One of my goals for 2014 is to get back to my healthy lifestyle. Before we moved in 2010 I was starting down a path of clean living, but somewhere a long the journey to 2014 I lost my way. I started noticing mid-2013 that I had strayed away from the path I had set out on. I started noticing drama finding its way into my life again. At one point I painstakingly attempted to avoid drama at all cost. Drama only causes suffering. I stopped associating (or had limited interactions) with people who always see the negative or jump into arguments head first. I even stopped watching most television that had more than two people arguing. I believe there is sort of a magnetism effect. Once you start allowing drama to seep into your life, it seems to seek you out. I also noticed my positive outlook on life started to falter around the same time. I was constantly looking for a way out, seeing only the things I didn’t like about where I was and what I was doing.
In my quest for clean living I have noticed that the magnetism effect also works on the positive aspects as well as the negative. If you start being appreciative of things and the people around you the happier you become and the happier you become the more you will notice the things / people that make you happy. Knowing this makes my quest for cleaner living more attainable.
Though there will be a few bumps along the road. Last time I started this quest, I had just moved apartments and changed jobs. For me moving was always an excuse to start fresh and clean out all the excess crap that you accumulate over the course of living. It was like cleansing your karma and starting over again, it’s a new beginning. Starting a new job allowed me to sever those ties to individuals, whom I like to call psychic vampires. Those people you interact with and they leave you feeling like they are taking your energy force or you feel as though you lost something just interacting with them. We all know the types, they go by different names, but to me they feel like vampires, sucking the life energy out of me at every interaction. This time however it will be a bit more challenging. I will be staying in the same house and keeping the same job.
The first step for me is recognizing these individuals in my personal life and at work. I know who each of these individuals are and what role they play. I know their strength levels, basically I know which of them is the gatekeeper keeping the door open for the rest of them. The larger problem becomes dealing with them. I have started taking five to ten minutes at lunch time to practice a short meditation, re-gathering and centering my energy. Since I can’t sever the ties as I normally would, I will instead learn to prepare and protect myself from each interaction.
Today I started phase two of my quest for clean living. I started a gratitude practice. I figure protecting my life force from energy drain and drama is only half the battle. The other half is restoring my positive outlook on life. I could wait to see how the meditation affects my outlook, but I would rather burn the candle from both ends. Today’s exercise was find three things in your day that you find beautiful. Enjoy them in the moment then write them down later in the evening. Mine were as follows:
1. This morning there was a red bellied woodpecker at my bird feeders. He is easily twice the size of the other birds. His feathers on his head and belly are a brilliant shade of red-orange. The sun practically sparkles off of them. I enjoyed watching him eat the suet cake ever vigilantly watching to make sure no predators were approaching.
2. This evening when we went to the grocery store, as we were walking in on the sidewalk. I noticed the sparkles of a very light dusting of snow. The sidewalk still retained it’s grey cement color, but when the street lamps shone down the sidewalk sparkled like it was covered in tiny flecks of diamonds.
3. Today I cleaned our ferrets room from top to bottom, washing all of their bedding and blankets, mopping the floor and even washing the cage wire. Once the laundry was done and the floors dry, I was putting the room back in order. (They are spoiled little things) Two of them came barreling into the room to see what was going on. They were jumping and chuckling at the newness of the room. I rearranged where the beds were and where tunnels and toys were kept. It was a joy just to see their enthusiasm and joy at such a simple thing as cleaning up.
For my gratitude practice I am using a book called “Gratitude A Journal” published by Chronicle Books LLC, text written by Catherine Price. It has the typical journal set up with quotes and exercises included on the pages.