Ugly Truth #6 – Sometimes I’m A Sh*tty Buddhist

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I like to jokingly refer to myself as the accidental Buddhist.  And, I frequently think I’m doing a shitty job of being one.

Let’s start with the accidental Buddhist part.  Years ago, when discussing my beliefs with someone, they pointed out that a lot of my general philosophy meshed with Buddhism.

After some research, I realized that I kind of  WAS a Buddhist.  I didn’t mean to be.  I certainly didn’t seek out that title or path of life.  It just WAS.

For instance, I feel that we go through life to learn lessons and to help other people.  I struggled for years trying to figure out what my lessons were.  I finally had to make peace with the fact that maybe I wasn’t meant to know until they were actually completed.  Or, maybe I wasn’t ever meant to know at all.  And, there was a phase where I felt that learning to be ok with not knowing was one of my lessons.  See the irony in that?

It took a long time to realize that I couldn’t help everyone in some huge significant way.  I’ve often said that I can’t save the world.  But, I did learn that sometimes helping people happened in the smallest and strangest ways.  If I see someone out in public who has really polite and well-behaved kids, I make sure to tell the adult with them how wonderful they are.  If I see a parent struggling at the store with a child who is crying (let’s face it, there is ALWAYS a kid crying at Wal-Mart) I try my best to show them a sympathetic look.  I want them to know that I get it.  Kids have meltdowns.  That doesn’t make them a horrible parent.  And, I know that they are struggling with the judgmental or nasty looks other people are giving them.

And, I also realized along the way that sometimes helping people actually comes in the form of NOT helping them.  Sometimes we have to let them learn their own lessons or deal with their own consequences.

Because of my desire to help others, I also deeply believe in Karma.  You get what you send out into the world.  That doesn’t mean that every time you smile at someone you’re going to find a $20 bill on the ground later.  It doesn’t mean that if something crappy happens to you it’s because you didn’t smile at the elderly lady at the grocery store.  It’s more of a general concept.  Be positive and most people will reflect that positivity.  Be negative and you will end up surrounded by like-minded people.  And, the reverse is true.  For instance, surround yourself by positive people . . . and you will become a positive person.

Another important part of Buddhism is to be ok with people who do not share your beliefs.  That doesn’t mean you should be ok with hanging out with a child killer.  It means, if nobody is hurting anyone, let it go.  If you have a friend who believes that her horoscope is spot on and checks it every day don’t judge her for it.  When she wants to talk about it be supportive.  You get it.  It may not be your belief.  But, she isn’t hurting anyone and she feels passionate about it.

It’s easy to say these things.  It’s even easier to think that you follow these things.  But, they can be hard to practice.

I often say I’m a shitty Buddhist.  But, you know what?  The basic parts of Buddhism deal with learning to be better.  I believe this to be true with most religions.  It’s just that Buddhism seems to allow for the learning process more than a lot of them.

Maybe I’m not so shitty at it after all.  Maybe I’m rocking it because I’m always learning and striving?

Peace, Love & Whatever Brings You Inner Peace

Hoosier Barn Chick

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Productive Breaks

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Recently I had an eye opening moment.

You see, I was working on cleaning our house.  And, most of it had been neglected for some time due to dealing with being bipolar, the busy season at my day job and some other personal issues in my life.

But, I promised myself I would take a weekend and do as much as I could to get The Barn back in order.

Y’all we live in a BARN.  The layout is weird.  There are ancient exposed beams.  There are book shelves everywhere.  There are weird little nooks.  There’s a freaking sink in a hallway!  In general, it’s just a massive and weird space.  But, I love it just the same.

So, knowing that I can’t do a top to bottom clean of the entire house in one weekend, I decided to lay out some priorities.  I wanted it tidy.  I wanted it generally clean.  That would be enough for me at the moment.  I didn’t need it spotless.  That would be pointless because we LIVE in it.

Because I knew I would lose momentum if I just worked straight through, I decided to have what I am calling productive breaks.

I do quite a bit of something . . . about an hour’s worth.  And, then I go do something else that is a break but gets something done.

For instance, my productive breaks included writing some blog posts for the future.  Or, at least starting them.  Why did I choose this?  Because my blog is a priority in my life.  So, even during my break, I’m working towards a goal . . . 1 month of planned blog posts.  But, since I’m still a baby blogger, my ability to glue together long sentences in an effort to make a blog post is limited.  Meaning I can only really hack about 30 minutes of blogging at a time.  But, these breaks were typically shorter as I was not requiring myself to finish the post, edit it, put the links in or find graphics.

Two birds with one stone!

I am going to have to find other areas in my life that I can apply this to.  I’m sure it’s not a new concept.  But, for me, it was like the clouds opened up and the sun shined on me and unicorns pranced in the yard!

Peace, Love & Productivity

Do You NanoWriMo?

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For several years I have been fascinated by NanoWriMo.  My interest started when a friend mentioned that she participates in it.

I will give you the short version of it.  Writers and aspiring writers spend the month of November trying to write a novel . . . or at least 50,000 words of a novel.  Apparently 50,000 words is the approximate word count for The Great Gatsby.  Pretty inspiring!

When you sign up online, you have access to all kinds of resources and inspiration.  You can earn badges.  It even says you can earn prizes, but I don’t know what kind of prizes.  It appears that the prize involves a discount on a writing app?  Maybe I am missing something here.  There are even writing events to go to in different areas of the country.

Although you can certainly prep ideas and such before November, you are not supposed to write anything until 12:01 am on November 1, 2018.

While I’m not sure I’m going to write the next hottest novel, I do like the idea that I have a deadline to get SOMETHING done!

The journey of 50,000 words begins with signing up for NanoWriMo!

Peace, Love & Word Count!

Hoosier Barn Chick

Just F*cking Do It!

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I ain’t gonna lie.  I haven’t had a mammogram for several years.  Yes, I know it’s important.  No, I don’t mind it horribly.  Yes, it’s uncomfortable.  But, it’s 15 minutes of your life.

That’s not so bad, is it?

And, since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s the perfect way to remember when you need to have it done.  Way better than remembering by doing it on Valentine’s Day or your birthday!

I went and had mine done recently.

YAY ME!

Peace, Love & Get Those Girls Checked!

Hoosier Barn Chick

Ugly Truth #5 – When Life Hands Me Lemons I Become A Turtle

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You know the old saying:  When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

That’s a great attitude to have.  And, if you can keep that attitude through the rougher times in your life, that’s even better!

Sometimes we need to stop and recognize that we either don’t or can’t approach life this way.

For instance, I’m a turtle.  When life gets hard or stressful for me, I pull myself into my shell.  I do this both physically and mentally.  I don’t leave the house and I try not to interact with anyone.

But, I am a master spinner.  No, I don’t mean that I take an exercise class.  I’m more of a Sit N Spin type of girl.  Remember that toy from the 70’s?  I hole up in The Barn and my mind spins around imagining all of the worst scenarios and all of the ways I SHOULD be handling things but I’m not.

Does this sound familiar to you?  Do you stick your head in the sand when things get rough?

There has to be better coping mechanisms than this.  I know it in my brain and in my heart.  I just have to convince my brain to reach for one of them.

Let’s look at some of our options:

  1.  Just power through it.  Not one of my favorite options but I’ve been known to do it.  In other words, you just push it to the back of your mind and get it done.  I like to call this trudging through.  It’s not pretty.  But, it can be just as effective as other choices.
  2. Find your tribe and ask for advice/help.  You have a tribe.  You may not realize it, but you do.  That doesn’t mean all of your friends are just like you.  It means that you have a circle of people who all share something in common with you . . . and who complement you.  For instance, if you are not a generally creative person and you find yourself stuck on a project . . . or even need help choosing a project, ask one of tribe who is known for creativity.
  3. Go find your joy and mull things over while you do it.  When I recently was feeling a heavy heart for a friend that I could not physically help at the moment, I grabbed the afghan I’ve been working on for weeks, took it to my bedroom where I was all alone and worked on it.  While I was threading ribbon around it, I let my brain and heart work out my feelings.  It didn’t fix my heavy heart.  But, it helped me work through the shock and sadness some while moving forward with one of my many unfinished projects.
  4. Go somewhere that you can be alone. . . and cry, scream, argue with the universe.  Just be verbal . . .and loud.  Not only will you be working through your feelings, you will be expending some of that negative physical energy.  Especially if you are screaming.
  5. Write it out.  In this digital day and age, we’ve forgotten how good it feels to actually feel the pen and paper in our hands and write out what’s eating up our brains.
  6. Go bust it out physically.  Yeah.  I’m not a person who does a lot of exercise.  But, you can burn off the negative energy and let your brain work in the background.  Kind of like #3.

That’s all I have for today.  Maybe as I try to find the best coping methods for myself, I will discover new ones.  Maybe one of you sweet baby bunnies will enlighten me with something that helps you.

Peace, Love & Inner Peace

 

Hoosier Barn Chick