Self-Sacrifice Is Following Me Around

Pausing for a moment in my parka and boots to think if I have everything I look out the window and I see Chances looking up at me through the door window excited.  His whole body is wagging.  I am excited to see him so enthusiastic for our walk.  It is nothing new.  He has been this way since he joined our family not even a year ago.  His excitement to be with me never grows old.

I can’t think of anything else I need so I open the door and Chances immediately goes from upright wagging tail dog to sitting patiently but bouncing for glee inside.  He is waiting for his treat. I noticed this habit last week.  He was jumping for my hands, nipping and licking them looking for food.  In that moment I realized I had been packing a peanut butter sandwich with me lately for our walks and he got use to them more than I did.  Funny how habits form. Well today my hands are empty and since he is anticipating a peanut butter sandwich I want to get him one.  He is such a good puppy.

I open the door telling him I will be right back. He looks at me and cocks his head to the side wondering what is up.  He heard his name but I am not giving or doing anything exciting to his knowledge.  I make a peanut butter sandwich and begin to head out again. Handing him pieces of torn bread as we walk.  It occurs to me that I forgot a hanky.   I need a hanky on my walks.  Once again I tell him I will be right back and head back inside.  After grabbing that necessity I put my hand on the door handle.  He sees me through the window and is excited.  Almost jumping out of his skin.  He has a look in his eye, are we going now, huh, are we?   I realize I need to use the washroom.  I won’t go.  I look into his puppy dog eyes and he is so excited.  I don’t want to hold him back from his this moment any longer.  These morning walks are the highlight of his day and I’m taking forever to get out the door. I won’t make him wait.

SMACK!  Awareness hits me.  I have done this before. I have held off going to the bathroom for Craig – not wanting to be an inconvenience – and I’m even doing it for my dog!  The most devoted and forgiving being in my house!  

“We leave the office and I stand in the hall thinking I should go to the washroom but second guess that because I don’t want take up any more of Craig’s time away from work. I hop on the elevator not saying much to Craig.”  

Excerpt from Sunlight

When will this self-sacrificing end?!  When will I stop putting basic needs of mine in second place?  I wonder if I will battle self-sacrifice issue my entire life? Karma gives me this lesson to bare and I wonder what I did in a past life to require it.  Noticing these little moments is the beginning of change.  Flicking on my awareness switch two years ago has allowed more and more lights to come one.  Albeit they are slower than I would like but I guess that is part of the journey.

Memoir Writing: Discover Your Life – Emotions and Point of View

Thank you Sunstone Creation for use of your photo! This will be my image for these blog posts.

Memory, our tricky friend. How it dances about and plays games on us. Confusing us at times. Irritating us to remember name, place, or thing. The emotion attached to a memory, or the emotion that sparks the memory, as well as what we remember are reflections of who we are.

In the present moment our emotions will shape our point of view of a memory. A good mood may spark good memories and melancholy moods may spark gloomy memories.  In past jobs and relationships I have often wavered in them, swinging back and forth between “I need to leave” to “there are a lot of good things here for me”.   Depending on the day or my mood, I would have a certain perspective of the relationship or job.

Sutra 1.3 from the book Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translates Sutra 1.3 in this way:

“Volition being the mode of behavior of the mind, it is liable to change our perception of the state and condition of this year from moment to moment.”

Often writing about a memory more than once will reawaken things, shift perspectives and maybe even alter your memory.  Memories often come when we are unprepared for them.  If at all possible try to jot them down.  It is challenging to get those memories back.  After a period of time, a week, a few days, months or years go by and it crosses your mind again.  Perhaps you reflected on the memory, consciously or unconsciously, from your first encounter with it and something has changed.  Perhaps a perception or more details have come to light of that day or event.  Every time you dance with it something new evolves with it.
In her book Your Life as Story by Tristine Rainer she gives the example of writing about your first kiss when you are a young woman and how it will look differently when you write about it at age thirty and age then again at age fifty.  Time and emotion, as well as understanding and knowledge, can reshape and give new meaning to memories.
By examining a memory and writing about it from different perspectives and over periods of time you will remember more of it and grow from it.

Redo this exercise from a previous post.  Reexamine it.  See if anything new comes from it.

4 Things I Learned At Yoga Tonight

1.  Simple stretches were really pulling my muscles.   I take my body for granted.  Even lifting my arms overhead or reaching out in front of myself was a really good stretch tonight.  Never underestimate simplicity, express gratitude for our bodies everyday and don’t take it for granted.  One day it may be hard to lift our arms over our shoulders and it may come sooner than we would like:)

2.  I panicked at the thought of going into head stand and felt relieved when I could do a modified version of it that allowed me to have at least one foot on the floor.  My yoga instructor always talks about taking lessons off the mat.  This signified to me that I still need a bit of stability.

May I accept things just as they are.

3.  When I walked into the studio she had written in chalk on her walls.  Each wall space hosted a sentence.  They were:

May I know things just as they are.

May I open to things just as they are.

May I accept things just as they are.

May I enjoy things just as they are.

4.  All day today I felt complete.  I felt whole.  I was one with the universe.

A Bit of Sunlight – November Sutra Study

Dear Self,

At sutra study today it was just Debra and this tall blonde lady. I missed her name but I liked her. She was straight to the point, open, honest and not ashamed at how she feels or sees the world.

The focus of the discussion today was on how to heal ourselves and to not feel the bad feelings that cause us suffering. We need to reflect on why people make us feel the way we do and find a way to forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean acceptance of their behaviour but a means for us not to carry around anger, pain, guilt, jealousy or any other unhealthy emotions.

All of the five translations to study sutra 1.33 discussed the idea of balancing emotions. If you do not let good or bad feelings control and dominate your mind and actions then you will see the world more clearly. Emotions are responses to events. Events that are history, over immediately after they happen. So why do we carry the memory of them with us? Why do we let the emoitions linger? Each situation has a different reason but it all is too do with how the mind works.

Many times I have felt upset only to have it fade into happiness without my being aware. I cry and then all of a sudden I get an email and am lifted and see hope. This moment of hope, or happiness will be a moment as well. I need to find that spot where I can be stable. Where I can be content. I need to find Joy. Like what we studied in our first sutra class – our natural state. I am exhausted bouncing between my emotions.  I want off this roller coaster.

Devi, from her book The Secret Power of Yoga translates this sutra as the following:

To preserve openness of heart and calmness of mind, nurture these attitudes:Kindness to those who are happy.

Compassion for those who are less fortunate.

Honour for those who embody noble qualities.

Indifference to those whose actions oppose your values.

At first when Debra read this to us I thought, ‘Duh of course. That makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t I be happy for someone who is happy?’ Then she gave the example of someone starting a business that would compete with her yoga studio. How can she find it in herself to be happy for them when it is at her expense?

What a great example. She did find peace and happiness for this yoga studio. She settled down and remembered that we all have gifts to give and who she can’t reach perhaps this studio can.

She gave examples of the others too but I can’t even remember them now. The one about happiness just stuck with me – how simple it seemed and it wasn’t.  It could be one of the hardest things to do.  Like, why isn’t Craig happy for my happiness in quitting my job?  Does that apply here?

Debra broke down the four attitudes to try and maintain: friendliness, compassion, goodwill and neutrality. It all sounds so easy but it isn’t. How can I apply this to my life? To my emotions with Craig, with working, with being a mother and wife?