Friday, June 18, 2010

I can't believe it has only been four days since Monday

In the lexicon of the tarot, the mind is like a sword. I like it. The mind should be bright, and sharp. We use these adjectives all the time to describe smart people. Used in a balanced way, the mind analyzes the world by cutting all incoming sensory data into lovely, bite-sized chunks, enabling us to look at the components of "reality" one by one.

Unfortunately, when overused, the mind will end up stabbing itself into pieces so small that no sense can be made from them. You know that situation in which your mind keeps going over the same material again and again? Yep. I don't know anyone who hasn't thought themselves into a bad headache at one time or another. Well maybe there are those who don't overthink. I should speak for myself: I've done it a million times. For visuals of this phenomena, google "8 of swords," "9 of swords," and especially "10 of swords," then click on images. Ouch.

The warning signs of mental overkill (for me at least) include anytime I begin a thought with one of the following phrases, "I ALWAYS ..." or "I NEVER ..." or "When will I EVER learn to ..." Self-blame and self-pity are sure-fire signs that I need to get out of my head and into my heart.

I've been up in my head a lot this week, trying to figure out the incomprehensible, also trying as hard as I could to avoid my heart space. Yesterday I spent a lot of time with people who love me dearly. By the end of the day I was able to bring my attention into my heart, a space in which I don't have to be rational or judgmental of myself or others. In the heart, nothing has to make sense, a good thing because really, life is mostly a mystery. I can hold that when I'm in my heart space, but my head? My head punishes me for what I will never understand. Whew!

Today is a work day - always a good thing because at work, I think about my clients rather than about myself. It is such a relief!

What a week! I can not ever remember a week that lasted so long. Oh well, it's almost over. Solstice is ALMOST here ... slog slog. Onwards and upwards.

Maybe even my camera was enchanted by the number of lightning bugs rising in Lincoln Park last night. I know I was. My assumption - that even a piece of machinery could be entranced - comes from the fact that the lens refused to focus on the fireflies - or anything really. Try to think of this unfocused film as artful rather an just badly done, please? OK? OK.


Lynne said...

Loved the vid! I think you have a different species of fireflies/lightning bugs than we have. I know the ones we've seen in Ohio stay "lit" longer than ours. Ours just blink like the landing lights on a plane.

Yours look like champagne bubble rising up from the ground. Magical!!!!!!!

Mrsupole said...

Go live your life with your heart. There are people who love you and you will be happier because they will not be judgemental. They will just be full of love to give to you all thr time. I think this is why you were so happy when you were with Jake. Jake just gave you love and never judged you. Over analysing can drive someone nuts. So just love.

The Beatles said it right when they said "All we need is love.". Things should be spontaneous whenever possible. That makes life more enjoyable.

God bless.

Reya Mellicker said...

It's true that Jake loved me absolutely unconditionally. I loved him back in the same way, and he was a piece of work. In my dream last night I had two small dogs. So maybe a dog (or two?) is headed in my direction.

Champagne bubbles? I love that!

The Bug said...

I need to share this with Dr. M. If anyone thinks himself into a bad place it's him! He might want to confer with you on just how to turn his brain off occasionally.

Yes, this has seemed like a long week to me too. I'll be glad to see it end. And I hope that this passage of time works its magic on you.

NanU said...

In grad school we used to call that 'cogitating'. Watch it, Reya's cogitating again!
Fireflies are so cool. My cats love them as much as I do.

Reya Mellicker said...

Cogitating, yeah. The image in my mind when I overthink is chopped salad. What is up with chopped salad anyway? Turning salad into baby food? Why??

Bug, my mind NEVER turns off. Sometimes I can bring my attention down into my heart, especially when the Sufi acupuncturist recommends that move or when I'm feeling love or looking at something beautiful.

The heart is so spacious while my brain always feels so crowded. In my heart, I can stretch out, relax. Of course I have to feel the sadness there, that's the catch. Well worth it, whenever I can remember.

Back to work!

Susan Carpenter Sims said...

Along the lines of one of the fine uses of the mind, this post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from Mark Twain: "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

Your meditation on the suit of swords is timely for me. It's been a while since I've thought about the Tarot, and what strikes me now about mind as swords, is that a sword is a very useful thing at times, and to have with you, but most of the time it's best to leave it at your side.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, Polly, and the thing is, you only need ONE sword, not ten, not 8, not even 6. ONE. Be of one mind.

I've never been able to do it, but I sure would love to have that experience.

Tom said...

arg..i can't see the video. Yeah, a long 2 weeks for me, and i'm mentally fatigued..ready for a vacation---weee! on the road tommorrow! perhaps your new place will come with a doggie? well, if it's meant to be, it will be.

C.M. Jackson said...

reya---you are moving trhough it albeit slowly hence the feeling of the long week. The most important thing is that you are moving forward---can't see your vid but thought you would find this interesting;-)

thinking of you and here's hoping a new dawg comes into your life and makes you smile--c

Ronda Laveen said...

I had to learn a number of years ago while I was bowling competitively, turn my brain off and on at will. Of course sometimes I was better at it than others. In sports, once you start the competition, you have to stay out of the linear part. There is no quicker way to spiral into defeat and the land of the lost than over thinking your shots.
To get into the ZONE, you just have to let the feel of the shots flow.

I used to tend to over think. Cost me plenty of money and high scores. These days I am much better at "switch on" "switch off."

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I have problems turning my mind off as well, it's so hard, I'm not sure I know how.
My "Jake" has been getting worse. Two vet visits last week and the animal hospital last night. My husband is back to the vet with him right now, I couldn't bring myself to go. I even said "my heart can't take it". Your words make so much sense to me it's like lightning bugs going off all over the place.
I hope two dogs do indeed find their way to your door, I can't imagine a better home.

Barbara Martin said...

Most days I think too much, and am reminded to sit in my favourite chair to just 'veg' for a while. Drink some tea and think of nothing, or think of only one thing. One!

This increasing universal energy seems to be setting many people off. A friend who purchased a new horse a couple of weeks ago is in a frenzy from being overloaded at work, and it's reflecting on her thoughts of why she bought this horse. For a person crazy over combined driving this is too wierd, and must be as a result of this influx of energy.

I feel buffets of energy pushing against me daily but I continue on going with the flow. Eventually the pressure will build to it's high point and then release. Then we'll all work in another year to another solstice.

Be safe, be well, Reya.

Kathleen said...

That heart space you mentioned. I think that's why my favorite yoga poses are those that open the heart space. I'm learning to remind myself, as Henri Nouwen points out, that we are each The Beloved==helps when those wickedly sharp self-defeating thoughts try to knock down my serentiy.

Angela said...

I could not see the fireflies video but I love them and can see them in my heart.
For a while now I have been wanting to write about contradictions. Life is MADE of contradictions, often equally true, although completely opposite. How can anyone understand this? All we can do is focus on what`s next, and humbly accept we are simply not made to understand. And yes, love is the solution. Giving and taking. Are you familiar with the Biblical Proverbs, Reya? They don`t belong to the Thora, but there is a lot of wisdom there. One says, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not onto thine own understanding.
Don`t make chopped salad from your brains, haha!

智宜 said...
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Jo said...

Well, as long as we're quoting The Beatles, I'd like to suggest 'Let it Be.'

I love Rhonda's image of the on/off switch for the brain. My daughter explains the same thing about being a professional ballet dancer. They spend hours each day analyzing every movement of every muscle, the point of the foot, the tilt of the head, the port de bras, the turnout, the epaulment, facial expressions, etc, on an on ad infinitum. Then they incorporate analysis of music with choreography, story and timing and tempo and spacing and marks...a herculean feat.

Then, as Andrea explains, when it's time to perform, your entire body buzzing with information, and you HAVE to find that on/off switch so you can trust your body, your mind, and your soul to become one and be AN ARTIST.

Just trust that, even though you are not actively thinking about the situation, your brain is still processing it, and often does a better job when you aren't in there meddling with it!

Allow your heart and mind and body to will help to both assuage the pain in your heart,and calm the overactive brain.

Yeah, there's that, and cleaning out more 'stuff' to prepare for the move...SO liberating!

Love you, Reya.

Steve Reed said...

It's so funny that you made a firefly video. I was walking last night and marveling at all the fireflies, and wondering how I could capture them in an image. I didn't try, though, because I was pretty sure it wouldn't work. Bravo to you for trying! (And the result really IS kind of cool!)

I hope next week is kinder to you. :)

Winston Riley said...

i enjoyed the car and traffic sounds the lightning bugs made as they dashed here and there

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Winston. I like the guy who walks by halfway through the film.

Cheryl Cato said...

I love the fireflies! As the G-man & I drove through the Tennessee mountains (about the same time you were writing this blog) we saw hundreds of fireflies amongst the trees. It was beautiful. I never gave it a thought that I could record them, but am happy that you did.
As for your "swords" reference, I can identify with the 9 of swords the most although I definitely have experienced 8 & 10 as well. Great post.