It is a very odd thing, my level of commitment to this daily practice of writing a blog post about mindfulness, and that’s what it has become, a daily practice. No matter what else happens or doesn’t happen during the day, the post will get written before I go to bed. Right now it is 1:30 a.m.
Despite a practice of mindfulness in my daily life for years now I have still struggled to get things finished these past few years. My brain chemistry has been weighing me down. I have started numerous books and fizzled out or put them aside “until later” and we know how soon later comes, pretty much never. But after trying and trying and just about giving up hope that my brain would cooperate suddenly, like a lightning bolt crashing into my frontal lobe, “365 Days of Mindfulness” pierced my skull and landed. The way things have been going the likelihood of this happening were pretty slim, about as likely as me landing on the moon and having a stroll, but I didn’t question it. I typed the title and “Day 1” and I started.
There have been days when I didn’t feel well. Days when I wrote through a headache, a panic attack, during a hazy day when I hadn’t slept the night before and times like now when I am writing past 1:30 a.m. but I will not not write this post. Someone said that I shouldn’t push so hard, that it was okay if I took a day off and the next numbered day would follow the one before, that it didn’t have to be consecutive days, but, no, it does. Because of the way things work for me on the highways and byways of my bi polar grey matter if I miss a single solitary day I am liable never to go back, or to go back spottily until I peter out. This is a miracle. Day 22. You have no idea what a miracle this is, so I am holding on for dear life.
It occurred to me today with a sense of awe that this isn’t just a series of blog posts I am doing, it is a commitment that I have made, and this commitment has become a spiritual practice in and of itself. Writing everyday about mindfulness has made me more mindful, more deeply aware of my life and everything in it, aware that I am doing something incredible that I haven’t been able to do for some time, I am staying the course.
Studying about this curious and, I think, mysterious issue that I deal with that swings back and forth between the two poles of my brain I have been more than a little uncomfortable to read about how it can become more difficult as one grows older and at just 5 1/2 months before my 60th birthday that is not especially what I want to hear. I am afraid of what the medication might be doing to my brain but I have been on medication, then off, and finally back on and I will stay on. Off was not good for me, in fact rather disastrous. This is an issue that everyone must decide for themselves but I am better able to cope on the meds. However they seem to affect me in the way that the mood stabilizer, necessary to even out the mania and depression (I’m type 2, the depressive side of things.) also does something that slows other brain functions a bit or, that is perhaps not saying it right, seems to have affected my ability to carry through. This has been most disheartening and worrisome but I just keep on trying. Books and projects have been unfinished everywhere but like Sisyphus I keep pushing the boulder up the hill. Until now.
That “365 Days” came to me as it did, and that I have been able to keep on keeping on with it is no less than an act of God. I have prayed for help and I got it, because it is not just these blog posts, other things in my life are aligning in the most wondrous ways. I am writing an ecourse that will start soon, “Surviving The Thanksgiving to New Year Holiday Slide,” and I am having a ball. I worked on it all day today and the newly revised web page for it will be up tomorrow. And I am working very hard and joyfully with that. After 4 decades of teaching, and having missed it terribly, I am about to begin again and it is such an incredible blessing. And it all feels so good. I would not be doing this ecourse if I had not started doing this mindfulness project, so my commitment to this year of blogging has started building a bridge into other areas of my life. I am seeing it all around. This commitment that I have made is one of the most miraculous spiritual practices I have ever experienced, and mindfulness has brought me here.
Every day is a miracle now. Each day I will come here and write this post, no matter what. I am watching the days tick by so that in another week or so I will have been doing this for a month. I am simply amazed, and grateful.
The pugs are asleep all around me. I am sitting here snuggled up with them using my laptop and they are snoring. It is lulling me to sleep. But I have written this post and I am ready to publish it and send out little a little paper boat across a little pond. I am waving to you all from the shore while I rest on the bank.
My eyes are drooping and I am just at the edge of sleep so I bid you all adieu until tomorrow night. I made it again, I made it. I will make it. Amen and Hallelujah!
I send you so much love. Now I will hit publish and slip down into the covers with the pugs.