In my childbirth class I laminate a cheat sheet for my students. Somehow that makes it feel official. Same thing with setting an intention for spiritual practice for the day. Putting it out onto my blog site makes it feel like now it can truly be put into motion. I think we all want to share something helpful with others. I realize that there’s a good chance no one is reading my blog but me, and if they do they may well not be helped. But it is ever so helpful to me. And that’s at least one person.
It’s been a while since I wrote and I would like to change that. So here I am, starting again. In my last post I considered the 8 fold path. The second point is right intention. Which is perfect, because I am setting an intention here to post regularly what I am practicing. I need this. I have made some big changes in my life. We moved to a new town. We got a puppy. All of us are adjusting. On top of that, maybe in part because of that, the insomnia I’ve been dealing with for the past few years became unmanageable. While I am sleeping now, with the help of drugs, I am still reeling from about six weeks of serious sleep deprivation and one breakdown that caused me to finally get help.
One thing that has slid in the midst of all this change is my commitment to meditate and keep Zen practice at the forefront of my awareness. What I want to do and what I actually do have been at odds for too long now.
My husband went away for several days for a conference and my mom came and stayed to help out. And oh my did she help out. We worked every day she was here, from the moment my daughter was in school until I picked her up and beyond, on organizing my house that has still not gotten fully organized since we moved in six months ago. She basically created a room for me. My office had consisted of metal shelving that held all my accouterment for teaching my childbirth class, a desk piled high with papers, a bookshelf, and yoga matts and meditation cushions piled in a heap. She moved all my business stuff down into a closet and to the kitchen desk, and of my office space she created a serene clear desk, everything neatly filed away or dealt with, a space for my yoga props, a space for meditating, and filled my book case with my Zen, yoga, and writing books. So now I have this creative, meditative, yogic space that is just for good things for me. It is wonderful. Everyone should have this. Everyone should have my mom for a few days to sort them out.
I have used this space every day since – for writing, yoga, and meditation. For perusing my Zen books for spiritual guidance. And just for being. This is the room of one’s own Virginia Woolf referred to.
So here, in my lovely space that is just for me, I am setting my intention just to survive. I read today on the web how many people deal with insomnia and panic attacks as they approach menopause. I’m 45, my periods have been weird for a couple years, my insomnia started around the same time, I am convinced that this is what I’m dealing with. It is incredibly hard – probably the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with. At times like this, one of my Zen teachers said, we just survive. It’s like the world series – it’s not the time to practice. It’s time to fall back on what you know. What I know is this. I can handle whatever comes when I take it one moment at a time. I am comforted that I am not alone in all this craziness as I approach menopause. I have a wonderful life and I don’t need to appreciate that at all when I’m going through something this hard. All I have to do is survive a moment at a time. This feels like a perfectly reasonable right intention for me right now. Just survive. Right now. In this moment. That’s it.