Great news… I know you were all waiting with bated breath to hear about my “unplugging challenge” all week!! I mean, really….how did you guys muttle through without me…HA!?
We arrived at Topsail on Sunday morning…YES the VERY SAME day as the shark attack on the 10 year-old-girl in 3.5′ deep water….AND YES it was the VERY SAME BEACH and VERY SAME DAY that the shark attack happened last year also….thankfully…we were blissfully unaware of the attack until we arrived home and my mom informed me about the horror that unfolded a mere 2 miles from where we playfully splashed in the waves!! I was reeling ALL NIGHT over the fact that I spent MOST of the week reassuring my niece and Talia that sharks, most definitely DO NOT swim in shallow water….SHEESH!!
Anyway…we arrived…the day was gorgeous and the ocean water was warm…..YAY us!! This is the view as you walk from the back porch of the house onto the beach…..
As soon as I arrived…..OFF WENT THE PHONE!! I locked my phone securely in the glove compartment, as to make it difficult, should I be tempted to alleviate my craving with a quick hit of the phone …you can never be too careful! The funny thing is…that as I stood marveling at the vastness and complex simplicity of the ocean, my initial instinct was to take a picture with my phone and upload it to Facebook. I devoted a decent portion of that first day, and part of the next, dwelling on the fact that I was disconnected. I hunkered down on the beach and genuinely contemplated this irony….what or who was I feeling disconnected from? I became keenly cognizant , which I think most of us do in some abstract form, that by being “plugged in” places us, or at least me, in jeopardy of becoming “unplugged” from the people and loved ones that are right there with me….living and breathing the same space as me, in that moment. Now do not misunderstand me…I enjoy Facebook, my phone, the ease of surfing the net and I have reconnected with people who have been vital in the journey of my life. What I am saying, however, is that we need to be careful to not lose ourselves in our present life by overly engulfing ourselves in the cyber world. If we NEVER unplug…we never contemplate, if we never contemplate….we cannot experience self-realizations and if we never experience self-realiztions….we cannot grow.
Unplugging by the end of day two was…well…. relaxing…I could direct my attention to each present moment, as they unfolded. I read books, had fulfilling conversations, laughed, played in the ocean with my loved ones….did someone say...SHARK…ugh!
I read several books, but the one I truly enjoyed was Zen Heart. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t meditate, although, I think about it often. I have started to take 3 deep breaths a couple of times a day and have delightfully discovered that it is as beneficial as the gurus claim…hehe. It helps me feel centered and calm, both mentally and physically…try it! There were two aspects of the book that resonated within me. The first was that, as humans, we share the common thread of feeling fearful that we are unworthy…less than. The author believes that a great deal of our afflictions…obesity, suicide, violence, depression etc. stem from our overwhelming, yet subtle, fear that our inadequacies will be exposed.
The second point, that was profoundly striking to me was how we, narrow-mindedly, view relationship difficulties as obstacles. We become obsessed to “fix” things. The author believes that if we alter our thinking about the relational obstacle and ask ourselves, internally, what can I learn about myself from this difficulty, the difficulty itself can transform from being an obstacle that hinders our journey’s path to our path. The obstacle BECOMES a crucial part in our path to becoming who we are in our entirety. Of course, I am not making reference to abuse, but simply the relational issues that all humans encounter with one another.
The other part of the book that I am focusing on for myself, currently, is to just let my feelings exist…to insert a “space”, if you will, before I react to negative emotions. For example, if one of my children is doing something that is really pushing my buttons(hard to imagine, I know…bah! And did I really just say IF, I meant to say WHEN)….that before I yell and scream…. I should simply notice what I am feeling, which for most of us is anger. We register our anger instantaneously….here is where you insert the space….acknowledge your anger…. feel it, but refrain from acting upon it…how does it feel within you, physically (heart racing, flush, sweaty palms etc), take a few deep breaths and on your last deep breath, tune into what is residing underneath your anger. Is it anxiety, fear, hurt, self-worthlessness….whatever emotion surfaces allow yourself to feel it…commune (wow, this is getting heavy) with it, just for the briefest of moments. If you are able…desribe the feeling to yourself…. what characteristics does the feeling encompass and then BREATHE…..(THEN go yell and scream)…KIDDING!!! I don’t know, I probably sound all “new-agey“, but I found it intriguing and interesting and…..CHALLENGING…and I love a CHALLENGE, especially the kind that promotes self-discovery and growth…WootWoot! I really glossed over a complex theory, but if you are at all interested get the book…Zen Heart.
As you can tell…I am happy that I “unplugged” and, admittedly and surprisingly, was a little disappointed to plug back in one week later. The challenge was much easier than I had anticipated. It allowed me many gratifying moments and experiences, for which I was completely present and accounted for…yay me!
The week in pictures (at least most of the week)…we hung out with cousins…
We beached it….
We ate ice cream….
We acted goofy…..
We walked on the beach at night, where we found Tatiana the Crab and made the sand glow with baby jellyfish…yes, they really GLOW(couldn’t get a picture of this though 😦 )….
We found charcoal on the beach from the NC wildfires….
We roller-skated, above the town post office, where an elderly lady plays FORTY-FIVES….NO JOKE!
And we just had a great time together!
It is good to UNPLUG every once in a while!
There is a lot more I would like to share with you about the book…you know…impart my new-found wisdom to all of you, but I have a 9 month old baby (my niece) with me for a few days and she is tiring me out!!
Have a great day everyone!
Phew….what a crazy weekend. I survived….if you call being so tired that you almost confuse your nasal spray for your eye drops, and then, ACTUALLY try spraying your eye drops into your nose….no I am not a junkie…I have the worst seasonal allergies ever!!
Anyway, we had so much going on this weekend that it would take forever PLUS a day to write about it, so this post will be a little different. I will show you instead of tell you, not sure how this will work, but if it completely sucks….well…it’s only one post…right??
First up was hair and makeup for the 8th grade dinner dance…
And then it was time for….THE DRESS….I LOVE this dress!!!
Saturday morning we had two things going on at the same time….woohoo…don’t you just love when that happens…good times, I tell ya….good times! Liv was attending a Bat Mitzvah and Ryleigh was performing in her dance recital…..
We pulled it off!!! And by we, I mean me….Yay me! No worries girls…you have the rest of your life to make it up to me!
The June Crazies are winding down, BUT they sure are going out with a bang!!
This weekend’s schedule…
8th grade dinner dance.
Oh, and did I mention the Renaissance Fair!?
Not to mention…hair, makeup, shopping for gifts and cards, pinning dresses and treating blisters from high-heels! And all this will be executed on very little sleep, as I was awake most of the night from a shake-the-walls-of-your-house thunder-storm…holy schnikeys!!!
Come on June 27th….the day I leave to put my toes in the water and my arse in the sand….oh, and isn’t there a line about a drink in my hand….yay me!!
My “Zen moment” came when I walked out the door this morning at 6:25 (have I mentioned how…I AM SO NOT A MORNING PERSON) to drive Olivia and her friend to set-up for the Renaissance Fair and saw this…..
Ahhhhhh....the sky parted and the Angels sang! Black Raspberries are…well…just….MY MOST FAVORITE FRUIT EVER….I mean, I love them all….fruit, that is, but BLACK RASPBERRIES….YUM and ZEN all mixed into one! I snuck a few for the drive, came home and filled my little bowl and it made my day!! Thanks to my husband for planting them for me! They are the one fruit that I can NEVER find ANYWHERE (apology to my therapist, for once again using the word NEVER) and now I have them in MY very own back yard…wootwoot!!
What gives you a “zen moment??” Think about it and name a few…that way when they come along, you will more easily recognize them and savour it all the more. A “zen moment” is described as a state of enlightened existence, contentment bordering on subtle excitement and truly living in the moment.
Try to find a “zen moment” for yourself in each day…it will help when life throws you into over-drive!!
And now I need to shaboogy on out of here and get busy preparing for all of this weekend’s festivities!
Happy Father’s Day to all of you Daddy’s out there!
Enjoy your weekend! Find your Zen…lol!