Several friends from my meditation group have been talking about this book, “A Complaint Free World” for several months. The idea in the book is to wear a bracelet and every time you complain you switch the bracelet from one wrist to the other. The goal is to go 21 days without switching the bracelet.
When I have heard them talk about this it has made me cringe and recoil something fierce. I have always believed that there is nothing wrong with complaining and that venting can even be healthy. I don’t know if this is true, but this is what I have always told myself. If you have read this blog for any length of time you know that I am a fan of “venting.” Venting has been what has kept this blog alive for more than 10 years.
On Wednesday, however, our sangha’s teacher talked about this book and, for whatever reason, instead of recoiling I accepted this idea as something I might try.
Actually, I know why I decided to listen. I have been feeling a huge sense of dissatisfaction with my life lately and I am tired of feeling this way. I feel like I need to do something to change the way my brain works. I feel like there is too much negativity up there and I am tired of living with it. So I have decided to do something about it. I am going to read this book and try to follow this program.
When I shared it on Facebook several friends showed an interest and mentioned that they “need to read this book too.” So I suggested that we read it together and chat about it.
Are you interested in reading this with me? I will be posting my thoughts about this process as I read the book so we can discuss our experience here if you want to try this too!
I had an odd dream last night. In my dream I realized that if I looked at a person long enough in their eyes they would shift into something else and the two of us would connect and recognize each other for what we really are. When we were in this altered state I could see that these people that I connected with were here for a purpose. They were working on something but I didn’t know what it was they were working on. Not everyone would shift when I looked into their eyes, only some people. I tested it out and stared into the eyes of strangers to see if they would shift – to the point of it being uncomfortable for the other person. The dream was about testing this theory about the “other”.
When I woke up and thought about it the dream reminded me a little of the John Carpenter film “They Live.”
You might already know: I love poetry. April is one of my favorite months because of National Poetry Month and I like to celebrate it on my blog every April. It’s a tradition.
I like to write one poem a day. It doesn’t always happen but I try. Most of the time what comes out is crap and not fit to see the light of day. But I will write it, get it out of me and then revisit it in a few months. Sometimes there will be a nugget of something there to work with.
NaPoWriMo encourages us to write a poem everyday in April. I will be doing that! I won’t publish a poem here everyday in April but I will post one or two or three. I think I will also read some of my favorites as well.
To kick things off here is a a recording of myself reading one of my favorites: Anne Sexton’s Music Swims Back To Me. I recorded it for National Poetry Month last year.
I was standing on Mt Hood alone at twilight. It was 2009. I had just applied for my job at Sandy Library – or maybe I hadn’t applied for it yet. I think I was thinking about applying for it. Raf and I decided to have a getaway vacation in late August so we stayed at the Timberline Lodge for a couple of nights. The first night there we went for a walk behind the lodge up on the trails. Raf went ahead of me on the Timberline Trail to see what was up there and I stayed behind, taking pictures of lupines. The sun was setting and the light was beautiful.
I was in a stressful place in my life at that time. I was really unhappy where I was. I hated living in Spokane and so did Raf but we felt stuck. When I was on Mt Hood that evening all of that stress and unhappiness melted away for a few moments while I stood there. I shot my photos and stood up and took a breath. I was alone on the trail. I looked around at the beauty around me and was in awe of it. I let the beauty sink in. I felt the cool breeze. I looked at the carpet of purple before me that I was photographing. My senses seemed to be tuned in – superpower style – to that moment. My sense of hearing kicked in and I heard a strange sound. I heard the sound of thousands of bees buzzing. It was an amazing sound and I tuned in a bit more. I just sat there and listened to the bees for what seemed like an eternity. I was in awe. I was in this amazing, beautiful place, listening to thousands of bees going about the mundane business of pollinating flowers. In that moment I realized that I was happy. I felt happiness. I felt pure happiness.
It is a strange thing when you realize you are feeling happiness. I don’t feel pure happiness very often. I can probably count the times I have felt this feeling on one hand. Each time has been special and I remember these times with great clarity.
This particular time was accompanied by a sense of peace. That everything would be fine. Everything would work out.
It still blows my mind when I think about the fact that I had no idea I would be moving to Mt. Hood two months later. It is amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time. My whole life changed from that moment.