Sunday, 16 September 2007

I developed my love for cooking, paradoxically, when I was sick with chronic fatigue syndrome and cooking a meal sometimes took up all the off-the-couch energy I had for the day. It fulfilled two needs I had: (1) it helped me feel in some vague way that I was still useful for something; my life may have become stuck in the toilet, but I could still cook my husband a meal every night. But also, (2), I realised how powerfully self-nurturing it was. And a creative one at that (my creativity being sorely limited, but my desire to create intact). And I got to eat my creativity after I messed around with it in bowls and frying pans. I began taking great delight in finding out what the best things were to feed my body with and then to prepare them myself.

Today I have been trying to do the same sort of thing, but in my thoughts. I am rereading a pretty cool little tome called Slowing Down to the Speed of Life which in very basic terms is really about how our thoughts are our expression of reality, rather than reality itself. I get so caught up in my own negative thinking at times. Lately it has been almost impossible to not think negatively.

But today, I sat outside, and got a bit of sun, and started entering in by counting my blessings. It sounds a bit wanky even writing that - but gee, it's not a cliche for nothing. I also began telling myself some things to try to give myself a bit of psychic space. I found it a profound pain in the bum when I was ill that, even though I had very little that I actually had to accomplish each day, I always felt rushed off my feet, as though someone somewhere (probably that inner Puritan again) was trying to get me to move on, to do something, to cross off something on my to-do list. It's a real disservice to yourself when you're ill to think that way - and yet, here I am doing it again. Perhaps it's some kind of crazy way to try to maintain control when you're feeling a bit out of control (sickness is the ultimate loss of control, I guess).

It feels so basic, so 101, to sit and tell myself that it's okay, that I can slow down. But apparently I need to do it. So, I am trying to paint in my own head the kinds of thoughts that will give me the mental equivalent of rolling hills and trees and far horizons. It feels kinda nice, actually. Like I'm being kind to myself. It also reminds me of how powerful my own thoughts are.

This is a frustration to me, because it means that I have responsibility for my thoughts and whether they're crap. And that's a bit of a bummer ;) I don't want to take responsibility. I want God to come along and Gandalf new good thoughts for me. The paradox of taking responsibility for my own thoughts is I am in control more than I realise. And while that sometimes feels like a bad thing to my inner Tantrum Child, ultimately it's totally amazing.

How strange life is.

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