hoarding cookiesThirty years ago, I used to be what I thought of as an “addictive personality.” I was addicted to trying to make myself feel better: through love, seeking belonging, and even regular marijuana use–to smooth the jagged edges I perceived in life.

I benefited from twelve step programs, eliminated the most destructive substances, and learned to manage more minor tendencies. For example, I ate mint chocolate chip ice cream in a tiny bowl–perhaps a quarter cup. My agreement with myself was if I couldn’t limit my portion to that, I couldn’t have mint chocolate chip ice cream in my house.

But I knew I had not found, nor addressed, the root cause of my wanting.

Fast forward thirty years. I was addicted to trying to alter my experience. I would never suggest this is true of anyone else, or even imply that my understanding would, or should work for them. But as I stopped trying to change what is, and not only surrendered to the heart of my experience, but have been willing to bring it closer rather than push it away, any sense of addictive pull has dissolved.

I am deeply grateful.

© Amrita Skye Blaine
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machine cogsRight now, I’m watching myself avoid a task I need to complete. The person responsible for this job prior to me organized the work in a manner I don’t really understand, and her organization actually repels me. She created the system so that the same information is entered in four different places–one Excel file, and three Word files–deep redundancy–and a set-up, in my view, for errors or omissions, or both.

I don’t know the position well enough to jump in and reorganize how the tasks are completed; perhaps there is are good reasons for why it’s done this way, and I want to honor the two years of work this person did.  I don’t want to call her to ask more questions, either, because her answers are overly-detailed for this brain and not very clear, and I end up more confused than before.

I have to laugh at my avoidance and resistance at trying to master how she organized this membership chair position. As Tom Kurzka, a non-dual teacher in Eugene, used to say, “Just to notice.”

Okay, deep breath. This won’t get easier if I wait longer. Finish this post, and turn to puzzle out the work.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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right now

strawberryOften, I catch myself resisting right now. This resistance is so very subtle. This morning, I caught myself wishing the strawberry I had just picked could be a touch sweeter, remembering that the one yesterday had given up that lush sweetness I crave. In that moment, I missed being with this somewhat tart strawberry, right now.

I stood in Oliver’s Market today in front of the dark chocolate bars, and wanted my favorite–the one with a splash of sea salt in it–to be a little less expensive.

My son returns home tomorrow, and darn, couldn’t his plane leave later than 7 am, so our family needn’t wake up at 3:45 to get him to Oakland on time?

Each of these is a tiny moment of resisting–in the larger scheme of things, of no consequence, you might say. But the consequence is actually huge.

Each time, I was not fully present to a curious, unique, never-to-be-repeated precious moment. Instead, I was busy in my mind, creating an imagined moment made only of a passing thought that lacked the luscious texture of reality. It’s a kind of bypassing of life as it actually is. It would be more interesting to feel the resistance in my body as it comes into being and then falls away, rather than jumping into thought and missing the sensations of resistance all together.

I don’t spend time haranguing myself, but more and more, I do notice the resistance and relax, notice and relax.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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