Life is a work in progress. As long as we have this physical body, and even beyond, we have this wonderful capacity to progress. I am finding that enjoying the journey is a very important ingredient in this process. I have to say that my perspective used to be more about the destination, and the journey was just the means of getting there…set the goal, set the intention and then do whatever was necessary to get there. Boy, was I ever missing something!
So, here I am on this continuing journey of progress. Every day, I get a little better…maybe even a little wiser. So, I am taking time and smelling the roses along the way…and they’re actually in bloom now so, yes, I am literally smelling the roses. And, they are wonderful!
These past 6 weeks, from the day of my big surgery, I have been working on the “Happy” thing. Sometimes it’s way hard and I could go into the “I’m not happy” thing but I keep finding, the Happy thing is a whole lot better. And many days, I hit re-play on Pharrell’s “Happy”and Bob Marley’s “3 Little Birds” many, many times just to help keep me on track. “Clap along if you feel like Happiness is the truth!!”
Sometimes, you just got to laugh, including laughing at yourself. Get rid of that “serious bone”. I think perhaps, in my surgery, they helped remove some of those “too serious” bones because I’ve been doing a whole lot of laughing lately. Truly, life is too short. And believe me at 65, and beating cancer, life is really too short. And even if you are only half my age, or even less, yes, life is too short so lighten up and remember, “Every little thing is gonna be alright.”
As Pema Chodrin wrote, “When there is great disappointment, we don’t know if that is the end of the story. It may just be the beginning of a great adventure.” Or, since I’ve been watching so much comedy lately, the beginning of a new comedy routine or plot for a new comedic movie. Stay light, it’s not always the end of the world.
Life is a Child’s Play
Find your innocence, keep your innocence and hold on to it no matter what.
Keep your joy in play. A long time ago, Yogi Bhajan was meeting with a group of us and he wanted us to write a guide for children. He was telling each person in the group what topic to write on. Many of those were very deep and profound and I was looking forward to what great serious topic I would receive and expound upon. When he came to me, he smiled, and said…”Life is a child’s play”. I was waiting for more, but that is all he said. At first, I was greatly disappointed…it wasn’t the profound topic I was hoping for…who would take me seriously? I was thinking, that’s it!??? But over time, I came to realize the wisdom of it. Believe me, there are enough serious and somber people in life. This simple phrase has somehow recently returned to me and has served me well especially in some of my “testy” moments. At times it has caused me some trouble when I am light-hearted and even laugh in the inappropriate moments when I’ve got some inner joke going. But, it has given me the wisdom and sometimes the courage to live with a playful heart…to be ready and able to do beautiful things in this life. And it is especially profound in those moments when life does not present itself in our preconceived notion of “beautiful”. I love the innocence of it and of course, it’s playful notion.
You may be thinking, hey, we’re getting off track here. You wrote Healthy first but you’re talking about Happy. Well that’s just me. These days, I’m finding I gotta find happy first and then I can look at that healthy thing. Happy gives me the motivation to deal with my health. I can’t say that I am as strong as an ox. I am more of the Dr. Seuss descriptive of “You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.” I’m working the acceptance thing of being as I am and then embracing my journey of progress for improved health. If every day I can be a little better, and sometimes if only in my head, then I am moving forward and getting better all the time. “ I have to admit, it’s getting better, a little better all the time.”
A month ago, I had zero energy. It took a huge commitment and all of my strength to walk up and down the hospital hallway a few times and sometimes only at the admonishment of Silvia the nurse… “are you going to walk out of here or go out on a wheel chair”. Now I can do about 4 hours of activity a day before I “hit the wall”. That’s a huge improvement and so, I am getting better all the time. Slowy, slowly and yes, patience does pay.
So, for the Healthy thing, what am I doing? Diet is always important. I’ve talked about that some, but will bring it up time and again. Some things to keep in mind:
“You are what you eat”…so are you eating healthy things? Are you eating foods to promote healing? Am I eating the right things for me? Are you paying attention to your body? Someone may say, “this is the healthiest thing, you must eat it”. But if every time I eat it, I feel bad, perhaps that is not the healthiest thing for me. Take ownership for how you feel and eat what makes you feel good. We say that food is the “medicine” that sustains us. We want it to give us energy and feel great after eating it. If that is not the case, make some changes.
“You are what you are able to digest”. If you can’t digest it and eliminate it, don’t eat it. What goes in, must come out. I don’t need to get graphic here. I think we know what I am talking about it. If it blocks you up, you gotta say, “next” and try something different next time. Yogically, we say what a person eats, should be eliminated in 18-24 hours, so again, pay attention. Remember life is a flow, even in eating, digesting and eliminating.
Exercise for your health.
Sometimes, you may not be able to do much, but do something. After my operation, I really did not want to do anything. If it were up to me, I probably would not have done anything. I was lucky. I had a nurse and many friends that would not let me do “nothing”. They prodded me out of that bed and made me move. It makes a huge difference in healing and in health to do something every day to exercise. At this time I do minimum yoga (slowly getting ready for more). These days it’s mostly pranayama (breathing exercises) in easy pose. Simple and it gives me tons of energy. I walk and lucky for me, it’s a perfect time to get into the garden, planting and getting ready for summer.
“Garden as though you will live forever.” William Kent
Gardening is wonderful exercise. Great for you body and great for your mind. I get both instant gratification (that plant was planted!). And satisfaction of doing something that I don’t see the results for right away (as in those seeds are under the ground and you can’t seem them) also gives me motivation…I want to see the results so I’m sticking around and staying healthy so I can see them when they do come later. Believe me, I’m not going anywhere but the motivation keeps me on the positive side of things. As we say, you gotta stop and smell the roses, but you need a garden to have roses you can smell!
Healthy + Happy = Whole
For this part, I refer back to the first paragraph…it’s a work in progress. Yes, I am getting better all the time. More strength, more energy, more positive thoughts, more help from friends, more help from the universe, etc. It’s not always as fast as I like but I see the progress and that’s enough for me.
This week I have a round of medical appointments. Surgeon, Oncologist and Radiologist. We’ll see soon where this “Whole” thing is going and I look forward to share that with you all soon.
Love to All, Light to All, Peas (I’m gardening!) to All,
Sada Sat Singh