Thursday, 27 September 2007

To be at ease with what is......

I woke up this morning at 6am. Had the thought to meditate but turned over and went back to sleep. When I woke again at 8.30am I had the usual thoughts of self -recrimination but I understand the mechanism for these now so they have largely lost their power. I also know however that this way of being and behaving which I have had for as long as I can remember i.e. to beat myself up when I view myself as having failed does not disappear over night. It is a deep neural pattern in the brain. It will take mindfulness and perseverance on my part to make that neural pathway weaker.

I got up and went out to have a chat with my friend before she left for work. When she left I went into the kitchen. I was washing a cup when I heard the usual authoritative three words that I call my inner voice. It said 'restore your integrity'. I went 'what' because I didn't have a clue what this meant. I again heard the same three words 'restore your integrity'. I thought for a minute then I knew what was being asked. I was out of integrity because I had said I would meditate and I didn't. All that is required to be back in integrity is to meditate. I immediately went into my bedroom to the usual spot where I meditate and arranged myself on the stool. Then I meditated for my usual 45 minutes. The mind was busy as it always is but when I finished and sat in the stillness and silence on my stool the words of this post today came to me 'to be at ease with what is. I felt a great well of contentment rise up from deep within me.

What I realised from this is that I have lots of integrity around others but none when it comes to myself. Instead of restoring my integrity by doing what I said I would do, I would give myself a hard time for being a weak person with little or no self-control. How stupid was that. All I had to do was do what I said I would do. Nothing else was being asked for. No-one said that the only way to have integrity would be to get up in the early hours of the morning to meditate, I put that pressure on myself. I find it amazing that the one time I didn't beat myself up and give myself a hard time for not doing something I said I would, I get the key to how to be happy and at ease with what is.

After my usual bath and dressing ritual I turned on the radio and there was the daily service being broadcast. One of my favourite hymns 'How great Thou art' was being sung and here in the flat alone I sang my heart out and this is something I don't usually do. I felt this overwhelming urge to sing the words of that hymn at the top of my voice which is what I did.

Now as I write this I am waiting for the taxi to take me to the hospital for my out-patients appointment. I have my other trainer in my rucksack and if things go the way I would love them I will be returning home with two trainers on my feet which will be great..... I wanted to write this before I go because it seemed important. I am going to raise the issue of not being notified about this appointment. I will say what happened when I return and the reader can judge whether I came from personality or Soul!

I'm now back from the hospital. I was thrilled with myself when I managed to get down the steps using the crutches and not my bottom to wait for my taxi. I opened my front door and the I gasped for air as greedily as a drowning man. It was breezy and lovely. I stood on my porch and suddenly the sun came out from under a cloud and beamed its full rays down on me. I stood there feeling so happy and connected. The taxi man came and it is amazing the reaction I have got when people have seen me with crutches. They just can't do enough it is a great testament to the truth of the human spirit of kindness and compassion.

I arrived at the hospital and made my way to the out-patients department. At the reception desk I had to wait for someone to appear. When the woman finally appeared I explained about not receiving any notification for the appointment and the impact this had on me. She listened and got annoyed herself when she saw that the appointment was sent out a couple of days ago and would not have reached me in time for today. She then told me to go straight through to the treatment room area without waiting in the main waiting room.

I thought this was a bit odd but went through. I was asked my name and when it was established that I hadn't been formally called was sent back to where I thought I should have gone i.e. the main waiting room. Bemused more than annoyed I made my way back. A little while later I was called. I was sitting in a chair when this sprightly woman came down the corridor. She was smiling and I thought that she was smiling at the woman who was sat next to me reading a bible! But she wasn't. She was smiling at me. She sat down and I saw that she had a shoe similar to mine but no crutches. I said to her 'where are your crutches'. With a dismissive shake of her head she said 'oh I got rid of them, I don't need them'. It turned out that she was 82!. She had only recently lost her husband who was 96 and they were planning to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Her energy and enthusiasm for life in the face of losing her lifelong partner was both moving and inspiring for me.

My name was called and I went into the treatment room. The bandage was taken off and still I don't think that the toe was straight. I said it to the doctor. Again I got the same message that there was still a lot of soft tissue swelling. The special shoe was taken away and I put on my other trainer. It was great. I asked about the crutches and was told 'if you need them keep them, if you don't then give them back'. I asked the usual questions about how long before gym, driving etc, time off work and then I left.

Once out of out-patients I decided that I didn't need the crutches anymore and I gave them back. I had two properly functioning legs and two hands again and the feeling was just brilliant. I didn't want to chance coming home on public transport so ordered a cab. The cab driver took many of the back streets to avoid the traffic and I was treated to a kaleidoscope of colours as my senses become alive to all of the coloured leaves on the trees. How I wish I was a creative writer and I could write just how beautiful it was driving down these tree lined roads. At one point we were driving down and the trees seeemd to jon to make a was breathtakingly beautiful.

My friend called to see how I had got on and I told her. I explained that it was not necesssary for her to stay with me anymore and I could feel my sadness as I said this because I have so enjoyed her being here for the last two weeks. But it was only fair to tell her that I am once again independent so she can decide if she wants to. She said that she will stay tonight and then return to her home. I bought some thank you cards in the hospital because I have so many people to thank. I have been so well cared for and thought about that it has been humbling.

My next decision to make is when to return to work. I have been signed off for another two weeks but I honestly don't think I need this long....