I find it so ironic that most of our world’s wars and fighting are due to lack of acceptance of other people’s religious beliefs when in fact most religions have so many common threads running through them. Why can we not just accept our differences and find our areas of commonality and treasure our individuality?
Regular readers will know about my exploration of my Cherokee heritage and the evolution of my spiritual journey.
In the Native American teachings I have been involved in, we always pay tribute to the 4 elements.
When reading about my latest interest, Mindfulness, I have read a lot about the Buddhist beliefs and I see that they also believe in the power of the 4 elements, and I also found the same info relates to Hinduism. I found that often the terms are different and maybe even the way that the elements are ‘experienced’ or expressed, but they are all dealing with the same base elements of Fire, Earth, Air & Water.
I think we all have far more in common than that which separates us.
I am trying to practice the four pillars for finding inner peace on my journey towards Mindfulness, namely:
Acceptance, Perception, Letting Go and Living in the Now.
I think the 1st pillar, that of Acceptance is a big one, to accept that you are not in control of anything, that you are simply a cog in the universe and that in order to have inner peace you need to just go with the flow. As a control freak this is a huge challenge for me. But I am trying. I am a major road rager but with my new attempts to find my serenity, my driving has changed and my blood pressure gone down as a result. If other people on the road want to rant and rave, that is their choice. I choose to take my foot off the petrol and enjoy the view on my journey. Stressing will not get me there any faster, the only thing it does is increase my already high adrenaline levels and ruin my day.
Perception is an interesting one. It is about mastering your own internal dialogue and turning it towards the sun. What you think or perceive, you then become or behave. Your actions reflect your beliefs. If you believe that you are angry, you will exhibit anger. If you perceive someone to be targeting you with their actions or behaviours then you will respond accordingly. Meanwhile your interpretation of their actions is often viewed through your own internal filters and often their intention is nothing like your interpretation. Just take things at face value, do not imagine various conspiracy theories or subterfuge is present, and even if they are the other person’s motivating factors, rise above it. Do not internalise other people’s energy, just keep strong within yourself. Only you can choose your reactions to external events.
Which blends a bit with the next pillar, Letting Go. I tend to hold grudges. If you hurt me or let me down then I remove you from my inner circle. If you have a go at me then I come back at you with all of my might. I am a dirty, scrappy fighter with a vicious temper. I am a mean redneck injun ‘coming for your scalp’ kind of fighter. When angry my filters disappear and I have a vicious tongue. As a linguist I can rip people to shreds verbally. I am trying to release things which upset me and not hold onto them with a death like grip.
Let it gooooo.
The fourth pillar is Living in the Now.
This just simply means to avoid having your thoughts stuck in the past, dwelling on what has been, what could have been, what you thought happened vs. what actually did happen. Or, trying to avoid having all of your thoughts focused on the future, daydreaming about what will be, what could be, or on what might be. I am not a big daydreamer, I am too much of a Virgo realist for that. I do visualisations of what I want, I do imagine myself living the life I want. However that means I am not focussing on living the life I am in. My biggest shortcoming is dwelling on the past, feeling guilt for bad decisions in my life, harbouring anger for my past hurts. Even when the anger is turned inward towards myself, which is possibly the worst type of anger.
We can miss out on enjoying our life if we are caught up in projecting about the future. You know how when you are on holiday and you spend the last few days dreading that it is ending rather than just throwing yourself deep into the moment and fully experiencing the present?
I am trying hard to focus on now. To see the beauty around me, which is so easy when you are in Cape Town, I am surrounded by beauty, the sea, the mountains and the people. To feel the emotion or physical experience of the present. If Norm gives me a cuddle late at night, to fully experience that cuddle rather than tensing up and thinking ‘my alarm is going off in 6 hours’. So what? Who needs sleep, rather enjoy that cuddle!
My biggest hurdle in being fully present is with focusing on the task at hand rather than multi-tasking and only partially paying attention to my own life. But as with most changes, the first step is awareness and I am fully present in that regard.
I am trying and I feel so much more relaxed as a result.
We have had a lot of rain on and off this week. On Tuesday I woke up early and heard the rain pouring down on our tin roof and I struggled to get out of bed. The dark cold winter mornings make it so tempting to hit the snooze button. As a result I was a bit slow leaving the house. After I left Hout Bay I came around a blind bend to find a huge queue of traffic sitting in the dark. It inched along slowly, barely moving at all at certain points and I noticed that no traffic was coming through at all on the opposite side of the road coming from the city. I passed a myCiti bus on the opposite side of the road which had pulled over with the driver walking around the bus, appearing to check for damage to the bus. Then eventually we came upon a scene of a car crash with rescue vehicles and police blocking the road.
Eventually we were allowed past and I saw that there was a golf with its bumper ripped off and a truck turned on its side.
Later that day I read on the Sentinel News Facebook page that the accident claimed the life of a 64 year old Hout Bay man.
Camps Bay police spokesperson Captain Keith Chandler said the collision involved two vehicles, a VW Golf and a Mitsubishi truck. It was alleged the driver of the truck overtook a bus in the face of oncoming traffic and collided with the Golf and overturned. The driver of the truck was a 64-year-old Hout Bay resident, who died on the scene.
Such a tragic situation. If I had left when I woke up instead of faffing about on Covet Fashion then I might have been right in the middle of that accident.
Covet may have potentially saved my life.
Wednesday again we had a lot of rain and the traffic into work was a nightmare. I was supposed to have an appointment with my new chiro Kevin that morning at 8am, however I had a new analyst joining me on site at my project so I changed the appointment so that I would be there to greet her and get her settled. However the traffic meant that my usual 45 minute journey took an hour and a half and I was not there to meet her regardless! However she had someone else on the project let her in and she was fine. I stressed about her but not too much about the traffic, but I was not in control of either of these things so I let it go and I was not too wound up when I finally got to work.
Lily and Josh came down on Wednesday night and they also had a nightmare of traffic problems on their journey. That night I made a big pot of spicy chili con carne for our dinner which we topped with cheese. It was all very yummy.
I have now watched all from both seasons except for a few episodes. It is very funny and real. There is a lot of sex which is rather awkward viewing with grown kids in the room, but hey ho, what can one do except make a joke about it.
We had a baby shower at work on Wednesday for one of the women on the team who is now on maternity leave.
We had cake and snacks and it was a good opportunity for the new analyst who joined to meet all of the other team members so that worked out well. We have a lot of students from the University who are on our team working on various projects and they are similar ages to our new analyst. I had to leave a bit early for my chiropractic appointment but it was fine, I got to be there for the majority of the party.
Today I had a busy day at work but I treated myself to Fat Cactus pulled pork quesadillas for lunch. It was delicious as always.
I had a message mid day from Lily saying that she and Josh had been in a car accident. A guy who has no license or insurance was learning how to drive and crashed into them. WTF was he doing on the roads?? At least no one was hurt but Josh’s truck was damaged.
Today I booked tickets to see John Legend in concert here in Cape Town in November. I got seats on the 5th row from the front in the seated section. I love him!
This weekend should be lots of fun as we are celebrating my birthday. We have a family lunch planned for Saturday and then on Sunday Retha, the girls and I are going for breakfast and to paint pottery, then Norm and I are going to view a house in the afternoon which looks pretty perfect for us online, we just have to hope the reality is aligned with the images.
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Kisses from the Kitten. xoxoxox