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pic           Airy-Fairy Alert.

( What can I say, I’m a Boomer. My mind was formed, not in early childhood, but during the 1960s and ‘70stongue out )

I’ve been battling depression and anxiety since forever. It’s been getting really bad as I’m packing to move across country.

Today I had a breakthough. Okay, here goes:

I realize now what’s going on.  

A person, as Deepak Chopra has said many times, is a swirl of “energy and information.”  

And as Buddhist writer Charlotte Joko Beck says, “I am ... That which observes.”

Because we are made up of the stuff of the stars and the universe, we appear to have form, and we do - but the form is made up of constantly changing and shifting sub-atomic particles. We are the very essence of impermanence. We blink in and out at speeds so fast we don’t see or feel it. Our chemicals and cells are changing, dying, and renewing at all times.  

It’s the ego that wants to live the life of permanence. It’s the ego that creates and believes all the mythology that Ruiz talks about in The Four Agreements.  

It’s okay to feel permanence, stability, safety, ego-based happiness - as long as we are aware that all those thoughts and feelings are part of the collective mythology.

For me, however, I do better without the mythology. I feel relaxed and comfortable seeing myself as an “ever-changing energy pattern.”  

Today I woke up with the usual dread in the pit of my stomach. I’ve been doing formal meditation but that doesn’t help a lot. But then something happened. I patted my cat, who was lying besides me asleep, and kept my hand on her to feel her precious breathing. Her soft fur. And I felt a joy go through me to the deep parts - the real parts of myself - the swirling energy and information parts.

I realized that most of the time, like waking up with dread, or packing, or going out with friends, or doing paperwork - the swirling energy and information that is me, has a lot of chaos in its patterns, and I saw lots of gooey shadow swirls. Not very attractive. And in the past my consciousness has been heavily involved in hiding that inner mess from the world and myself. Putting on a “smiling face” and “being nice” and all that people-pleasing and all that “thank you, and you have a nice day, too” with the forced smile - it’s all a front for the chaotic swirls underneath.

I then asked the question: Can those swirls be affected by stuff I might do consciously? Can the swirls become more beautiful and even coherent in some way? Can I get rid of the gooey shadow swirls?

And I remembered that when I patted the cat, all those things started to happen. My insides started to calm down and the dread in my stomach got dimmer. Hmmm.

So I got up and looked out my bedroom window onto the forest behind my apartment building. And as I learned from years of meditation, I let the conscious thinking die down and just became an observer of the beautiful trees, the sounds of the cicadas, the sight of the delicate butterflies and the pretty clouds. And somewhere in me I realized that this is the way I can let go of the gooey shadow swirls, and this is how I can incorporate some of the rhythms of the trees into my “energy and information” patterns.

We are not stuck with stuff. Of course yes, I’m 5-feet tall, my body does not seem to process alcohol well, I feel better when I’m off dairy, we are dealt stuff. But the “energy and information” layer and even what might be underneath that - I can indeed change that.

I just have to discover what makes the swirls flow in a way that lets me function without having to fake everything, without having to “people-please” every minute of every day. In a way so that I’m not trying to second-guess everything, make up “storylines” about stuff, think catastrophically all the time, make assumptions based on nothing, and cover it all up with a great outfit and full makeup. (I’ll never give up my makeup or a great outfit, but that falls into the category of “So?“)

What activities can I do to calm the swirls? That’s my question. I can walk in nature. I can look out the window at trees. I can be with animals. I can hold my grandson (that’s why I’m moving). I can let go of the need for a wished-for outcome, and know that the Universe we live in is impermanent, and I am impermanent, and it’s okay.

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