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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Zone.”

Getting lost in something….. bliss.

Thinking about that one activity to the exclusion of all other thought.
It happens for me in music – playing the violin, and physics – and meditation.
But weirdly in meditation the most concentrated moments happen when I’m not actually ‘thinking’ as such.

In writing this I’m thinking out lout – why is it bliss to be lost in something and not thinking about other things?

Two possibilities spring to mind

  • The other thoughts are unpleasant
  • The sensation of concentrating all my mind in one place is in itself pleasant

Both I suppose, unbroken threads of concentration are so satisfying, they don’t contain the constant background noise of self criticism or self congratulation.

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What a thought!

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “It’s a Text, Text, Text, Text World.”

The difference between me talking in the real world and writing in the blogoshpere is that this is my stage. This blog is my world. People may reply, respond. But nobody gets to interrupt. Nobody.

So I can think or write as slowly as I choose without fear of somebody finishing my sentence or stealing my punchline. So, I can write at my speed, be as spontaneous or deliberate as I want.

I have enough followers to know that someone will read this. Whereas in the real world every time I speak I may think ‘Did anybody hear this?’.

So there is a guarantee of being heard……. WOW  that’s a thought !

Only as lead player do I get to live this moment

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In the life of my movie – that inspired the movie of my life.

The producer and director sound like they have control, make decisions, pull the strings. But, they don’t get to embody their own visions.

Many people are director / producer / writer of the events in my daily life

  • Employers throw in curveballs that mean I have an eventful day – cue the volcano eruption
  • Family and health throw huge events in my direction – earthquake
  • Social norms dictate much of the dialogue I have with acquaintances, to the lady I hardly know but pass in corridors ‘how are you today?’ …’very well thankyou’ – background music time passing, clocks going round at speed, pages being torn off a calendar as the months fly by

Give me the role of lead player because only I get to embody the content, live in this skin, breathe this air, feel this moment and know what it is like to be on the inside of me ………. When I remember………………

Because much of the time I don’t remember and don’t live my life. I sit and watch it slack jawed as part of a passive audience. I watch things happen to myself and live in knee jerk automatic response to much around me and not noticing the slide downwards.

But even as someone that sleepwalks through life much of the time. It is all worth it for the odd moment of mindfulness, when I dive into my body and drink in the sensations, good or bad and just rejoice at virtual reality 3D life. That beats director / producer / writer every time.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Show Must Go On.” If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!).

Do you believe in fairies?

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Walk the Line.”
Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

My code. I try try to stay present for people and myself
namely

  • Listen to what people are really saying
  • Listen to my own honest reaction
  • Respond to them by including my reaction

A real example from today.

A colleague –

Well I like to keep up the pretence of fairies because it’s nice to think they’re really real.

(said in a joking manner)

My reaction was – whoa what planet are you on ! I’ll just smile and pretend you didn’t say that.

But I managed to take a second….. after a pause

Hang on a minute – you really believe that don’t you. I’m trying not to judge… but that is a bit strange.

We were both smiling and laughing by this time – mostly at the honesty of it all.

She said

Well I am from Ireland… and part of me likes the thought that it could be true.

Me

Okay I am judging, that is going to stay with me for the rest of the day.

It was both absurd and very honest
She could have denied believing in fairies and I could have pretended not to judge.

We both enjoyed the honesty and the absurdity ( apologies to any fairy believers).

 

He did free tattoos, was getting better at doing them, would I like one ?

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Whoa!.”
What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

 

My most surreal experience was a particular moment when I was in a psychiatric ward. Being there had felt surreal, but in a fuzzy detached way. More unreal than surreal.

I had been in this ward for a few days and was encouraged to go out on a trip to a local coffee shop in a  minibus with other patients. I was very compliant and just went along with it all in a bit of a daze.

I got into the minibus with a group from the ward, we were all there in various states of distress / confusion / fear, I had not really spoken to anyone yet. The person next to me a man in his early twenties started chatting to me.

He had been kept here for 6 months for absolutely no reason at all and the consultant was the devil
– ok well we have different perspectives here…
He did free tattoos, was getting better at doing them, would I like one.
– that was very kind……

I had a sudden moment of clarity and presence. What was I doing here – how did I get here. This man was clearly seeing the world very differently to me and the others in the minibus all felt equally alien to me. This was my surreal moment.

The thing is, it was surreal when seen through the eyes of someone from outside the ward. I momentarily had used outside, ‘normal’ eyes. But the feeling of being an outsider, not belonging, not safe. I have experienced and recognised that back in the ‘normal’ world many many times since.

I USUALLY CRAVE LOVE BUT FOR ONCE I WAS RADIATING IT

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

I had a bout of depression a few years ago, was hospitalised. It never really left, now I live alongside the depression better. I can’t say I’m happy, but there is a depth to life that there wasn’t before.

I had a very interesting meditation experience at about this time. Everything was so weird and intense, my mind was all over the place.

This experience was so blissful. A sensation of feeling pure love. Not coming in my direction, but from me. Most of my life I spend craving love, but for once I felt I was radiating it towards everybody and everything in general, it didn’t have a specific target. It was the most pleasant sensation I have ever had. It also felt like something that I had always known but perpetually forget – so familiar, how could I not remember this every minute of every day.

I had a sudden memory of being 5 years old again standing in a garden and feeling happy in the uncomplicated way that children do. They know the simplicity of love. It was so clear to me that this was my default setting and I had just forgotten it. It stayed with me for days.

I would like to say that I was permanently changed for the better by this experience – but in reality I forget. How crass is that ! My neuroses and fears cloud my memory.

Just sometimes it comes back to me as fresh as that day, utter joy, utter love.

The Past is a Foreign Country

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Study Abroad.”

If you were asked to spend a year living in a different location, where would you choose and why?

If I could spend a year in the ‘country’ of the year of my birth. In the company of my birth parents at the time they gave me up for adoption. I would see my parents for the confused and frightened young people that they were. I would see that they had problems that they couldn’t face – and that I wasn’t at fault.

They say travel broadens the mind. I think this is a journey that I need to make in my own mind.

MY DOORS

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Just a Dream.”

You’re having a nightmare, and have to choose between three doors. Pick one, and tell us about what you find on the other side.

Trigger warning  – mention of suicide

This happened. I had to make a choice to leave a life that frightened me, I was awake it was real.

It had come to the point that my ‘perfect’ life was driving me to suicide. I didn’t know it for a while I just kept trying harder at the perfection.

Doors were the possibility making big scary life changes. How come I never saw those doors before?

I found myself in a psych ward.
Safety.

I owned my own life and at last I saw the doors.
It was suddenly so clear. Make a choice – go through.
Choose a door.
Any door.
They were all my doors and I got to choose. They would all take me away from the nightmare.

Safe on the other side I can now see the nightmare I had left.
Good job it’s a strong safe door.

I AM NOT MY THOUGHTS

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Me Time.”
My ideal Saturday morning.

Things I cannot control
Saturday comes after a Mon-Fri week.
Stuff happens.

Things I can control
Remember I am not my thoughts (well I try).

When I remember this things go well. I usually don’t.

I make most of my decisions during the day based on the belief that I am my thoughts.
I experience irritation and have the thought,
She’s irritating
She annoyed me

Other possibilities are
I’m experiencing irritation – interesting
I see the effect she is having on me – I’m physically tense, I’m having angry feelings.

If only I could see people acting out their own stuff just let them do their thing, wait for it to pass, noting what set them off.

That would happen on my ideal Saturday morning, I’d feel the week’s provocations as people had come into contact with me, and see my reactions – watch myself do my thing noting what sets me off.

Maybe next Saturday.