Talking Trees

Someone gave me a bonsai tree a while ago.  It came with tiny clippers, tiny watering can, and a long list of instructions.  This tiny tree, ever so carefully shaped scared me like no other plant has.  

Now I know there are faux bonsai trees, you know plants that aren’t really a boss I tree, just minute versions of a plant that you can trim and shape.  They aren’t as old as proper bonsai trees.  They may not have even had the attention and care these tress get.  

There is something therapeutic I have been told, about working on and living with these trees.  Calming, is what my friend said, as he gave me the beautiful container with the stunning tree.  He also gave me the kit with the tiny clippers, watering can and instructions.  And ever since, when I look at this tree, I get a sense of fear.  What if I trim this tree wrong?  

I mean how do you know what shape e tree is supposed to be?  My friend said that I will just know if it needs more shaping or such.  The watering is scheduled so that should be okay.  But even that can be a bit tricky.  What if the water is too warm or too cold? There are so many things that could go wrong.

I shared this with my friend and he laughed at me.  He told me to trust the feelings I will get and the tree will tell me what it needs.  I know it is supposed to be reassuring.  However to me this is just more pressure.  I don’t speak tree in any form.

Beloved suggested I meditate and the answers will come.  Obviously he hasn’t listened to the issues I have with meditation.  Is there some some special class I can take to learn all I need so I can hear the tree and understand it? Or am I just a lost cause and this poor bonsai goes down with me? 

Does Barking Lead To Sore Throats?

I decided to try meditation again. Just to see if I couldn’t tap into some of the benefits of the practice. In the past, every time I aimed to stay in the peaceful moment and allow my mind to stop working, all sorts of lists, like to-do lists, would immediately pop into my head.

This time, as I went to attempt to meditate with teacher, I let her know that my mind gets super busy while trying to settle into peace and nothingness. She assured me that it happens to everyone, but in time the mind will settle down and you can do it. Anyone, she assured me, can do it.

Naturally today’s session went the same as always, with crazy ideas floating around in my head. Only this time, it wasn’t a to-do list or all the things I should look into. Nope, instead it started with me wondering if a dog ever gets a sore throat from barking. The four-footed one had spent a good part of the day earlier on barking at, well, the children running back and forth. This is how she used play with other dogs. They would run up and down the area together, barking with joy. But it never lasted long.

The children don’t do things exactly the same way. So there was a lot more barking, probably out of frustration. And as I sat there in the meditation class, all I could wonder was, did she get a sore throat from all that barking. Was barking like talking too much or too loudly? If so surely her throat would hurt.

After my mind had played with the angles of this, I wondered if dogs ever had bad hair days. Like truly bad hair days where their fur wouldn’t do what they wanted no matter what they tried. And from there it just kept going on and on through the whole class.

At the end of it, I can’t say that I was more calm, but I was a bit more energized, with all these ideas and thoughts. Although I can’t say that was the point of this. Oh well.

In The Still Of The Mind

I was invited to a meditation session by a one of Beloved’s friend’s partners. She had learned through her husband that I have never been able to wrap my mind around the idea of silence.  She had found a way that worked for her through some meditation sessions with a group of people who meet twice a week every week.

Now I’ve been open about my inability to meditate, I have yet to figure out how to get my mind to find stillness.   I know it’s possible, and I suspect if I just got out-of-the-way of myself and allowed myself to simply try in small steps it might happen for me.  But I can’t fully grasp a silent mind, perhaps I’m a bit afraid of it.  So I accepted the invitation.

When I arrived I was approached by a stranger who told me that she “normally never does this, but I am compelled to talk to you, to offer you a free reading”.  I don’t think I had even gotten much beyond the door when she made this offer.  It was clear that I was the only new comer based on how everyone else was interacting with each other.

It turned out that the leader of this session was the stranger who approached me.  She walked the group through a series of visualizations complete with drumming music.  Now in my area of study, drumming music has the potential to take a person into a trance like state so I was curious as to why there was a need for the drumming to go with the visualization.  She also changed the tone and volume of her voice as she went through the exercises, which is also common for putting people into relaxed or trance like state.  There was nothing odd with her exercises, nothing bad or wrong.

my curiosity was peaked as to why the need for these techniques when the sessions had been explained as gimmick-free etc.  I was also curious about my reading, which this stranger decided should be completed immediately after the session.  It turns out that most of the women in this class had been offered free readings.  Free readings which lead to discovering there were books and courses for what was missing in their lives.  And yes this leader just happened to have the books and the training to lead the classes for these very things.

To me that’s just a little too convenient. So I did what comes naturally to me, I asked her how she was able to do such clear readings?  And how she just happened to be so well suited for the needs of these women?  Needless to say, I am not welcome back.  And while I have no issue with people believing what they wish, when you start to create a need in others based on their vulnerabilities, I’m not going to be able to sit still.

Through some questioning and digging around, talking with others who had attended these sessions I discovered that each woman invited in was offered a free reading which resulted in the offering of counselling , coaching our courses. Of course after the free reading everything comes at relatively steep price and time commitment.  Some of see woman willingly and openly accepted the additional courses, counselling or coaching.  Others were pushed into it, as a means of being a better woman.  How the heck is this helpfulness? How does is help people be human?  How does this enhance anyone’s life other than the person who will benefit from it financially?  How is it not a form of cultivating easy money sources?





Meditating On…Chocolate

In my quest to find inner peace, or is that just balance in my life. Or maybe it’s calm. Or perhaps it’s because I was told I should meditate. Anyway let’s not get caught up in those details and get back to what matters. In this quest of mine, I’ve discovered there is some correlation to the space you meditate in and how well you can meditate. Unless you are really good a meditating. At that point you are probably sitting up on a remote mountain somewhere and meditate without any issue.

But I’m not a guru of sorts. I’m someone who meditates. I’m not even someone who meditates upon meditation. I’m someone who can’t get my mind to move into the space of meditation. I try. Heaven knows I try. But I fail. Every. Single. Time. My maximum record of not chasing my squirrel thoughts around wherever they will lead me while I’m trying to meditate is less than a minute but more than thirty seconds. This much I know because while finding a small moment of just being, the need to know how long I was successful popped into my head. And I just had to check the clock. Because you know, you need to know this kind of stuff.

Anyway, on this quest, I stumbled across some places that are designed to help you meditate. Some are natural, pastoral type settings. Think rolling hills, blue sky, warm sunshine. Think chirping birds, but softly chirping so as not to distract you. Think plush, comfortable, cushiony grass without biting or stinging insects.

Or places are based on the gentle, rhythmic noises of an ocean, sea or very large lake. Again, a gentle breeze, warmish weather. No unpleasantness and just soft bird songs to go along with the ripples of the water. The small waves coming in. The gentle sounds that come when nature is at her best without children or adults splashing about.

But a chocolate factory? Is that something you would have thought of? I have to admit it never would have crossed my mind. Factory equals loud to my logic. And chocolate, while chocolate must be savored and consumed. Impossible to meditate when this is going on. And yet there is a place that is offering to lead guided meditations at a chocolate factory. The logic is that everyone can find peace with chocolate. Everyone enjoys chocolate, well except those people who don’t and then why would they look at meditation in a chocolate factory?

Apparently after the chocolate lovers get over the initial giddy excitement of being in a chocolate factory (Willy Wonka anyone?) we shift into a place of calm and inner bliss. So why not surround people with something that will help them relax and then guide them off to meditation. Seems somewhat doable to this girl. Except I wonder if they give out chocolate samples for before meditation as well as after. I’m pretty certain I would need to sample some of the chocolate deliciousness before I could think I would not be thinking anymore. And after all that hard work of trying to just simply be surely I would deserve a reward. Why not the very thing that I have been near during the process chocolate?

Of course there are some of us who may not be able to meditate in this environment. But we might be able to do it if we end up in a chocolate consumption coma. At least that’s my plan B if the Plan A of trying to meditate while in a chocolate factory proves too hard for me. Hey a girl should always have options right? Oooh I wonder what types of chocolates I can have…

Crafty Knots Are Not Me

I’ve never been the crafty sort.  I’ve had friends who craft masterpieces out of bits and pieces of odds and ends. But that’s not me.  Give me a pair of knitting needles and some wool and I can produce the most horrific results.  Split wool, loose ravels  and bent needles not to mention a million knots.

I’ve been slowly working on this thing called tatting.  It’s basically a whole bunch of elegant and complicated knots that end up looking like lace.  Since its knots it should be easy for me right?   I mean  everything I’ve tried has always ended up knotted.

But true to my lose relative, Murphy, the one time I should excel at this because it is knots, I find I am unable to make knots the way I should. Instead of elegant lace I end up with tangles of knots and clumps of thread.  Thank heavens I do not have to make my living at this.

A friend of mine, an analyst of sorts, assures me anyone can become crafty if she simply puts her mind to it.  She’s even working with me on creating crafts.  After a solid month of watching my attempts she has revised her way of thinking.  It is possible that some people just don’t have the mindset to work on these types of is.

She has concluded that my overactive mind, the never-ending of thinking and what ifs are what prevent me from doing craft work.  It is as if my mind is a string that is constantly unraveling itself as it finds something else to get tangled up in.  She has decided that my mind is so busy doing its own form of arts and crafts that my fingers can’t possible be expected to follow the dance involved with making knots, sewing or knitting.

She has suggested I work on slowing my mind down through mediation and such.  Of course she would hit on yet something else that gets me al tangled up in knots.  Apparently with mediation I try too hard.  With crafts I focus on the wrong things and lose my focus on what I should be doing.  So please tell me how mediation will let me be crafty and help me untangled my knotted thoughts.  Because I’m about out of thread and there are more loops to make.

Changing My Tune

It takes discipline to meditate.  It also takes discipline to carve time out of your day to allow for you to meditate.  It takes discipline to not get lost in the gutter of criticism.  Basically to have a healthy wellness lifestyle it takes discipline.  And commitment to oneself because you are worth it.

On this journey that is my life I’ve come to discover my inner theme song.  I’ve also recently come to discover that because of the nature of my inner theme song, I rankle under the pressure of these disciplines.  I mean it stands to reason that when your theme song is about fighting authority over and over again and no matter how you come out swinging you still lose…well let’s just say authority and discipline in my world go hand-and-hand.  😕

So the easy fix to this small discipline issue I have is to change my theme song, perhaps turn my fighting of authority into fighting for myself.  Except it appears that at this point in my life I am capable of only one song.  No matter how much I realize I am my own worst enemy, I seem unable to find a new song.

People offer up suggestions, but even during a sing-a-long I evidently convert it all back to the song that has become me and my way of living.  Friends I am asking you to help me change my theme song.  I’m begging for help in shifting my passion in a way that is positive and will yield fruitful results.  Others I will just be in my corner, practicing my jabs and uppercuts.

What They Say

Put your feet up, they said.  Sit back and just take a few deep breaths they said.  Close your eyes they said.  Calm will come, they assured me, if I did just those few little things.  The trick, they told me, was t just keep trying these things and eventually it would click.  After that, they promised that I’d be meditating with the rest of them.

So I put my feet up.  I put them up higher figuring maybe it was a blood to brain deal.  Basically I may have pulled something in the back of my leg, aka a hamstring, with my endeavour to make this work.  Needless to say this was a bit of a failure.

Next I tried sitting back and taking a few deep breaths.  What I discovered is sitting back and trying to breathe deeply isn’t the best combination.  However I did discover that if you breathe deeply in rapid succession, it’s a bit dizzying!

When I closed my eyes I realized just how tired my ended were.  They ached in a way, followed by tearing up and leading to a bit of stinging sensation.  Needless to say I opened them up again.   When I tried this trick again, my eyes still weren’t happy.

So now I’m wondering how many times do I have t keep doing this before it works.  I’m also wondering exactly who they are and how do they know all this stuff! 😮