There is Life After the Thesis

After chronicling my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and experiences throughout the thesis process on this blog (formerly entitled Rites of a Thesis), it seemed odd to me to simply let the blog go just because I had turned in my thesis and graduated. I don't want to merely "shelve" my thesis nor do I want all that I got from my time at Naropa to lie dormant. I want my thesis to continue to live and breathe and become, and I would like all the teachings and experiences I had during my time at Naropa to do the same. So I am keeping the blog (changing the title), and am commiting to myself to (w)rite on as I journey forward.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Telling (on Myself)

It is a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and no one else has made it. ~ Sophocles

Okay: I've gotta fess up. I missed my morning meditation on both Thursday and Friday morning (and didn't sit later on either day), and on Wednesday, I allowed dumb ol' Sarah Palin to entertain my thoughts for about a good 80 % of my sitting time.

Wanna know what? It affected me big time. Not meditating (and not getting enough z's) made me feel irritable and unreasonable. You wanna know what else? My students noticed it too. I made amends to them Friday for being such a crankster and they all nodded their heads and said, "Yeah, you have been." Reality check. Can't dodge my behavior around sixth graders. I'm lucky they love me anyway (several of them lingered in the classroom and just shot the shimmy with me after school that day).

I also missed my enso practice on Thursday and Friday. My mornings were jumbled from waking up late and not having enough time to squeeze everything in [Note to self: "Squeezing in" spiritual practices sounds a bit oxymoronic...that's just about on par with "I need to hurry up and slow down."].

So, what can I do different? Well, for one, maybe I can write just one long-hand page instead of three when I wake up late, so that I can fit my meditation in (I always write first thing now, so I may have to sacrafice a bit). I imagine being more disciplined during the week and going to bed early enough so that waking up isn't problematic would be most helpful. But is that realistic? Not always.

I'm thinking I took on a lot deciding to do enso daily. Maybe shooting for three or four times during the week might be a more managable amount of time to devote to that practice right now.

I am such an extremist-type person, it's very easy for me to get into that all-or-nothing mentality. I remember complaining to an old sponsor of mine years ago about not having time to work out. She said to me, "Why don't you just go the gym for 10 or 15 minutes?" I responded, "Because that sounds ridiculous." She countered with, "Well, it would be 10 or 15 more minutes than you are doing right now." And she was right. Any little bit does help.

So I am going back to the basics. I am going to take smaller steps. My inner methods are to help me, not to hurt me or punish me. I can reassess. I am doing these things for me, to help me on my journey, and in turn help others. So the question is, how can I be of best possible use to myself? How can I best nourish me, so I can go out and meet my thesis (and my students and all others I come in contact with) at my best?

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

1 comment:

Griffin said...

"At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

That's one of my fave quotes! It's on my frig... Another wise man encourages us to be open and accepting of what is and what will be.

Good to not get down on yourself because you can't do it all... and perfectly. I loved that oxymoron about squeezing in spiritual practice... great awareness on your part. I find squeezing in all my intended practices is very difficult... sorta like squeezing a water balloon...

You are so good at noticing things... and keeping yourself honest about those observations... and in doing so you provide a reminder to your readers to do the same... thank you!