Hello again. Thanks for sticking with me. As you may have noticed, I’ve been distant lately. It’s not you, it’s me. Really. Let’s see what’s happened in the past month…
1. Found out the house we were renting was being sold and had we had to move.
2. Went on a huge vacation to the Caribbean and had a wonderful, relaxing time.
3. Got back and immediately had to find a new place to live.
4. Found a new place.
5. Schedule a moving date.
6. Pack, pack, pack
7. Moving day! Guess what? The movers aren’t showing up due to a scheduling problem.
8. Find new movers who happen to be available in a few hours and who won’t charge a small fortune.
9. Find an amazing company who does a wonderful job getting us moved to our new home just 1.5 miles from the old home.
10. Unpack, unpack, unpack.
11. It’s May. That means its the big final push on the major project at work. It goes live on June 14th and needs to be done. Lots of hours spent working.
12. Get new dog to go with new house. Why not, things aren’t crazy enough right?
13. Finish up with Cub Scout leader obligations.
14. Start Little League with my son. Games are three times a week. Better clear the calendar.
15. Juggle the normal day to day stresses of life.
That’s not an exhaustive list but it’s been an exhausting month! I literally haven’t had much time to think, let alone write anything. Unfortunately, when you’re trying to keep a crazy schedule and you’re dealing with massive loads of stress and things really seem out of control, old habits have a tendency to rear their ugly heads and you don’t have the energy to fight them off. That has happened to me. Since I have been eating on the go for most of the past month and it’s almost impossible to eat healthy when you’re always moving, I have put some weight back on. As of now, I am still down 36 pounds from when I started so I’m choosing to focus on that. I’m also choosing to focus on what I’m putting into my body and making sure I keep that body exercising. I had actually gotten back up (almost) to 300 pounds but I’m moving in the right direction again. I think that I have rediscovered my focus on my weight and am re-committing myself to live the way I need to.
Through all of this, I have somehow managed to maintain my practice in a very satisfying and beneficial way. I have been practicing Buddhism for almost a year now and have not been more grateful for it than I have been in the past six weeks. I honestly do not think I would have handled everything I have been going through as easily as I have without my practice. The clarity of mind that comes with a committed schedule of meditation and practice has been essential for me in gaining the insight I need to navigate through these rather rough waters. Impermanence, unattachment, emptiness and a committment to alleviate suffering of all sentient beings has been a major factor in my peace of mind. There have been a lot of ups and downs in the past month and I’ve gotten through them. I’m not sure the stress is going to go away any time soon but I also know that I have a set of tools that have prepared me to face them. Right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, meditation and a desire to end suffering are a pretty solid foundation to build on. Sure, I struggle with my weight and I’d love to be much further to my goal of losing 80 pounds but the way I’m viewing it now is that my weight is a wonderful barometer that points to my own wellness. The better I’m doing, the lower my weight goes. I think that’s a blessing. How many other people have such a clear and easy to understand indicator that tells them how they’re really doing? So today, I am thankful for each one of my 294 pounds. They are 294 teachers all pointing me in the right direction.