Last week's post about my gluten cleanse and my Danger Zone seems to have hit a nerve. Medical Marzipan wrote a response post that was full of insight (and if you haven't found her yet, this is a good reason to).
Though I was writing about gluten's effect on my body, my Danger Zone is always in the Land of Forgetting, regardless of the issue.
Now and then, I forget a little something about all the wonderful in my life and I forget about how I Cultivate Wonderful.
- ...that moving vigorously every single day is how I stay pain free;
- ...that not being a news junkie keeps me sane and more compassionate;
- ...that dance is my spiritual path;
- ...that bird watching puts me into my center;
- ...that eating enough protein keeps me energized to do the work I love;
- ...that taking down time quiets my brain enough to hear new ideas.
The "why" of this is somewhat irrelevant. I don't think we can ever untangle all the threads that go into it. Trying is important, but we can get stuck in that Trying to Understand, which can become as unhealthy as Not Understanding at All.
Movement and action are what matter here.
We must take action.
I think that the Buddhist principle of Constant Effort is the clearest and most direct route to not forgetting.
"Constant effort SUCKS!" You'll hear me brattily retort when Marcy brings this up to me, but it's only because I know she is right and I need a moment to be WhineyChick before I move onto working toward BlissChick.
There are many ways to employ Constant Effort in your daily life.
I think that writing is important here. I think that we need to keep a journal that is specific to that which we tend to forget.
For instance, when you are emerging from a time of forgetting, keep notes about how you felt, what effect the experience has had and is having on your body and your life. This is important for later -- for when you are about to slip back into forgetting. You can reread how awful you felt, how lethargic, how sad, whatever it was.
I also use Tactile "Notes." For example, I have a necklace I wear, and every time I touch it, I remember something specific.
Why? Because when I first got it and first put it on, I said aloud as I held it, "I will remember (this) every time I touch you."
It works. Try it.
I use tactile notes all the time to remember all sorts of things, and as long as I say what I want to remember aloud to the object, I never forget.
Finally, to employ Constant Effort is to be Checking In with Your Body and its reactions.
Ask yourself what it is you really want or need out of your life whenever you feel compelled to do something that you know, eventually, will put you back to sleep.
Because that is what Forgetting is. It's choosing to go back to sleep to our lives. Living in Remembering can be difficult. Awakening is difficult and it does not become easy...ever. It is a constant result of your every day actions. It is an ongoing happening that never ceases.
There is a reason we are surrounded by sleep walkers.
Our Danger Zones exist because there is something we would rather Numb ourselves to, but the fact that we are aware of these Danger Zones, that we see how they play out in our lives, tells me that we are also Full of Courage and that we are Warriors on this Path.