walking trees

Notes To Myself

My Struggle To Fall Asleep At Night

First up, I’d like to address the wording of my heading. I vividly remember as a pedantic, prickly teenager, complaining about the usage of the phrase “fall asleep at night”. Because, when else would you fall asleep? I demanded, rage churning up inside of me at the thought of that meaningless addition to a sentence (I guess my extra-curricular activities didn’t tire me out enough or something). Nevertheless, here I am putting my middle finger up to my fifteen-year-old self, because not only can you fall asleep in the day (enter: naps), and the “at night” just has a nice ring to it. It sets the scene.

Anyway, we can get on with it now. I just wanted to explain myself in case any angry teens/linguistic prescriptivists come after me with burning torches and a subscription to Grammarly (which…fine. I’ll fight those nerds). 

“There is a part of me that wants to write, a part that wants to theorise, a part that wants to sculpt, a part that wants to teach…To force myself into a single role, to decide to be just one thing in life, would kill off large parts of me. Rather, I recognise that I live now and only now, I will do what I want to do this moment and not what I decided was best for me yesterday.” —the original, excellent, Notes To Myself, by Hugh Prather. 

“I think the most middle-class thing I’ve ever seen is your mum feeding Saffie smoked salmon.” 

“Ask yourself what you want. You may eventually answer: I want to feel good. I want to know who I am. I want to feel free and light without any pressures at all. I want to feel safe and warm and touched by life. I want to know love—unlimited and unconditional. I want to see the beauty around me. I want to experience what this world is all about and understand why I am here.” —Bronwen & Frans Steine, The Japanese Art of Reiki.

Meditation: to engage in mental exercise (as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness —Merriam-Webster 

A dream: A few ferrets were desperate for somewhere to live, so Seb offered his apartment. The ferrets were happy—it was warm, safe, and they had plenty of space to run around and do ferret things. In an unfortunate turn of events, the ferrets bit through some electrical wiring and the entire apartment exploded. Seb was devastated. He had worked so hard to get this apartment, and now it was all gone (in hindsight, he should have just got the ferret insurance they were offering). Now what would he do?! Then, his dad phoned. He had just won $5 million in the lottery! They bought a new apartment and everyone was happy! (Except the small weasel population, because there was no way Seb was leasing to those pesky, incendiary ferrets again.) 

“How murky the human mind can be. What other terrible things has she managed to forget? What else lies occluded in the back of her thoughts? Her mind’s a graveyard where the ground has started buckling; bones heave out of the grass.” —Emma Donoghue, The Sealed Letter

Being on Instagram/my phone takes me away from how much I’m enjoying the moment. There are times I’m watching TV while my thumb continues to scroll down social media. I’m not even looking at my phone, but my thumb keeps going, as if it has a mind of its own. As if I’ve set my thumb to control: Scroll. So why do I do it? Why do I let it? It is so furiously addicting and I must take more steps to break my preoccupation. 

“Reverie is spontaneous and undirected. This kind of thinking is our favourite kind, because we can be self-indulgent about it. Its course is determined by our resentments, our likes or dislikes, our desires and their frustration or fulfilment. …The difference between commonplace reverie and the creative thinking of the exceptional man[sic], there is one basic distinction possessed by the truly intelligent, namely concentration.” —Charles Bowness, The Practice Of Meditation

There are times I feel alone in my unrelenting analysis of the world. I find small talk impossible; how can I tear my mind away from deep contemplation of my ego to discuss things that feel trivial? Do I just need practice? Or am I doomed to the following conversation: 
“How’s your day going?”
“I realised that behind my negative self concept is a desire to be better than other people. I want to let go of those feelings of superiority, or, in fact, inferiority, because I know it’s just my ego talking, but I struggle with it, as I imagine most people do. What do you think?”

I’ve been very sad today. Trying not to be sad about being sad but that just means I stay sad. And cry. I feel undervalued. Unappreciated. Like I have so much to give, but no one wants it.

“The poison and toxic pains stuck inside are coming up. It’s best to let them come up and go. This makes space for more joy, but that also shouldn’t be a carrot on the stick for you. There is no end goal to awakening, and there is no perfect bliss state to attain. The perfect state of awareness is the one that is here and now. There’s nothing more to it than that. It is quite simple, and the over-complicated unconscious ego probably doesn’t like that.” —Jim Tolles, Spiritual Awakening Process 

“If there is something you desire that you currently do not have, you need only put your attention on it, and, by the Law of Attraction, it will come to you. However, if there is something that you do not have and you put your attention upon your current state of not-having-it, then the Law of Attraction will continue to match that not-having-it vibration, so you will continue to not have that which you desire. It is Law.” —Esther and Jerry Hicks, Manifest Your Desires

I remember her first night at home with us; she was whining, calling out for her puppy brothers and sisters she’d left behind. Unable to stand it any longer, 10-year-old me slept on the cold marble floor next to her bed, my hand sticking through the crate so she’d have something to cuddle against. It wasn’t long after that she began sleeping in my bed, her head on the pillow next to mine. 
As children we loved her as children do: playing with her fur, putting silly outfits on her, taking endless photos, spoiling her endlessly with treats, taking her on all of our adventures. She had infinite patience with us. 
She was there through my childhood: going to secondary school, my first boyfriend, the separation of my parents. She would be there, reliable and loving; an enduring rock in a teenager’s world of instability. 
She loved chasing hot air balloons, bacon, and vanilla Ben & Jerry’s. 
Rest in peace, Saffie. You are so loved.

You can’t pretend not to believe in something you know to be true. The energy of yourself, of the planet, of all things living. Being a “real human being”. And then a beetle landed on my head.

I got mail today. A Certificate of Appreciation. I asked and the Universe answered. I am learning to believe in the power of my thoughts.
I live a life of abundance.

“As I look back on my life, one of the most constant and powerful things I have experienced within myself is the desire to be more than I am at the moment—an unwillingness to let myself remain where I am—a desire to increase the boundaries of myself—a desire to do more, learn more, express more—a desire to grow, accomplish, expand. I used to interpret this inner push as meaning that there was some one thing out there I wanted to do or be or have. And I have spend too much of my life trying to find it. But now I know that this energy within me is seeking more than the mate or the profession or the religion, more even than pleasure or power or meaning. It is seeking out more of me; or better, it is, thank God, flushing out more of me.” —Hugh Prather, Notes To Myself


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1 thought on “Notes To Myself”

  1. Sleep tight Saffie, hot air balloons make me think of you & your audacious chocolate brownie theft from some picknickers at Ashton Court. So brazen & so funny.
    Little Saffie in Singapore was the sweetest creature & she’ll live on in my memories of our visits there xx

    Liked by 1 person

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