Cone of Silence

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

Albert Einstein


No, that is not a lampshade on her head, but it sure looks like one doesn’t it?! Oh… the days of my youth and the embarrassing moments like that. Ha! Anyway, it’s actually a cone of silence and I’ve got a good reason for wearing one of those lately.

I noticed the other day that some of my more recent posts resemble conversations that I have with myself. Not out loud, of course, but in my head. This post is not much different, but it’s about a new discovery for me so I hope you stay with me.

I often mention that I live in a sort of isolation, but when I saw this Einstein quote I realized that it’s not isolation at all, it’s solitude. There is a big difference. And I don’t live alone either, my mom and youngest son live here as well. I guess whenever I refer to isolation I’m talking about neglecting social connections, outside of the family that I live with. And I have since had two awesome get-togethers with my friends so I’m making real progress in that department.

Regardless, I loved this quote because it made me see one of the reasons that I enjoy this so-called solitude so much… because I’m older now. I imagine that if I was twenty, thirty, or even forty, I might regret being such a homebody- but I’ve reached the age where I know what I enjoy and I know what makes for a better quality of life for me, especially being slightly introverted- or at least living in my head a lot.

Which brings me to the cone of silence. I really do talk to myself in my head and, to be honest, most of the time I don’t make a lot of sense. I think about the past, I imagine the future, I doubt and question myself (which is what you read here sometimes in my posts), and the end result is a lot of unnecessary stress or anxiety.

Just after pondering this quote, and realizing that I question myself too much, I started reading The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. I discovered that when I stop overthinking, or try to stop thinking at all, I experience a calm that is new to me. My focus has always been on changing my thinking – removing negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts – but I never really thought about not thinking at all.

I’m not talking about being brain dead either. It’s about being present, and I’m learning some things about myself in this “not thinking” mode. I realized that my A.D.D. (also knows as an attention span of about 2 minutes, at most) is caused by an inability to shut off my own thoughts – which not only take over but ran rampant. Whenever I’m in my head, I’m not present… my body is there but “I” have left the building. And that is probably 95% of the time if not more.

So, that’s where my idea about the cone of silence came from. When doing some of the exercises he mentions (and I’m only a few chapters in), I somehow imagined this cone over my head and I had to laugh. It reminded me of the story of a man who started wearing a tinfoil hat to keep out mind-readers, or brainwashers, or something like that.

But I was amazed at how my thoughts have been easier to control. One thing he suggests is closing your eyes and thinking “I wonder what my next thought will be.” I tried it and it literally stopped my thoughts for a bit. If anyone else has read the book and has any input I’d love to hear it. Some of the things he says are a bit wild, but a lot of it makes sense.

Basically, I think it’s about guarding your mind, and I had already learned some of that through recovery. And I think that Einstein’s quote expresses how creativity and discoveries are more likely to come through when your mind is quiet.

Anyway, I thought I’d share this because I’m excited. I’m learning to quiet my (exhausting) mind, to be present, and to accept where I am, right now. And it is liberating.

That’s about all for now. It’s time to put on the cone and say goodnight.

Peace & Love, and I’d love to hear from anyone who has read the book and has thoughts on it! Or non-thoughts. 🙂

The Light Ahead

Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you. Eckhart Tolle

Warning: Reconstruction Ahead

Sometimes I wonder if [some of] my posts need a warning label or disclaimer, just to alleviate my own anxieties. Sharing pieces of my journey, while I am in the midst of the journey, sometimes leaves me feeling vulnerable and uneasy- because I know from experience that it’s a work in progress (and subject to change).

The word Journey suggests travel or passage from one place to another. With that in mind, the truest and most accurate disclaimer I could ever add would be…

I have NOT reached my destination.

But I think everyone already knows that. None of us has.

Anyway… I really liked the quote I found because I need to hold tight, and be at ease with the fact that sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong, and sometimesI just don’t know. It’s ALL just a part of the journey. Write or Wrong.

Blessings, peace and love!!!

*The image is from Phoenix. It’s an ominous cloud, with the light breaking through…layered with a piece of sheet metal.

The Valiant Blogger Award

HALL OF VALOR

Liz of Daily Warriors  created, and nominated me for the Valiant Blogger Award.

Thank you so much Liz!

The Valiant Blogger Award is for the blogger who is brave and courageous. It is dedicated to someone who, despite being faced with the most difficult obstacles in life, chooses to fight on and never give up. It is for the lionhearted, one who faces fears and challenges, who has become an inspiration to others along the way.

RULES:
1. Post the award on your blog (Done).
2. Provide a link to the Hall of Valor (See above).
3. In 200 words or less, share about the greatest challenge in your life and HOW you got through it (See below).
4. Give one piece of advice to people who are struggling with something in their life (Look to God).
5. Thank the person who nominated you, nominate a new blogger for the award, and make sure to let the blogger you chose for the award know that you nominated them (See below).

The greatest challenge in my life, and HOW I got through it.

I’m honored to accept this award, and grateful that I have this opportunity to write about my biggest struggle: Alcoholism Belief, and HOW I got through it.

My blog is filled with my story- in several long versions, and to narrow it down to 200 words (or at least ONE post) is something I’ve been wanting to do. A challenge, mind you, but challenge accepted.

I’ll never forget what someone said to me at the beginning of my journey:

“There is only ONE thing that you need to change about yourself, and that is EVERYTHING.”

Alcoholism is a symptom, and recovery takes work. The bottom line is that I had a spiritual malady. I had no belief.

Having reached the point where I knew that I needed a power greater than myself, and after forty years of living life with no belief, I finally sought God. It feels strange to say that I had to seek Him, because He doesn’t hide. WE hide.

Coming to believe, for ME, was work. Besides prayer, I spent a lot of time learning about God- by reading Scripture, and countless books by Christian writers. Philip Yancey, for one, because he is straight forward, honest, and unafraid to talk about his struggles and doubts- and he works through those in his writing. I totally relate, because I too have found that writing is my best tool for working through all of my struggles.

What I’ve learned is that things of the world, can mold, bend, warp and shape you. The more you listen to, believe in, or act certain ways, the bigger these ways GROW. I’ve learned that I need to call out, and put a halt to MY ways (Surrender) – and turn to His ways. And this makes complete sense to me because MY ways almost killed me.

The advice that I’ll share came from another friend in recovery:

“ALL things and people will inevitably let you down, or leave you at some point. What you must find, believe in, trust, and surrender to, is the ONE thing that is constant; never changes, never lets you down, and never leaves you… and that is God- your Higher Power.”

And… as they say in the program: May you find Him now.

Thanks again Liz. I’m sorry it took awhile to write the post, but I needed to have a clear head. I tend to think that what I’ve learned since I came to believe is what I need to share, but I’ve discovered that just coming to believe is a struggle in itself…for so many.

I nominate Rick Christensen, for one- because his presence here has been a real blessing. He’s like a roaming display of God’s amazing grace. Always encouraging. In addition, each and every blogger who reads or stumbles on this post- who bravely shares the tales of their struggles and victories.

You are all valiant in my book.