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Thursday, June 5, 2014

** seeds: softness, care, compassion and mercy *

This month, the only seeds I'll be planting are the seeds of compassion, softness, understanding, kindness and mercy.

karuna -- compassion
 Why no new projects? I'll be visiting my family back in Oregon for two weeks in the middle of June. Especially after such a long flare period, with only a small break between flare and travel, it seems prudent to not do much of anything.
redwood seeds (!)

Trouble is, I'm a do-er. I relish in the simple doing-ness of Doing. Choosing to "not do much of anything" is not a simple task for me. I was looking for a sock pattern, when the internet decided, instead, to show me a bit of Buddhist wisdom (perhaps I read too much cyberpunk and sci fi, but it sort of felt like the internet was responding to my thoughts, not my search inquiries. freaky, and totally beside the point). I found this little mantra gem that touches on so much of a chronically ill life -- the subject of compassion for the self, and the handling of pain :


May I be eased in my pain and suffering,
May I hold my suffering with softness and care,
May I respond to my suffering - and the suffering of others with compassion and mercy"**

Reading this gives me a little ease in my not-Doing. It's not that I am not Doing, but rather, what I am Doing is holding myself with care and kindness.

In order to 'ease the pain and suffering' I'm trying to be super, super careful with my energy levels. If I even think it might wear me out, I've given myself full permission to skip it. This includes cooking, daily walks, dressing myself, whatever might possibly get me feeling notsogood.

With simplicity (and airplanes) in mind, I've chosen a simple knit for this month. I'm sticking with a plain pattern, in a lovely Knitpicks tonal yarn called "Pacifica" -- chosen because I'm heading back to my Pacific homeland!

To 'hold my suffering with softness and care' I'd like to pamper myself a little, indulge in things that make me feel good, rested, relaxed, etc... but I've been drawing a blank. When I'm in my hometown, I'll be pampering the soul a bit by spending time with my family, but I know it'll take a toll on the body. I found a few recipes for face masks, foot soaks, little things that I can squeeze in here and there, but any outside-the-box pampering ideas would be greatly appreciated. I'm not too good at "girly" things (even though I adore them) like spa treatments, so trying to do them on my own can be stressful...which is, of course, entirely not the point!

And, finally, to 'respond to suffering with compassion and mercy' -- well, I'm just going to try to keep breathing, and stay calm. I've found some "yoga breaks" from the Kripalu website, that are 5-minute podcasts I can keep on my phone and listen to. Some are meditations, some are breathing exercises, and some even incorporate a few stretches. It'll be good to have around for travel, and keeping myself grounded and aware is the best way to keep myself from responding to my pain (or the pain of others!) with anger, frustration or stress.

I know that I'm a little terrified to fly -- I haven't traveled much since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and the times I have, have not gone particularly well. Two seven-hour flights sound unbelievably exhausting, not to mention the three-hour time difference. Any tips or advice for flying comfortably is always greatly appreciated (although, if you could save the horror stories until after I'm safely home, that'd be swell :) )!

Do you hold your pain with softness, or do you grip it in your fists?

**(I changed this slightly from the version found here)

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