Tag Archives: Mindfulness

Just Now

Just now:
Insanity?  Where do we run?
Sanctuary when will it come?
Time flies  when you are having fun!
Days drag when you don’t feel as one,
Need that piece of us to get by,
Meaning and thought that keeps us high,
Above fear, anger and toil,
We need spirit that is loyal,
Any moment that we can share,
When our calm mind can be aware,
Of ourselves, our freedom and love,
To find peace, when push comes to shove,
Work hard, play hard, and relax too,
We need to see a good way, to get through.

All Planned Out?

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Painting: Lee Matuga

I have awoken to music,

Hints of my dream frame life,

Just peripheral – the drive of my dream may never be realized…

I understand my goals, but they are frozen in time,

Only a few drops of purity drip down into what I know,

How do I break through?

Where is the passage?

Is it behind closed doors?

Or a blur in distant lights?

Am I through now and trapped only by doubt?

I think it all just takes time,

Clinging on to what we can,

We must seize the moment,

Savour the sweet and remit or spit out the bitter,

Build success thorough accumulating advances,

Integrate dreams with hard-work, good luck and patience,

Until we can make our stand and it all joins the plan,

Destiny driven by fragments of dreams,

The work ethic in free-will,

Guided by pure chance,

Creating fluid experience that should by all rights be a happy balance,

A project for all

Ice Dip

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Jump into the ice cold glacier-fed pool,
Cliff high above, dropping down breaks a rule,
Those here before will try to alert us,
Takes breath away, before you resurface,
Gasping, splashing, swimming fast for the rock,
Must be quick or you will go into shock,
The beauty is serene, so inviting,
Sun seems warm, but blue water is biting,
Dare-devil dives down, dusts off and drips dry,
Sure some shake and shiver- some still gun-shy,
Things that I’ve done I may not do again,
Exhilarates still, I can’t forget when
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I was thinking about jumping into ice water – as I waited for a job interview the other day (BTW- I got it!!).  Years ago we used to do cliff-diving.  Not such a safe idea, but it is thrilling.  This picture is the closest photo in appearance, that I have – to where we used to go.  When I am hiking in the future, near our old spots – I will update this picture on my website.

I have been skydiving almost a dozen times, and all sorts of other adventures.  I try to be much more safe now, because I realize how many people (besides me) need me to be alive.  Not only that, but if you screw up once by going too hard in adrenaline sports – you may never get a chance to do it again.  Ironic.  I want to keep having cool experiences, so at least I buckle up on the roller coaster or zip-lining… 🙂 Really though – I love that wild kind of feeling.  It really makes me want to be outdoors, or going fast.  I do not want those experiences to stop. Now, I just play more safe. Thinking back and looking at some good memories satisfies in big ways too.  Summer is coming…

Sometimes going into an interview or a new situation provides adrenaline.  That can be an icky kind of adrenaline.  Still: mindfulness and savouring of any exciting moment can make life more enjoyable.

Prometheus’ plea

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Prometheus Rising

Perception may be necessarily true,

Your vision comes first, then I’m after you,

At some times that depends on what you construe,

In parallel I’m perceived first –  we must assume,

Now I have found just what I’m looking for,

Optimism growing and opening your door,

Focusing on time with our face in the screen,

Avoiding turbulence in life if you know what I mean,

A disgruntled soldier faces endless days,

To find a new passage to the happy place,

Smiles on the inside now that it is better,

Fought off suffering when under the weather,

Here’s a slice of heaven to brighten the earth,

What was found in the stars gave creative mirth,

Before climbing to the sun – chained to a rock,

Day tomorrow the same, swear to break the lock,

Eagle eyes my own as my liver’s eaten,

Desires to find the mood has left me beaten,

Mighty Zeus high above: why is it wrong to share?

The fire is finely crafted to make us more aware

I started this poem this weekend (partly inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley and a supervisor…).  For now I have finished it.  In myth Prometheus stole fire from the sun (metaphor for art) and was punished by Zeus.  In the end, I tie this into the blog below.

It has been drawn to my attention that mindfulness, by convention – is only mindfulness of the present.  Sorry if I have reworked that to include mindfulness of the future and past.   In the traditional definition: focus on breathing, and sensations, without pain – in the present moment is very powerful.  This is a hugely popular and – in fact: ancient strategy.  I do not want to discredit myself or offend anyone by mistreating this important term.

My layman’s take on it is that thinking about or being mindful of other thoughts is also effective to avoid pain or depression.  Maybe I am looking at a homonym for mindfulness that might be defined as: being full of thinking (and productive thinking).  To me thinking about a good time or a future moment of content can take my mind to a better place,  and include planning.  This has been therapeutic for me.  We are all different.  I hope that these ideas help, but I can’t be sure.  When I am doing a tedious job, I often make plans for the future and set goals.  This helps me get by and time seems to move faster.

I guess Prometheus may have been condemned because art may be very unique.  To try to share art (for example: ideas about mindfulness), with the masses – he must appeal to everyone.  That is extremely difficult or impossible.  What appeals – or is therapeutic to one person may be the opposite for someone else.  It seems to be a straight-forward metaphor that art – like fire: can be dangerous in the wrong hands?   I still think that Zeus could go easy on him, especially if Prometheus was able to finally prove that his art had a general utilitarian value.

Thinking in New Ways

Sometimes it is great to be busy.  Right now is one of those times.

I am an electrician, although currently unemployed!  So I have to find a job.  In the meantime I have been spending all my minutes on the study of psychology and the arts too.  My hours are dedicated to my children.

The short of it is that I have a few moments to blog today.  VERY important moments.

I thought about my last blog, and it is fine to discuss nirvana.  What I missed discussing is the more obvious: Nirvana and the death of Kurt Cobain.  At the other end of the spectrum, and sometimes closely related to ‘nirvana’ is severe depression and suicide.  It has the potential to rob the lives of the people we love – like Kurt.

I believe that the mindfulness that focusses on the present – as well as mindfulness of good memories, potential for good moments in the future, and even fantasy (as I discuss in my last blog) – can help a person with depression.  There is no absolute solution, but education on ‘mindfulness’ is one great avenue for self-management.  In bipolar disorder a person may swing from the height of mania, or even a sense of nirvana – to the lows of depression.  Balance is so important to achieve, and self-management strategies including mindfulness can be the key to success and content.  Other important strategies are: having a balanced, nutritious diet, getting exercise, getting the right amount of sleep, avoiding substance use and taking prescribed medication.  There are many other strategies as well.  One of the key strategies that people with mood disorders use is expression (i.e. in the form of creativity). Even if this is not a ‘strategy’ per se, it is a part of life where people find inspiration. With help: the artistic side can also lead to balance. All the while that people are finding this balance: the rewarding product of music, or visual art is developed and recognized.

As time is limited today, I have drawn on a poem from my past (years ago) to insert here:

Sensible

My future is painted here and there

With brush in hand, I’m taking care

Sometimes my design is so hard to see

Sometimes the easel is so hard to see

Sometimes the painting is so hard to see

My future is painted here and there,

It’s a collaboration – I’m quite aware,

Sometimes the artists are so hard to see

Sometimes my partners are hard to see

Sometimes (my) God is so hard to see

Listen to the sound of the falling rain

Listen to the sound of the passing train

Can you see the bird singing in the trees?

Can you see the leaves caught up in the breeze?

Listen to the wind as the cars pass by

Can you hear the roadside sigh?

My future is waiting here and there

With that in mind, I’m taking care

Sometimes the right way is so hard to see

Sometimes the pathway is so hard to see

Sometimes the road is so hard to see

Watching all the places as I pass by,

Watching all the faces as I pass by,

When will I stop to wander?

Where will I stop I wonder?

Where we stop to wander is very important.  Having a strong social network and company (family, friends) is paramount for me.  Sometimes we are still alone, and this is an important time to have options.  I do what I need to do to get by and find ways to be content.  That means taking time for myself to enjoy creativity.  When the process may start out seeming boring or saddening, I try to focus on the small details, focus on what is interesting and focus on the next moment of content.  Life is a journey.  No destination is final, even if we are stuck in one spot.  When we can think of ways to be content, we can be content.  Even when we are standing still, the journey goes on and there will always be a chance to see the art in it, and to find rewards in what we do.  Thinking is freedom, or thinking in new ways can allow freedom and content.

Mood: Balance through mindfulness

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Painting: Lee Matuga

Ya…  Mindfulness can be a challenge when what you are doing is in some way horrible.  I hate to think of the different nastiness that a person can go through.  Real pain or disgust is hard to bury with thought, but through practice like meditation:  it is possible to some degree.  In this case, I suggest relying on the promise of that ‘cup of water’ to quench thirst, or some moment of content.  Looking to a conversation with a friend or a view of the mountains, lake or even trees in the big city could help many people.  Humour is GREAT.  To see the humour in things may in fact outweigh many other types of mindfulness.   If that is not available, sometimes the imagination can be a great get-away:  picturing what we want to picture.  We can reach this through a memory, a potential future or even a fantasy.  Mindfulness of the present is most often described as the answer, but other forms of mindfulness (eg. A memory, something to look forward to, or a fantasy) can also bridge that time that is difficult to endure.

I feel a bit lazy to be drawing on my past lyrics for some of my blogs, but I am making sure to spend time on fresh ones, like yesterday…  This below – was written a few years ago.

Mood

Pointing at it, pouring into it,

Biding my time.

Thinking of it, yearning for it,

Biding my time.

Push … Push …No answers, No escape. Where will I go?

Will I ever advance to a thoughtful path?

Quiet decision and Then,

The calm nirvana surrounds my universe.

Permeates my consciousness.

Will I be here for long?  Will it be here for long?

Will I come back soon?  Will I falter?

My world is protected on all sides,

Now.

Calm fulfilling energy, Peaceful train of thoughts travels to different corners of my mind,

Chorus:           The future, the past.

Investigating all that is present, on the journey.

How will it continue?

What is next, and will it be safe?

Stay peaceful, if you are strong, smart and modest enough.

Still peaceful – considerate,

Bold.  Pervasive.  Thirst for knowledge.

Drinking from it, drowning in it,

Biding my time,

Striving for it, Straying from it,

Biding my time,

Reach …   Reach . . . No answers, No release, Where will I go,

Will I ever advance from this thoughtless mood?

Loud intrusion and then

Vile anxiety surrounds my universe,

Permeates my consciousness

Will I be here for long?  Will it be here much longer?

Will I leave here soon?

Will I escape?

My world is closing in on all sides,

Leave Now, Fearful train of thoughts travels to different corners of my mind,

Steam rises of the distant stress, Here we go again- another test.

Chorus

Come take the test.

What is the test?  Maybe balance – the ability to focus: find content.  We all go through it.  Nirvana…  Is it a myth??  A band – Yup.  Part of everyday life for people – I hope so, even for a few moments.   I’m not going to look up the definition.  I just trust that it involves great balance and content.  In this life- I would suggest that if it does exist: for most people it is temporary.  I’m not talking levitating or anything like that.  I’m talking: a cup of water when you’re thirsty, a beautiful sunset, a great conversation, a great tune in a enjoyable environment.  Hmmm…  What else is purely pleasurable?  An A1 mood.  The ability to shut everything negative out through mindfulness?  Enlightenment??  Really??   How complex could it be? I am watering down a very complex and revered concept.  Please add a comment, so I can offer a defense.

Mindfulness till comforted

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When sorrow is pouring down like a torrential sleet,

No shelter, no warmth,

A coat with a broken zipper,

Become the elements.

Become the ice, become the aching water in your shoes,

Become the emptiness.

It does not surround you.  You surround it.  You will outlast it.

In time a ray of warmth will pierce the pain.

For now you are your world,

In time you will be refreshed,

Colours of peace and whispers of comfort

Will soon touch your life,

You cannot ignore them,

As we carry on to the next content moment,

With a cup of water to quench our thirst,

warmth

and a fine light to see by

I have started to take on a course to help people suffering from depression and mania (bipolar disorder).  There are a lot of things to be happy for, but sometimes they are so hard to see- obscured by troubles and the haze of depression.  Sometimes we have had a bad run of luck.  We often have a lot to think about.  Truth is, I am alone right now, and my writings have been inspired by music in the background: Elvis.  Not a fan of Elvis?  I never heard anyone say that before.   Again, this poem is about mindfulness. Mindfulness is a great tool in overcoming boredom.