Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Seeds in my mind

  Spring and summer are the seasons of growing. I plant flowers and sometimes herbs and vegetables. I try to pull out most of the weeds so there is space for what I want to grow.

I have been also paying attention to what I plant in my mind, or what others try to plant in my mind. Here are some of the seeds currently growing in my consciousness (and perhaps also in my un-consciousness.)

Why is it that the world of people often feels noisy, very noisy, but also lonely? So many opinions, so many emotions, so many experiences and things to say about them. But every so often, there's a person whose words resonate. I think it has to do with humility and honesty and being willing to share that vulnerability of being human and open to learning. What does that tell me about how I should be?

Water always flows downhill. So imagine a rainstorm, a babbling brook, a river, a violent storm, a sewer, a flood, a leaky faucet....all that water, all making its way to the ocean. It's going to the same place. That's how it feels to me when I start to see a pattern in my life.

Someone said this: "being like water is a metaphor for the principle of wu wei, which is sometimes described as "doing by doing nothing". Just as water flows downhill effortlessly, moved by the forces of nature rather than its own effort and volition, and simply goes around obstacles rather than trying to tear them down, one is advised to move through life in the most natural way that is harmonious with one's environment - the path of least resistance - allowing the universe to move you where it will." 

How many "solutions" do we accept that involve control and violence? Is it possible to have control without violence? (I am thinking about this and I can't think of an example. Other than maybe self-control). Why do we accept violence and control as normal? Is there another way?

Everything is temporary. Every material item, every thought, every feeling, every skill and piece of knowledge. Every relationship. Some last longer than others, but change always comes. How do I want to live my life with this knowledge of change and ultimately loss? Who am I going to be in 10, 20, 30 years (if so fortunate). What's going to matter to me at the end of my life, when I have lost or let go of everything I currently consider important and am about to say goodbye to anything that remains? (Which could be sooner than I think....nobody actually knows). 

Most people would not describe me as a quarrelsome or aggressive person. Probably quite the opposite. But, a conversation recently made me aware that I actually do quarrel with people often....in my mind. Just thinking of certain people or situations can cause a physical defensive reaction. It is interesting to become consciously aware of this. The person I was describing this to wrote (after expressing understanding and admitting to the same behaviour): "I try to reframe it from wasteful internal conflict to useful scripts to begin practicing enough that they become natural to say out loud." That is something to think about.

How often do I curse and why? I don't go around screaming epithets at people (not so far). I tell my children that it's not helpful or kind to call things "stupid." "All you are doing is telling someone you don't respect them or you don't respect the thing they have created. How is that good for you or anyone else?" But I do curse. I curse jokingly with my friends and colleagues (I use black humour a lot). I curse at aggressive or clueless drivers. In frustration, I curse situations I find myself in. Just hearing or seeing certain people's names is enough to cause an internal cringe and/or curse. What is this behaviour actually doing in me and in the world? What is the alternative?

The colours of summer are really, really beautiful right now. Greens, blues, golds, highlights of white. It is such a gift. 


  1. Lots to think about here! We have a teacher who goes around at the start of each month, putting inspirational quotes up in the bathrooms with washi tape. May's was: "Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds... You can grow flowers, it you can grow weeds." A simplified version of what you say here! I am also one who has a zillion arguments in my head. I have to remind myself that they never actually happened -- sometimes it helps me work through some things mentality but it can also stress me out unduly.

    I'm also loving this season of growth and color!

    1. Oh too funny that your colleague shared the same idea! Yes, the mental arguments are totally stressful! I can get my own heart rate up, easily, and give myself a headache. Then I have to remember: this is me doing this to myself. What am I thinking! We are strange creatures, us humans.....we are mysterious to ourselves, even, much of the time. I try to remember that before jumping to judgments about others.