more often.  The simple act of stopping and breathing with intention has helped to calm my mind and open my awareness.  How wonderful that such a small action can do so much.  It is amazing to me.  Again.  Breathe.  In…. Out…..  calm.

Now let’s see if I can write what’s on my mind.

We will be leaving for Tucson in a couple of weeks.  Stuart starts his new job there on June 11th.  Everything has been falling into place.  Well, kinda, sorta.  Enough has fallen into place that it all feels right.  This feels like we are making the best decision for all.

A couple of weeks ago Stuart went for a job interview in Tucson, while there he also looked at houses for us to rent.  Not only was he offered the job, but he found a little house for us to rent while our house sells and we start looking for a house to buy out there.  As I said, it all seems to be falling into place.

Suddenly I was hit with the fact that we’d be leaving in about a month and I may not ever see many of the people on this coast again.  I’m being realistic here, not pessimistic.  We don’t travel much, I don’t travel well, and a lot of my family is getting older.  I scrambled to try to make planes to see everyone.  We tried to make plans, but first Stuart got sick with a cold, then I caught it, and my cold turned into a cough and an ear infection.  I’ve been running a fever for a week.  I just started on antibiotics, and I’m hopeful I’ll be all better before we leave, but it caused a lot of trouble.  Between both of us getting sick and people on vacation, I’m only going to be able to see a select few.  I was devastated.  It really got to me.  My anxiety got very high and I was just so sad.  Then I started telling myself I needed to just let it go.  No regrets.  I can only do what I can do, if I can’t see everyone I just need to let it go.  I’ll keep in touch the best I can.  All anyone can do is their best.  So, I let it go.  It is the way it is.  I accept it and I’m okay with it.

Then there’s the worry about the move itself.  I did start to get all worked up about it all, then again, I started using my new mantra.  “Let it go”  Deep breath…. in and…. out.  It’s all good.  I will take each day as it comes and deal with it at that time, I will not worry about what may be, that only causes more anxiety and I need to let that go.

I was feeling really good about things.  Letting go of what I couldn’t change, accepting each day as it comes, and taking care of things that I needed to take care of.  (like getting all my records from doctors, getting all my prescriptions filled, looking for new doctors, taking Kiki to the vet and getting her ready for the trip….so much to do, and I’ve been getting it done)  My therapist even mentioned how well I was dealing with all the change and how mindfulness has become so ingrained in me.  I admit, I was feeling pretty good about it all.

Then the bottom fell out.  I expected to get to Tucson before Stuart’s step mom’s Alzheimer’s advanced too much.  She didn’t know who Stuart was when he was there, but that didn’t surprise me too much, she’s really only met him in person once…well a few times over a 5 month period when we stayed in Tucson one winter, but not other than that.  She knows Stuart’s dad, and see seems happy.  But this week, due to side effects, they had to take her off the medication that helps slow the progression of her disease.  They expect her to decline rapidly now.  Dad doesn’t know how much longer she will know him.  It breaks my heart.  and it scares me.  I’ve never been around anyone who has Alzheimer’s.  I don’t know what to expect, especially if it is so advanced.  I’m afraid I won’t handle it well.  I just want to make things easier for Dad.  If that just means washing his clothes and stuff, that’s what I’ll do.  I’ll help the best I can.  That’s all I can do.  M is in the best place she could be for this, and I’m sure they will help me know how to deal with the situation.  I’m also reading as much as I can to learn more about it.  Frankly, that disease scares me.  The thought of not remembering my husband, that rips my heart out.  What would be worse, watching Stuart go through it.  It just makes me sad.  I’m working on being okay with the way things are.  Accepting that I can’t change it, and simply being okay with it.  Yes I think I said that before.  I also got news that I can’t really talk about on here, but it has stressed me out!!  Getting to the place of acceptance on this is going to be harder.   No, I can accept that it’s happening, I’m just not sure what that will mean and how it will affect me, more so, how it will affect Stuart and Dad.  Stuart’s not worried about it, he’s annoyed by it, but not worried.  So why am I?  I have to accept this, and be okay with it.  This will take a lot of deep breaths.  Sometimes my husband puts his head in the sand about things.  I hope that isn’t the case with this.  I know it will all be as it will be, and I’ll deal with things as they come up.  I will try my best not to worry about what may be.  One moment at a time.

Well I think I’m done for today.  I’ve spilled a lot out, but I’ve been vague enough that you are probably wondering… “what on earth?”

 

 

Mindful writing – sharing an article from Mindful magazine

I have a bad cold so today I’m changing things up a bit.  In lieu of Mindfulness Monday I’d like to share with you an article I read in Mindful magazine.  I found it very interesting and plan to put this practice to use.  So you may find me doing a lot more blog posts in the future, as I meditate while writing.

A Writing Practice For Those Who Like To Keep Doing by By  

I don’t want to copy the whole article here, it’s a short article, but it’s not proper to copy someone else’s work, so I’m going to give you the highlights. However, you really need to jump over and read the article to understand what this entails.  It’s fun!  go do it!

Shamash starts by saying: “I’m writing this article in a state of meditation. And there’s no editing required (for the first round, anyway). How am I accomplishing this? And how could you join in the fun?”

He gives us instructions on how to find out just how we can do it.  I’m listing just the highlight of each point, you will have to read the article to find out more.

  1.  Set a timer for 30 minutes.
  2. Keep your eyes closed. if you can touch type, if not, then write long hand with your eyes open 😉
  3. At the end of every sentence, stop for a full in-breath and out-breath.
  4. Begin with no clear aim.
  5. Try to find time to write regularly

He answers the question “What’s the point of journaling…..?”  Here are the benefits he says he enjoys as he writes:

 

  • “My body feels happy and relaxed.”
  • “My mind feels calm and peaceful.”
  • “I’ve gently entered into a meditative state without having to fully stop “doing stuff.””
  • “I’m doing something different, so it feels fun and exciting. And having fun is a really important value and experience for me.”

 

Go ahead, what are you waiting for, jump over to Mindful and find out more about mindful writing.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

 

 

Mindfulness Monday – Eckhart Tolle

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“Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior.

You are beneath the thinker.

You are the stillness beneath the mental noise.

You are the love and joy beneath the pain.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

 

“In today’s rush,

we all think too much-

seek too much-

want too much-

and forget about the joy

of just being.”

~Eckhart Tolle

 

“The ultimate truth of

who you are is not

I am this or

I am that, but

I AM”

~Eckhart Tolle

 

 

*image by and of W. Holcombe.  do not use without permission

Mindfulness Monday – Beauty

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“In every bend of time

there is some surprise,

joy and beauty.

Mindfulness is the

light to discover it.”

~ Amit Ray

 

“Beauty surrounds us.”

~ Rumi

 

“Because of your smile,

you make life more beautiful.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

“Everything has beauty,

but not everyone sees it.”

~ Confucius

 

* As I was walking into the doctor’s office, I saw this flower; it was all alone in the middle of a parking lot, sharing it’s beauty.  I had to share it with you.

photo by Wendy Holcombe.  Please do not use without permission.

Mindfulness Monday – Grow

quote grow

“If we’re growing,

we’re always going to be

our of our comfort zone.”

~ John Maxwell

 

“The deeper you go,

the more you grow.”

~ Suzanne Heyn

 

“It’s tempting to try and

blossom before we’re ready.

Only forced plants grow that way.

Treat yourself more organically,

allow life to unfold.

~Kelly Martin

 

 

* image by Wendy Holcombe.  The Hosta Greets Spring.  All rights reserved. Please do not use without consent.

How I Grocery Shop With Chronic Illness

 

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image from pixabay.com

 

For a very long time Stuart has been the shopper in our family.  Not that he likes it, but it was necessary.  We also had someone cook for us for over a year, when we had this service she did the shopping for what she made and we just had to pick up other necessities, that really helped, but over the past few months I’ve started cooking again.  Even with my increased symptoms I’ve been able to keep this up;  I say “I”, but actually, we cook together most nights, it’s just more fun that way.  Grocery shopping was once again totally Stuart’s responsibility.

I have been able to go to the grocery store with Stuart, most of the time, but it just takes so much time and he has a lot of responsibilities outside of that.  I was feeling pretty guilty that I couldn’t go on my own.  I really wanted to take some of that responsibility off of him.  So I looked into ordering our groceries.

This started when we I took him on our weekend getaway.  I found out I could order groceries locally and have them delivered to our house.  It was great!  For the first delivery the fee was waived, however, I was expected to pay a tip.  After that first delivery it was just too expensive to pay the fee and a tip every time I ordered groceries, so I started searching for other options.  Different stores offer different options so I did my research.  The grocery store we use most often offers both delivery and pick up.  You can order your groceries online and either have them delivered or pick them up at the store.  Picking them up is cheaper, and it is really not a big deal for us.  Stuart just drops by and picks them up on his way home.  He doesn’t even have to get out of the car.  It cost about $5 each time, or $99 a year.  After we tried it for a little while and saw that it was a good fit for us, we went ahead and paid for the year.  We get groceries every week so that is a pretty good deal.  And we are not expected to tip.

Each week we plan out our menu and I order it all on line.  You can give your shopper notes to make sure you get just what you want.  For example, I can ask for green bananas if I want, and if I want part of my bunch of bananas to be green and part to be ripe, I can have that too.  Most of the time I have been very pleased with the produce I’ve received.  There have been a couple of times that I wasn’t thrilled, but I’m not sure if it was the shoppers fault or if that was all there was to choose from that day.  I make sure and give more detailed notes now, I let them know if the produce isn’t at it’s peak, I’d rather pass that day, or they are authorized to get a different variety.  (like if I order a regular cucumber, they can substitute a hot house one…something like that)

This has worked out so well.  We save money because we aren’t picking up things we don’t need.  I have the sales right there in front of me, so it’s easy to see when things we normally use go on sale and I can stock up on them.

It does have a few hurdles.  Not everything on their site has the ingredients listed and that’s really important to me.  So sometimes I have to Google it.  It can be harder to compare items to make sure I’m getting the best bang for the buck. Sometimes there are things I know they carry, but they don’t come up when I search.  If I really have a hard time with that though, I message my shopper and just have them pick it up for me.

Now if it were just easier to meal plan.

 

Have you tried ordering your groceries?  What was your experience?

Do you have any tips for meal planning when there are sooo many food restrictions we have to consider?

Good Eating everyone!