Being that it is my Birthday today, I think it is an auspicious time to reflect on some new goals. But, before I work on that, I have to work on my general gratitude for having been on this planet now for a full 56 years, wow, hard to believe, but it is the fact.
After I can drum up the type of gratitude that I need to keep my perspective, then I will move into thinking about what I learned the most from the last six months of Hashi Mashi, how it changed me both physically and emotionally and then start to form the new goals and concepts for the next four quarters, for the next year.
I think that perhaps some people have a greater challenge to feeling joy in life, I certainly know that I have had, not just because of biology and how their brain developed, but perhaps also due to environmental factors.
Perhaps there is an element of a trained response to a person who is struggling with appreciation for whatever might be in his or her life at the moment.
My Father, he should rest in peace, and his extended family were war refugees. They experienced more that I ever wanted to know and more than I would want to tell at this point.
I imagine that can be a factor in creating a learned response in how to react to the ebb and flow of life, and I get that they had experienced more of a tsunami than an ebb and flow.
Having said that, even if it is a learned response, it is my responsibility to take care of myself and not simply assume their burdens, to carry their burdens as well. I think it is best that a person figure out how to react to events in a manner that will keep them moving forward, and not mired in guilt.
I have not been swimming much since the fall started. But, swimming is a wonderful teacher in terms of focusing on the very basic necessity and gift of breathing.
While swimming, we have to pay attention to not accidentally swallowing water and every time that I take a new breath, that feels great.
While swimming, many times during laps, I thought how much better it is to focus on something incredible and critical like the ability to breathe, rather than focus on memories or events which have already transpired, cannot be changed and do not give any sense of life or accomplishment.
Check this out, let's say that you are feeling really traumatized by a very sad event in your life, specifically bad memories. Every time you think of what is eating away at your insides day and night, you feel tremendous anxiety, fear, pain, guilt. We all know the drill, that is how it goes.
This is a simple exercise, but I have seen it work with myself and others.
Just start to focus on your breath, breathing, inhaling and exhaling. That is it. Nothing more complicated on that.
You dont have to say OM, Namaste. or even cheese. Just breathe, but breathe with your awareness focused on your breath.
My bet is that after a few minutes of this, you will actually feel relaxed, because your mind cannot be playing the horror film in your head of your bad memories, plus focus on your breath. Our minds can only think on one thought at a time fortunately, and if you are just thinking about your breath, you are not thinking about everything else that is spooking your entire day or more.
So, realizing the power of breath to both sustain us and keep us pretty sane, there is alot to be thankful for, even in just one breath!