What I'm Wearing:
But I'm going to do my best to follow it! Since presumably 2012 is our last year I thought my last year merited some reflection before I began living it less than wisely as per usual. Therefore I've been spending a lot of time reading and thinking and offline as much as possible. I wanted to make sure I made sounder decisions in 2012 and had more focus in my daily life. I wanted to create a state of mind that would allow me to fully enjoy and experience 2012, and so I needed to take some time to reflect on why I felt I'd failed at this in the past year. When I look back at 2011 what characterizes this past year for me is a lot of wasted efforts and wasted time. Time spent being angry is about the most wasted kind of time I can think of, and I spent a lot of 2011 fuming and furious.
I blamed other people for this, which given the circumstances of the events that enraged me is understandable like the really cruel and nasty email my half-sister sent me early in the year that caused me months and months of agony, http://www.misadventuresofme.com/1/post/2011/10/letting-go-is-one-way-of-saying-i-love-you.html
but really that's giving other people way too much power over our feelings. I hate being preached at, but I have to admit there's power in the notion (preachy as it sounds) that you can't control what other people do to you, but you can control your reaction to it. That didn't quite make sense to me at the time, since I didn't respond in kind or at all to my sister's email, so why didn't that count towards making me feel better, I (angrily) thought?? I didn't inflict my anger on the outside world, but inside I died. It just didn't make sense that on top of being hurt I couldn't stop hurting. It was a downward stress spiral I was caught in. Yoga didn't help for once, while yoga has always been my magical cure-all for ailments. Then I discovered there are a lot of great Buddhist doctrines that offer sound, practical help for how to transform your anger and heal those knots of stress anger creates within us. And those practices, sending thoughts of love towards your own anger, meditation, breathing, etc. have helped tremendously.
Honestly, this anger has been a huge source of stress for me. Not the anger itself but the fact of the anger... My worst fear is that living in New York is going to transform me into an angry Newyorker and this past year I saw my fear coming to real-life fruition more than in any of the times I've lived here (off and on since I was a little kid.) You can see it in some people's faces who've been here too long and lived it too angrily: this demonic mask of unhappiness has settled over their features, blotting out youthful hope and optimism and making them identical in middle-age. Their faces and feelings have hardened up and they congratulate themselves for their survival, but is that all life is to be: survived? I want to experience it, and for that you have to stay sensitive and open and anger is the opposite of a sensitive and open state.
Here are a few links to some really helpful articles I read about getting over hurt feelings and healing the anger within:
I won't be posting as much this year, since I'm supposedly doing this blog just for fun and posting all the time was too much on top of work and other obligations, but please check back from time to time. And of course comments are always massively appreciated! I try to reply when I can, but again paid work and family need to be my focuses this year so I'm going to be off-line a lot more. That's my one big resolution of 2012!
Did you make any? Are you keeping to them? Tell me about it! I'd love to hear, not just saying that...Why would I?? I'm definitely not getting paid for all this. And your comments let me know my effort is worth the time. Plus self-improvement is a cheesy passion of mine and I love hearing about other people's successes ;)