Day 7 - Growth and Change and Happiness
So much can be done in a week. Look what God did, and She/He even took a day off!
It’s Day 7! This has been a very good week. There have been a few times where I realized I'd been walking around smiling. Things in general have felt easier, sweeter, lighter.
In addition to eating mindfully, I did something sort of embarrassing every day that I have not told you about because it’s so…small.
But it feels huge.
So. Here’s the deal: I’m a creature of habit. I mean, like, seriously. I do so much the same I don’t want to list it. Right now sitting in the same seat at the same coffee shop I sit in when I write in downtown Santa Cruz. I have these habits that are comfortable and safe.
Comfortable and safe leave me hungry and looking for knives so I can cause trouble or a bed to crawl into so I can fall asleep. I don’t mean that my life needs to be in constant upheaval—really, I have enough upheaval as it is. I do routine until I explode and then suddenly I do everything differently, and this is not good for my nervous system or for the nervous systems of those close to me.
As Dr. Mark said about eating, the trick I’m finding is moderation. That word historically has had as much appeal to me as enema. No thank you. I’m fine the way I am.
As I become more and more aware of my habits, I notice that I’m afraid of doing things wrong. I expect to get lost. I’m afraid of…I don’t even know what exactly it is that keeps me going to the same grocery store that I don’t even love. Partly it’s laziness. It’s easy to follow the grooves worn in my brain. Does this mean I want a life where I don’t think?
Walking around in a kind of familiar torpor may feel safe, but it also feels numb and closer to death than life. So you know what? I’m being moderate about all of this and challenging myself to do just one thing new every day. Challenging may be the wrong word as it may be suggestive of something negative. I am giving myself the opportunity to do one thing different every day.
I know I’m sounding like every self-help for dummies book out there, but it’s working! I’m happier. More curious about what will happen next. I’m proud that I found the farm on the UCSC campus yesterday, proud I found the tour, proud I went around for 90 minutes with a group and learned some things about organic farming. I know this may sound crazy to you, but really, you have no idea how tight my living box had become.
Just as when a body is tight, there is less movement, less ability to experience life, the same is true for a tight life. When the paths I run are limited and well-worn, I could essentially close my eyes and just do whatever I did the day before and the day before that.
I want to have to keep my eyes open. I want to see as much as I can.
The other day I asked my daughter if she would exchange texts every night telling each other three things we are grateful for and one thing we failed at doing. Yesterday I had to make up the fail because I hadn’t pushed myself to the point of failure on anything. Today I went into crow pose and fell out of it. Thank goodness I failed at that. What a relief.
It’s so comfortable not to fail. It’s so comfortable to know where to park, to know where to sit, where to stand in line.
Comfort is good. I don’t want to sit in a movie theater and be uncomfortable. I don’t want to be uncomfortable in my skin. But I am also alive, and living means growing, and growing means stretching and stretching means change and change means…You get the idea.
I saw the movie Chasing Maverickson the plane as I was headed for the Indiana Adoption Conference last month, and I was obsessed with it I watched it again on the flight home. I thought the surfers had so much to teach me as a person and as an adopted person about how to courage and living and riding the edge of things. And guess what! Tomorrow morning I’m going to Rusty’s house (you’ll know who I’m talking about if you’ve seen the movie) to interview him for this blog. Last week I interviewed Anthony Suau, Pulitzer-prize winning photographer and creator of the documentary-in-progress Organic Risingand our talk was so powerful I’m just sitting on it, savoring it, waiting for the right time to type it up.
I am chasing several things in the next 93 days. There is the desire for beautiful and regular poops, of course, and there is also What are we capable of doing in our lives? Just how wild can I get? How free? How singularly myself?
See you tomorrow.