Monday, November 29, 2010

The comfort of good friends...

We were in the midst of a lovely dinner with friends last night---good friends. Thankfully good friends. As I was taking a mouthful of food I felt the twinge. A few months ago I would not have paid any attention to that twinge. I now know the importance of listening to my body-it seems to know me better than I do. I waited about 30 seconds to see if the twinge would pass or intensify. Instead of intensifying the pain radiated to my back. Then I knew. "Here it comes..." I looked at my good friend who was about to serve me more pasta and asked if she had any apple cider vinegar. My friends who have been privy of the saga of my gallbladder know what it means when I ask for apple cider means pain will soon be following. In the middle of a nice dinner my friend's husband, without hesitation, left the dinner table and went to the store to bring me some apple cider vinegar.

I made my way to the bathroom as I could tell this one was a bad one. Nautiouness quickly followed....then the throwing up. Now that had never happened before. Only because it was a dear friend did I ask, in the midst of our dinner party. "Can I have a bath?" She just smiled and said "of course." I could see the look of concern on her face. She later told me that she could almost feel my pain. Sipping my oh so lovely concoction of Apple Cider Vinegar and apple juice, I relaxed as best I could into the scolding heat of the bath. I could hear them all talking in the other room, debating whether or not I should be brought to the hospital. Curled up in the bath in pain I hoped the Apple Cider Vinegar would work its magic yet again.

Still in pain I walked from the bathroom to the bed that my friend had prepared for me. I lay down and heard my little girl and her playing in the other room. My husband holding the baby and chatting about cameras to my friend's husband. A few minutes later I made my way to the living room and lay down on the couch...then suddenly the pain vanished as quickly as I came, and we continued the evening...

Simple pleasures in life include those friends with whom you can most rely on and be yourself with... That evening was perfect and was a reminder of the comfort of good friends...

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This morning when the alarm went off at 6:10 am, I admit it, I did press the snooze button BUT I only pressed it once. More sleep was tempting, but then I realized something quite remarkable. I had slept for 7 hours straight! This may not seem like something phenomenal, something to be so grateful for, but when you have slept 7 hours straight less than a dozen times over the past 4 and a half years, it is something to feel oh so grateful about. It's its own little miracle. So instead of being greedy and stealing more sleep, I did something even better for my soul. I got up and let the house sleep while I enjoyed the peace, the solitude and the quiet of the morning.

As I sat in silence, legs crossed on the plush carpet, cat sitting at my feet, the aroma of fresh brewing coffee filling the room, I felt peace. When I felt ready to stand, I walked out my front door, took a breath in of the brisk morning air and felt comforted by the greyness of the sky. I bent down, and picked up the newspaper. I ate my breakfast in silence, with a coffee on one side of me, and the newspaper on the other. And when I heard first my little girl call "Can I get out of bed now?" and then the baby start to stir, I felt refreshed, at peace and oh so ready to start the day. Because the day was going to be perfect, as perfect as it should be.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I am perfect

.Bit by bit I am discovering my Buddha nature. Unfortunately it is not of the spiritual or existential kind. It is of the physical kind. Bit by bit my belly is beginning to resemble that of a laughing Buddha statue. Hmmmm. How is this happening? How can I use my increasing spiritual awareness and Buddhist practice to impact my health and my body? How can I use my wish to embrace all that is simple and divine to help battle my increasing weight, my battle with food, and my increase sloth like behaviour.

I meditate, read about mindfulness. I have read articles, bought books on mindful eating. I know basic arithmetic: one plus one equals two. Calories plus calories less exercise equals pounds. I know that pounds plus pounds equals disapproval of myself, and I know that this disapproval plus judgment equals calories plus calories…… It is a vicious cycle. I know the theory. I know the practice. I know that after I put the food into my mouth I feel no better. I feel worse. I know there is something missing from this basic equation.

The answer really is quite simple (and divine) Metta. Metta is loving-kindness. It is the practice of opening your heart and wishing goodwill and compassion on oneself and other beings. It’s often easier to practice loving-kindness towards others than it is towards yourself. But until one really, really accepts where they are at, and who they are and can hold themselves as they are in this very moment then really, how can one truly practice loving kindness towards others. My lack of acceptance of where I am in this process of physical health and well being, my lack of acceptance of my body, of me, of where I am at this perfect moment in time is quite the opposite of loving kindness. I am wishing myself to be somewhere, and to be someone that I am not at this present moment.
And so, all that it is needed, the missing piece of the equation, is to remember that I am perfect in this very moment. I am exactly where I need to be. And with that:

May I be filled with loving-kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy

And this moment, it is perfect, as perfect as it should be.