Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bandwidth Available

I heard a segment on NPR recently asking whether people who were poor made less intelligent decisions.  They explained a couple of experiments that were done to test this.  The conclusion was that poverty caused people to make poorer decisions and the way they explained this was using “bandwidth”.  That we have so much bandwidth in our brains and when we are poor a great deal of that is taken up with those concerns, leaving much less available for other things.

I find this idea quite useful.  The thought that there is so much bandwidth in my brain and how much of it is available?  I could say that when I am in a calm peaceful state I make my best decisions because I have a lot of bandwidth working for me.  Or I could say part of the reason I didn’t want to be a full-time teacher is that it took up too much bandwidth, all of the time, there were other things I needed space for, even if I did not yet have a name for them.

As I was biking to yoga class today thinking about all this I wondered, “What if all of my bandwidth was available for this bike ride?  Instead of mulling over these thoughts – all there was was colors on a tree, the air on my face, my legs churning?”

And what if we have energetic bandwidths as well?  I live about 3 miles from where I do yoga.  Today was cloudy, damp, cool but not cold and a likelihood of rain.  Some days I wouldn’t want to bike.  I would use these factors as an excuse.  Today I didn’t mind at all.  What is the difference?  Where did that energetic bandwidth come from?  And what can I do to protect it and sustain it?

The last two books I’ve read both have been influences from my brother.  I picked them up at the library for him and then wanted to read them myself.  The first book was Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior.    It is an engaging novel with a sobering message.  And though I no longer know what to make of that thing we call God or life force or…  I do know that someone seems to have set me up here.  Because the book I’m reading now is the perfect antidote to the reality of Kingsolver.  It is called The Forty Rules of Love:  A Novel of Rumi by Elif Shafak.  I am enjoying this book so much that two nights ago after I woke up I realized in my DREAM I was telling a group of people why it was so good (in a completely accurate manner).  Also the past two days when my alarm went off, instead of snuggling in the dark for a while, I immediately turned on my bed lamp and began to read.  No problem getting up for now!

It surprised me that my brother would be interested in such a novel.  He explained it had been recommended by The Economist.  The Economist is recommending heart opening, spiritual, wise literature!  Yeah!  Let’s go humanity!  I seriously was a bit down on humanity but then Elif Shafak and Rumi come to the rescue!

So these were some thoughts I needed to explore today, thanks for giving me a space and audience to share them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To Syria With Love

#1 - I took a jog on a not so inviting day that turned out to be plenty pleasant. At the end, I sat on a friend's front steps and felt quiet enough to gaze at the sky.

#2 - A woman I have never met, on the other side of the world, said something I wrote and sent to her was a treasure. Or that is my impression, if I am not mistaken.

#3 - Reading this made me search for something more meaningful than the radio program I was listening to. I went to Marianne Williamson's website and read she is running for congress - a whole new world.

#4 - I listened to this Williamson lecture TO SYRIA WITH LOVE, from Los Angeles, September 3, 2013 five minutes was all it took to state again - it's whole new world we could create here.

#5 -
"Politics shouldn't be the least heart-filled thing we do; it should be the most heart-filled thing we do. It should be a collective expression of our most enlightened selves."
Marianne Williamson

Monday, October 14, 2013

Long Drive

#1 - "Just a quick note to say thanks for being in my life. I probably don't say that enough and it's probably time I was reminded of that..."

This is the beginning of the message that started my day.

It reminded me of Jason Mraz's "Best Friend" song, a beautiful song for a friend. I listened to it and then I discovered that there are a bunch of new Mraz songs posted I haven't heard.

This is one I listened to the most -

#2 -

You know the five "Love Languages" - Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time and Gifts? I have three that score highly when I take the test, but I'm pretty sure my #1 is Words of Affirmation because I printed out two emails to save in my journal today, something I've always done. I treasure gifts of words.

Here is part of the second message -

#3 - "...I'm just glad you were spared a face to face interaction with that dude. I don't know how much it helps to hear it coming from me, but don't lose hope. The good people are out there too."

A couple weeks ago I learned how to "block" someone on an internet dating site. I received a message from a guy I'd briefly exchanged emails with and it unfortunately put me in a bad mood. This guy had initially told me that he was "concerned about the quality of people on this site" which became an incredible oxymoron as he quickly became the most concerning person I have yet encountered!

Anyway, soon after reading his disturbing email, I got the mail and there was a $50 gift certificate for the co-op as a thank-you for organizing my soccer team even though I'm not playing! It totally shifted my mood and I immediately wrote a letter to the guy who sent it (and his wife). I told him about my interaction that day and how getting his letter helped so much not fall into a negative male energy story.

His wife sent me an email later that week, but I never heard anything from the guy on my team until today.

So yeah it does help and the gift of that sketchy guy is a deepening of friendship with a good one.

#4 - Looking up right after writing that to see the lazy decent of yellow leaves in the backyard. Still mostly green out the window, but frames of yellow too.

#5 - One more

"The truth is what you believe to be the truth, you know, and that's what causes wars, but it also causes great poetry and great songs."

Jason Mraz

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Should be a Sign

#1 - 8:30pm I was putting away groceries and feeling a bit sad. I started feeling sad right around the time I left my friend’s house for the grocery store. I don’t know why. I’d had a lovely day. It just arrived, it just was. What to do with it? Then I remembered it was a gratitude blog post day and I felt a bit of relief, the possibility of expressing it/letting it out somehow. So here I sit with my sadness. What comes to mind is something Thich Nhat Hanh might say. “Hello sadness my friend. You are in good hands. I will take care of you.”

#2 – My day started with a bike ride to a nature center where I had my first meeting with Afton guy (see Afton article post a three weeks back). It was going to be a rainy day, but it wasn’t rainy yet and having someone to meet motivated me to get out on my bike. I was wet by the time I got home, but I wasn’t cold, it was fun.

#3 – Afton guy was pleasant. I didn’t have a strong sense of anything – interest nor disinterest, like nor dislike. Like his age, which I still couldn’t guess, I couldn’t sense whether we would enjoy more of each other or not, whether mutual interests would be engaging in the future or not. He certainly seemed like a decent human being and sometimes that is enough to be grateful for. He also had a nice voice.

#4 – Sometimes I wonder if opening is more painful than staying closed. What I mean is – possibility can point to places and things that are missing – point out a wound you didn’t know was there, a place you forgot was tender.

#5 – The poetry group is at the library tomorrow. I was thinking about waiting until next month to try it(when it will be cold) and doing something outside tomorrow evening. However I was at the library today, and I overheard the librarian who runs the group talking about his poems and how they help people to be in the “now”. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. That should be a sign…