My brain surgery ruined my balance. So beside having a hard time with stairs, and running, and stuff like that, it’s a challenge for me to carry an open container of liquid without spilling it.
A quick trip down the hall to the coffee bar at work becomes an agonizingly long journey on the way back with a cup of hot tea in my hand. I slowly proceed, not wanting to spill the sloshing, turbulent, hot liquid on my hand (ouch!), on my dress (how sloppy!), or on the floor (and–oops–stain the carpet).
But there are two things I’ve learned to make the trip less hazardous. One: use a cup or mug with a lid. Two: don’t hold the cup so far away.
This second one seemed counter-intuitive at first. Since I didn’t want to spill that tea on me, I figured I should hold it at a distance, right? And the farther away the better.
That was what I assumed, until one day when I, by chance, had to carry my cup close to my body. (Always up for a challenge, i was trying to manage my phone and a few notebooks, too.) Sure, there was still a tempest brewing in that cup, but it wasn’t nearly as close to spilling over as usual. I was actually safer from spills that way.
I wonder how this might be applicable to life. What if the things we were afraid of, the ones we thought might hurt us, the problems that persistently pursue us…. What if we stopped pushing them away? What if we held them close, examined, and accepted them? Maybe we’d have more control over them that way. And we might be safer.
Late last year, I signed up (with about 5000 other people) for The Sketchbook Project Limited Edition. The idea was that one page from each sketchbook submitted would be included in a book to be released in December. (This book would be instead of the sketchbooks traveling, as they usually do.)
Sure enough, in December I received the book that I had pre-ordered, and after several passes through it, I finally found an image of one of my pages. (Hey, it had been a few months, so it took a while for me to recognize it!)
I’ve wanted to post a picture from the book–which is still available from Art House Co-op (http://shop.brooklynartlibrary.com/)–for ages now. Today, I finally got around to it. There I am!
For more images from the book, check out my Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laura_rivera/sets/72157628121505564/
And I signed up for the Sketchbook Project 2014, too. Maybe you should! Check it out! http://www.sketchbookproject.com/sketchbookproject
The other day I listened to a friend vent. And that’s ok–isn’t that what friends are for?
Heaven knows–I’ve had many friends who have let me whine and cry and yell and complain about my life. They’ve listened to me, and then did me an even greater favor: they forgot all about it.
They knew that those fears, anxieties, crazy thoughts, and self-doubts needed to be let out for one big reason: those thoughts weren’t me. My situation wasn’t me. They knew that “letting it all out” was the best way for me to leave it all behind.
When we’re possessed by our bad thoughts, we can fall into the trap of thinking that since our mind created them, they must be part of us. But they aren’t. We can’t let them hijack our mind and soul.
We need to get free of those demons, and find friends that will help us do that.
They say that an element of being strong and certain is making decisions from your core–the center of who you are–your understanding of who you are and what is right.
It is what I try to remember when I am faced with tough choices and when everyone seems to have their own opinion of what I should do.
Decisions that seem complex are really not that complicated when you strip them down to their essentials. What is best for you isn’t so hard to figure out when you know what is fundamentally right.
Who am I? At the center, all questions are really this one, single, core question.