“365 Days of Mindfulness” [Day 22 ] Commitment As A Mindful Practice…

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.

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…

Comments

  1. [Waves back}. It’s a little after midnight here. But as I’m half a globe away from you in Canada, I think it’s a different morning of a different day. Eerie, when you think about it, that you’re already in my tomorrow . . . and I’m in your yesterday. (I think. I’m tired, and figuring out time zones often defeats me when I’m wide awake.) Regardless of what day it is where you are, have a wonderful one, Maitri. And thanks for connecting. Your practice is writing these posts; mine has become reading them and often journaling about what comes tumbling out of my mind *as* I read them.

    • Susann, how wonderful to hear from you again, and yes, the time zone thing is kind of amazing isn’t it. I have a number of friends in Austraila and as I am going to bed they are getting up and the reverse. Always just kind of seems impossible and yet magical somehow.

      And I love what you wrote about my practice/your practice. that just meant the world to me, and as a journal teacher of 4 decades to think that something I wrote has inspired you to journal is just marvelous. If you’d ever like to share with me what things inspired you to journal I’d love to know. You can email me privately at maitri@dragonflycottage.com, I’d love to hear from you.

      Take care angel. I will wave at you as we float around in different time zones at the same time. Isn’t THAT amazing. The TIME is different and yet it is at the exact SAME time that we are living and writing in this moment. Or something. I love that.

      Sending a gentle hug and love to you …

      Maitri

      • Good grief! Maitri, for some obscure reason I thought YOU were in Australia, which is why I was blathering on about time zones — I’m only three hours (earlier) than you, not umpteen. I love the whole “time” thing anyway (my favorite movies & Star Trek episodes are about time travel), and while I occasionally get people in the wrong time-zone, I don’t usually get them in the wrong country!

        But regardless of where we are in space & time, I love your blog! You share your world so unflinchingly with us, and I find that act alone an inspiration. I’m blessed with good health, but I share your love of solitude, quiet & introspection — you use the word “cloistered” to describe your life at Dragonfly Cottage & that really hit a chord with me, speaking to the spiritual as well as the physical. I quite cheerfully describe myself as a “hermit” (even though I’m not — maybe a “hermit wannabe” fits better. LOL!) but I think I shall start calling myself a “Cloistered Creative”. Has a ring, don’t you think? So please know your writing touches a lot of us, probably in ways you never dreamed.

        • No Sweet Pea, I’m not from Australia! Ha! Susan, I wonder what made you think that? I do have a lot of friend in Australia though. 🙂

          And ah, the Hermit. I don’t know the Tarot really well though I’ve tried to study it for decades and have numerous decks. I love the cards but it is all so complex it’s hard for me to grasp the interplay of all of them, but the Major Arcana I can understand, at least in my way, and from the very first deck I saw it was The Hermit that I related to.

          I think for me the Cloister comes from my Catholic background and knowing nuns that lived in Cloistered convents, or monks. When I left the outside world it was a kind of commitment as much as necessary for many reasons to lead a very quiet contemplative life where I could meditate and pray and write very deeply in a way that I could not out in the world around other people. As much as I am online it is still in measured pockets and I can turn it off. I work here, I still have to support myself, but days and days go by when I don’t speak to a soul. It puts one in a state of mind that is hard to describe. One of my very favorite books is The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris when she went to live with Benedictine monks. I really loved that.

          I hope you find peace in your world, enveloped by the silence, and peace in your heart.

          Namaste dear one…

          Maitri

  2. Maitri, your love comes through your words and mean so much. You are loved right back by the ton. I will miss your posts the next couple days. I will be going for surgery tomorrow morning and will stay overnight, hopefully not more than 1 night. Please know that your posts have meant a great deal to me and helped me cope. One day at a time. I am also deeply grateful that we were spared from the horrid track of tornadoes that hit south of us and deeply saddened by their loss. We are all so blessed.

    • Paula, thank you so much for your kind words and I will be holding you in my heart and prayers for a speedy recovery.

      One day at a time indeed, it’s the only way to live. And I am so happy that you are safe, but so sorry for those who were affected. The weather patterns are just crazy everywhere. One prays for everyone everywhere just in case.

      I am sending you a gentle hug and good wishes for your surgery tomorrow.

      Blessings dearheart.

      Maitri

  3. Mindfulness all day
    essentialized in your blog
    keeps us peaceful too

    Commitment to self
    generates widespread echoes
    boomerang magic

    katya

    • Katya, oh thank you!

      You know how I love your poetry. What magic indeed to find one here after my blog post. A very special gift indeed. I love that, Boomerang Magic.

      Kapow! Right back atcha sister! 🙂

      I’m sending you so much love…

      Maitri

  4. Ahhhh – and you inspire miracle making in all of us so fortunate to be reading your words, feeling your spirit reaching out to us. This post really resonates for me. I was a bit adrift in my blogging until I hit on the idea of blogging 1001 reasons for hope. It has become a habit and lifts my spirits on dark days. #856 went up today, and when I reach 1001 (on April 13, 2014, if I calculated right), I already have plans for the next phase. Other writing comes more easily because of my catching the hope habit. So your commitment to mindfulness sings in me.

    • Oh sweet Cathryn…

      Your special mission is so deep and powerful and beautiful and important and I just love it. And it is true isn’t it? Even on the nights I am so tired I can’t hardly hold my eyes open

      Thank you for being in my life Cathryn. I treasure you.

      With so much love,

      Maitri

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