Posted in Change, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Goals, Health & Well-Being, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering

Selfishness

Pausing in the shade of the woods.
Pausing in the shade of the woods.

Stepping out of the busyness, stopping our endless pursuit of getting somewhere else, is perhaps the most beautiful offering we can make to our spirit.

~ Tara Brach, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

The peonies are waking up.
The peonies are waking up.

As you probably already know, I have not been doing a good job of keeping up with ya’all lately.  I know I do not need to apologize for it, and will likely get comments telling me that it’s okay not to keep up.  I appreciate that, very much, and I would give the same advice to anyone else apologizing for not having the time to visit as often as they used to.  I have done so often in the past.  So many blogs, so little time.  I know we all struggle with finding some kind of balance here in the blogosphere.

Maple flowers.
Maple flowers.

One of the reasons I am not keeping up is not entirely a matter of time, but rather a matter of doing what I need to do for me.  I’ve been very self-focused.  After the surgery, followed by the bout of diverticulitis, and now a particularly nasty version of the common cold, I realize that I need to start practicing some self-care that begins with self-centering.  The problem, at first, was that it felt selfish, and most of us are taught that being selfish is not the way to be.

Wild cherry
Wild cherry.

Illness sometimes brings with it the message to slow down.  I don’t think I need to slow down.  I am at turtle speed most of the time, and that is a good speed for me.  What I need is to pay more attention to the cues and signals my body sends me.  I have spent too much of my life ignoring the little aches and pains, the twinges here and there, because I was taught denial.  If you ignore it, it will go away.  Or, when I was a gymnast, I was told to shake it off.  (Uh oh, now I’ve got that Taylor Swift song in my head again.)

There are doctrines that teach this in a roundabout way.  It’s one of the reasons The Secret never appealed to me.  Here’s an example:

You cannot “catch” anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought. You are also inviting illness if you are listening to people talking about their illness. As you listen, you are giving all your thought and focus to illness, and when you give all of your thought to something, you are asking for it.

~ Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

Bah, humbug.  What if you are giving all your thought and focus to listening to someone who needs to talk about their illness because you are being compassionate and caring?  Never mind.  This will take me on an off-topic tangent.

Maple and oak in spring.
Maple and oak in spring.

Then there are Goals.  We all seem to have them.  I’ve had goals for as long as I can remember.  Even as a child, there were goals to meet in school and in gymnastics and in all manner of things.

Little pink flowers.
Little pink flowers.

Lately I’ve been wondering what life would be like without goals.  What would it be like to quit striving?  What would it be like to live and be?  To move from moment to moment without thinking about some future moment when all the goals are met?

All the goals will never be met, of course, because there is always another goal.  Or the same old rusted-out goal(s) I’ve been working on for decades.  And even if all the goals were achieved, what then?  More goals and challenges?

Painted Lady.
Painted Lady.

Often coinciding with goals are the To-Do Lists.  Ugh.  I am the Mistress of To-Do Lists.  Long, impossible to-do lists that at the end of the day make me feel like there is so much to be done and I’ll never get to it all.  Maybe not an epic fail, but a fail all the same.

Reaching up.
Reaching up.

A friend once suggested I start making Already Done lists so I could see how much I accomplish throughout the day instead of concentrating on how much didn’t get done.  If you’ve never tried it, you should.  It can be enlightening.  An Already Done list is also a good way to go from feeling like you’ve failed to feeling like a ninja who has conquered the world.  Or at least a small part of the world.  Your part.

First buttercup of the season.
First buttercup of the season.

I am going to experiment.  For a few weeks, maybe a month or more, depending on how it goes, I am putting aside the goals and to-do lists, and approaching my days moment by moment.  Of course, one could say THAT is a goal in and of itself.  There’s no getting around that, I suppose, but at least it’s lacking the form and specificity of my usual goals, to-do lists, and challenges.

When I go for my morning walks, I don’t plan where I’m going.  I step out the door and follow my feet.  Or my heart.  Or my soul.  Maybe my days can be like my walks.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Dangling in the oak.
Dangling in the oak.

I’m going to enjoy every second, and I’m going to know I’m enjoying it while I’m enjoying it.  Most people don’t live; they just race.  They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn’t make any difference whether they’ve reached the goal or not.

~ Jean Webster (1876-1916)

Backlit.
Backlit.

As for blogging, next week, on Monday, I will shut off the comments on my blog except for the coffee chats because they really do feel like chats and it seems a shame to miss out on that.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy your comments.  I truly do.  But I think if I spend less time responding to comments here, I can spend more time visiting you and commenting on your blog.  Yay!  I think that sounds fab.

Baby oak leaves.
Baby oak leaves.

Thank you for stopping by today, and joining me on another ramble.  It is so pretty outside today.  Warm, sunny, with wispy clouds painted across the sky.  It is greening up quickly, and loads of plants and trees are flowering, budding, or leafing out.   I think I’ll head down to the Point for sunset this evening.  You’re welcome to join me.  Sunset is now at 7:39 PM.  We might be able to catch the laughing gulls in the fields on the way.

Asian pear blossoms.
Asian pear blossoms.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

A hole in the fence where the light shines through.
A hole in the fence where the light shines through.
Advertisements

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

28 thoughts on “Selfishness

  1. I love the idea of giving up striving and learning to just be. I’m also a master of goals and to-do lists. Lately I’ve noticed I’ve been doing what you call an “Already Done” list. On my calendar each day, I may write a few things I HAVE to remember to get done, but mostly I write what I did get done. Then, compulsive person that I am, I highlight each item in a different color. Yellow for blog posts, blue for exercise, green for socializing. Purple for work things. I kind of like this new approach. Then I can glance at my week and see by color where I’ve spent most of my time and energies. 🙂

    Like

  2. I could be in your shoes…. Though I “look” strong, sure of mysef etc. I have had some operations, in some terms I have had to fight against life, many times under the dumps… but I have to go on, have aims and whether I can’t do them, it doesn’t matter, I live and enjoy the good moments I have, such reading you and looking at your lovely photos. Live!!!!

    Like

  3. I’ve been experimenting with life with no goals right now as I’m unemployed. I’m soooo tired of deadlines, goals, be here, do that, etc. I’m not being highly productive, but I’m sure enjoying myself.

    As for not responding to comments, I can’t do that. If people have taken time to leave me a comment, I really feel it’s polite to respond. That’s just me, although you’ve tended to be the same way.

    But yes, I have gotten out my magic wand and send a poof of pixie dust your way, to give you permission to take care of yourself and not blog, comment, respond to comments, or do what is not really necessary as you enjoy being yourself.

    Nancy

    Like

    1. Sometimes I think productivity is highly overrated, Nancy, and that enjoyment should trump being productive every time. Whatever needs to be done, generally does get done. Why not enjoy life along the way?

      Thanks for the poof of pixie dust and the wave of the magic wand. I’m still not sure yet what I’ll do. I like to respond to comments, and it always bothers me when I don’t. I tried clicking the “Like” button on the comments on my Wordless Wednesday post this week instead of responding, and it didn’t feel quite right. Maybe turning off the comments, at least occasionally, will be better.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m thinking it might be a good idea to shut down comments, too. There’s always that nagging compulsion to respond to each and every one, but then there aren’t enough hours in the day.

    Like

    1. That’s it exactly, Gunta. I know I am not required to respond, but I feel I should. At the very least, I want to acknowledge that someone took the time and trouble to comment. From now on, my method is very simple. I will do the best I can. 🙂

      Like

      1. Of course the dilemma is that I would MISS comments… 😦 Instead it seems that I’ve chosen to post less frequently during this spell of getting the house ready to sell and then catching up on all that was neglected here at home, not to mention taking some time out for fun. 😀

        Like

  5. I think that if we need a cue to ground and to reset self and if that cue for us consistantly is illness, then the summoning of such isn’t ‘bad’ ‘negative’ it is exactly what we need to summon..it is an example then of communion with our higher power. That is just my experience and thought about it. I think that in a gimme gotcha state of mind, one ignores what we need and instead clamor outwardly toward what we think we want when we want it right now, and the inner flame still claims what it needs.

    Like

    1. I agree, Elisa, and have been trying to pay more attention to what is going on so that this cue of illness will stop coming around and knocking me on the head. 🙂

      Like

  6. Such a great collection of photos, Robin, especially the flowers. I, too, have not been active out there in the blogosphere now that I have retired. And, like you, have been sick for several weeks now and trying to heal my body with breathing exercises and hydration. I miss “visiting” your pond. Be well.

    Like

    1. Thank you, Teresita. It’s so great to see you again. 🙂 I’ve moved away from the pond in Ohio, although we do have a new pond now. I hope you’re feeling better. And if not, get well soon.

      Like

  7. I’m glad you didn’t shut your comments off for long, a “like” is lovely, but the nice thoughts in a comment are contagious. 😀
    What about shutting off the comments on just Silent Sundays and Wordless Wednesdays. ? 🙂

    Like

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s