The Whee of 3D
This weekend, I learned to ski — as in went from "I've kinda done this once and can stand without falling down" to "SWOOSHY! I can rock a beginner-trail, and survive a not-beginner one!" — which involved two 3-hour trips and getting home at five a.m. twice. Then I took a four-hour jaunt on Sunday to catch an UWH game with some new people. And while I didn't work a lot this weekend, I did in fact get work done in-between all that (and all the frantic feeding and sleeping it entailed).
The skiing was a surprise opportunity, and made some of my weekend tasks a little more frantic to accomplish; but holy cow am I glad I took it. (YAY for having a personal rule about taking surprise opportunities whenever possible!) I love skiing now, and while I won't be a pro anytime soon, I am, thanks to this weekend, in a better position to take up other opportunities that may present themselves, too. Plus I got a ton of good exercise! (i.e. holy crap my butt is sore. ;)
Tonight I'll play another game before jumping a plane tomorrow to go visit friends for a few days and then playing in a tournament all next weekend…and lest there was any question whether I'm truly and properly addicted to underwater hockey, I timed my flight home so that I could sleep on it, catch a nap when I get home, catch up on work and still make the regular Monday-night home game.
Mind you, my whole week's travel also involves working every day, except while actually underwater at the tournament. One of my goals in transitioning from regular corporate employment to freelance was making sure that I had the flexibility to travel, and part of that is getting used to committing the time for it in spite of a crazy schedule, which if you can't tell is my task this month. I'm also getting used to traveling on a shoestring, which, being a much more infrequent traveler before, I wasn't so concerned with; this time though, I've managed a week on the other side of the country for, I estimate, about $500, including tickets, food, lodging, tournament fees and some gear I needed. And I'd saved that money up already, with some extra just in case, thanks to having started an automatically-populated "travel fund" about six months ago, so WOO. I'm also, it looks like, going to be able to pack for that week in one bag (including all my hockey gear!) and take it all carry-on, no checked bags. Sooo….let's hope the trip goes half as well as the prep has!
I spoke in a recent journaly-thing (see below) about 2D vs 3D thinking…how changing modes of consciousness is like changing from up-and-down to in-and-out; they're different axes (axises? axii? ew no). This is why whenever someone asks about Enlightenment in the context of "what's needed to get there" or "how long will it take", the answer is always "nothing" and "the only time you can do it is right now". There is no "right" place to be on the up-down scale in order to flip the axis and start moving in-out; it just has to happen.
So here's the 3-D version, and let me assure you that, in spite of how sloppily it translates into the language of 2-D (which is almost all language), this is by far the more exciting bit. My "resolution"-y thing happens all in my head, and I can't point to anything in the external world that definitely exists because of it…but there are different colors here now. Less stress. Less struggle.
Pushing my attention into the right place has stopped negative thinking in its tracks more times than I can count already. The effect of having a train of thought that would normally keep going just…peter out is small, once. Relieving, twice. After that — after a week of it, and the dawning of knowing that you have the ability to cause it to happen, is amazing.
Overcoming fear. Ending bleak moods. Calmly responding to offenses. Honestly apologizing. Fully appreciating good things even when they're wrapped in difficult things. I've pulled all of those off in just the past few days, and more easily than I would have ever dreamed possible — because I wasn't trying to do them; I was just trying to control my attention.
Instead of looking for the 2D answer — what do I say? how do I stop feeling this way? how can I safeguard what I want, or guard against what I don't? — I've been focusing on flipping the axis, from whatever point I'm at right now, and going for more depth. How can I be more in line with this moment, this reality? How can I stop resisting? What does this feel like?
Those last three questions, those 3D questions, don't have answers in words. Their answer is a shift in focus; a hum and a brightening of colors; literally a gut feeling. Sometimes no action comes from that at all — sometimes all it does is make me relax, or make me notice something, or even just make me forget about what I was thinking about previously (very handy if my brain was torturing me needlessly, as it does). But sometimes words come from it, or expressions, or hugs, or even the final push to point the skiis down that way-too-steep hill and go with it. I never know what's coming before it does, BUT I always trust that whatever it is comes purely from me, with no psychological bullshit or emotional buildup over top of it, and so I can relax that even if what comes out is wrong, it was genuine. (That may not comfort everyone enough to let go in this way, but I value genuineness above just about any other normative measure I can think of. I can regret being right or wrong in any other way I know about, but if I'm one hundred percent genuine, then no matter whether I was right OR wrong, I know I won't regret it.)
Anyway, I'll stop for now, but suffice it to say that this has been a VERY interesting few weeks so far, especially the last one. I think that's because, even knowing what shift in consciousness I'm trying to make, it takes a little getting-the-hang-of; and for the first two weeks of the year, all I was doing was trying to be able to do it. Now I know I can, and it's down to remembering to as often as possible, and trying to hold it longer than the few seconds that's my usual.
And now I'm really starting to see, I think, the beginnings of what this can do.
More coming on this — I've taken to recording video-blogs about it, for various reasons, and I'll post them soon.