Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

I just started reading this book (because of the recommendation of an High School acquaintance that I reconnected with through facebook) and the book speaks to me in a way that makes everything clear and possible. I can feel a huge shift inside myself. I can feel a change for the better happening right now.

In the introduction Tolle describes how he came to be the spiritual teacher that he is today and then he proceeds to write the book in a question and answer format.

I will quote the most profound thing I read today,

"You have probably come across 'mad' people in the street incessantly talking or muttering to themselves. Well, that's not much different from what you and all other 'normal' people do, except that you don't do it out loud. The voice [or your mind] comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on. The voice isn't necessarily relevant to the situation you find yourself in at the time; it may be reviving the recent or distant past or rehearsing or imaging possible future situations. Here it often imagines things going wrong and negative outcomes; this is called worry. Sometimes this soundtrack is accompanied by visual images or 'mental movies'.... It is not uncommon for the voice to be a person's own worst enemy. Many people live with the tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy....

The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind....

When you listen to that voice, listen to it impartially. That is to say, do not judge. Do not judge or condemn what you hear, for doing so would mean that the same voice has come in again through the back door. You'll soon realize:
there is a voice, and here I am listening to it, watching it. This I am realization, this sense of your own presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond the mind."

I connected so much with this portion of the text because I have always felt as if I have had two warring sides inside my brain -- not necessarily voices telling me to do things -- but two voices arguing with each other, constantly arguing with each other. I suddenly felt as if I understood what has been going on all this time. My self was arguing with my mind -- that old devil and angel on your shoulder thing.

But more importantly is that I realized that Tolle is right -- allowing our minds to go on and on unchecked like we do -- that is a form of insanity. The ego, he says later in the book, is when you believe that you are the thoughts in your mind. For example, you have evil thoughts, so you are an evil person or you have brilliant thoughts so you are a brilliant person. This is what keeps us from being enlightened and finding our true selves.

Suddenly, after years of reading about meditation, studying buddhism and hinduism, and searching for peace, I found in this book very simple instructions that not only made sense to both my mind and my self, but also seem very doable.

He also says the description of an addiciton is that you cannot stop yourself from going back for more, and so we are addictted to thinking. In this way we have become slaves to our minds. When a memory comes to mind and we begin feeling anxious or nervous or any other kind of emotion, the mind has taken control of our bodies and is using it like a puppet. He continues to explain that the mind is a tool to be used when necessary and then put down when we are finished with a task.

It will no doubt be extremely difficult at times, but I can do this. I can practice monitoring my thoughts without judging them. I can learn to use my mind when necassary and then put it down. I can become enlightened.

Monday, February 9, 2009


So, I've been reading my Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism (which is amazing, btw) and it is helping me to remember everything I learned in India. Which is extremely important for me right now, with all I'm going through.

So this is what I've been thinking:

EVERYONE it seems is living my dream. Almost every new friend I reconnect with from High School is a stay at home mom with beautiful homes, husbands, and children. Not to mention all of my married family with young kids are also living my dream (same as above).

It's hard enough to deal with my infertility and knowing that even if I do get pregnant I can't afford to stay home with them, but then to see everyone living my dream, it is too much sometimes.

So this is what I know I need to be thinking because it is healthier:

God has a plan for me, whether I understand it or not. He knows what is best.

Also the grass is always greener on the other side.

My husband is perfect for me -- I want a husband that is NOT tied to his job, that is NOT more concerned with a big paycheck than being home with his family. If I had a husband who made more money (with a more demanding job -- because those two go hand in hand) so that I could afford to stay home, then I would be extremely unhappy. I told him once, I'd rather live a life of unrealized dreams with him, than to live a life of realized dreams with someone else. That's how much I love him.

I have so much to be happy for. I have a comfortable home, a wonderful husband, an amazing, caring, loving, family, great friends, a very stable job in this wavering economy which allows me to afford infertility treatments and provides great healthcare, overall good health, awesome dogs who make me laugh all the time, and a big screen tv to veg out in front of. :-)

Isn't kind of unappreciative of me to feel dissatisfied because I don't have more? I have more than most people in this world.

I am blessed. Thank you God.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I want to cry! :'-(

I'm so depressed right now, I really feel like crying.

First, and worst of all, I haven't ovulated yet (I was supposed to ovulate on Mon.) and so I can't have Artificial Insemination done until that happens. I feel like I'm so close to getting pregnant, but my damn body won't cooperate.

Why haven't I ovulated? Hmmmmmm, I don't know. Maybe all the damn stress at work! I left second grade to get away from ISTEP pressures and now they've followed me to third grade. Since testing is now going to be done in the Spring instead of the Fall, I get all the pressure and responsibility for making sure my students pass the ISTEP.

My biggest peeve is that all research points toward Test Prep NOT being effective, but every year as we approach testing they require us to stop our regular instruction and do nothing but test prep! I HATE it more than anything else I can think of right now.

Oh -- and I'm cutting WAAAAY back on my sugar intake because I think that may be effecting why we're not getting pregnant too. So I'm suffering withdrawals. Anyone who's ever tried to quit any kind of addiction knows how I'm feeling right now.

So I have all this on my shoulders -- plus I had a long day today, straight from work I had a meeting, and immediately following that I had class at IUSB.

So I'm home, hungry (no dinner ready and waiting for me either -- I have to fend for myself), I'm tired, stressed, and very upset that I'm not ovulating. I try telling this all to my husband and after trying to listen and solve my problems he tells me that I fucked up the checkbook again and so we overdrew our account!!

Right now I feel like I just need to crawl under a rock and die. Seriously!

Monday, January 5, 2009


As a child, we get sick of everyone telling us what to do. We want to be able to decide for ourselves.

Then, when we become adults, and all the consequences of those decisions rest on our shoulders, it is no longer attractive.

Can't someone make the decision for me?!?!?!?

Where should we move to?

I want to move because I'm not really happy here in South Bend. Everything is so limited. For example, when I looked into boxing there was little to nothing available in this area; so then I started looking into becoming a yoga instructor and again very little if anything. Also it seems the cost is always higher because of the lack of supply.

And don't get me started on the lack of sunshine around this place. Today was a sunny one -- thank God! But normally we can go weeks at a time and never see it. I can't handle that.

So places we'd really consider moving to--

Colorado Springs, CO = We have a friend there (who used to live here) and he says if we visit we'll never leave. He loves it. It offers the 4 season (that Jesus loves) and 300 days of sunshine a year (which I love). Also the school systems have taken on a new way of paying teachers -- less seniority based, more merit based -- which I like.

Austin, TX = It's TEXAS (my home state), it's the music capital of the world (Jesus LOVES good live music), they have real Mexican food, it's a liberal minded city (like us), it's closer to my family. It's warm and sunshiny. I have a friend living there.

San Antonio, TX = It's TEXAS, they have real Mexican food, some of my family lives there, and it is closer to the rest of my family, it's warm and sunshiny.

Even though San Antonio has less of the things we want, it has family, and that is important to Jesus and I as we get closer to actually starting a family.

Any comments?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Random Thoughts


This Christmas Jesus and I didn't buy gifts for each other and we asked our families not to buy gifts for us either. Believe it or not, everyone granted our wish. It was a great Christmas. We were able to focus on the joy of giving as opposed to receiving. I had more fun watching my nieces and nephews open their gifts than anything else.

My Parents

I love them so much. They put us up in Texas for about 2 weeks and were the PERFECT hosts. They waited on us hand and foot. We didn't have one hunger pang the entire vacation because they always had hot, delicious food ready and waiting for us. My parents give and give and give and never ask for anything in return (except a little appreciation). The older I get, the more I can appreciate all the have done and all they do for their children.

Becoming Parents

No parent is perfect (not even mine) and I understand this. Every parent will screw their kid up in some form or fashion. Still, I worry that I will not be a good enough parent, that I will fail somehow. With pregnancy becoming more and more of a reality, my insecurities are popping up more and more. All I've ever really wanted was to have children of my own and raise them well. What if I get the children, but can't raise them well?


I think I want to look into some form of boxing for exercise. I have always had a lot of pent up anger (verging on rage). I don't know where it comes from, but it is there. Jesus has been my punching bag for the last 10 years and he suggested I take up boxing instead. I told him I didn't want to go to work with a busted up lip, but he's pretty sure that there is protection I can wear and that it wouldn't get that serious anyway. I don't know about that -- I've seen women fight and they an get nasty. Still, I think I'm going to look into it. I'd love to punch something really hard!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

31 years old

Yesterday was my 31st birthday! Something about replacing that 0 with a 1 makes being in my 30's more real.

Suddenly my biological clock started ticking louder than a drum. So needless to say, we will begin Artifical Insemination in January.

Wish us luck or pray -- whatever your preference.


Last weekend I took my mother-in-law (a saint herself) to see Amma, the hugging saint. We drove through snow, sleet, and rain to get to Dearborn, MI. A trip that was supposed to take about 3 1/2 hours ended up taking 5. Although we saw many slide-offs along the way, we arrived safely.

Amma gives darshan -- a blessing -- in the form of a hug. She will sit for 12 to 24 hours at a time to give hugs to everyone who comes to see her. Luckily for us, she will allow first timers and older or sickly visitors to go ahead of others. Since my mother-in-law had never seen Amma before and has back and knee problems, they didn't make us wait our turn. We waited less than an hour before we received Darshan.

I was brave enough to ask for a "Baby Blessing" (as I call it). She simply touched my belly and gave me Prasad -- food blessed by the Guru. I use the word "brave" because #1 -- by asking for the blessing, I am revealing my faith and #2 -- I'm also putting my faith to the test.

Faith is something I have always struggled with -- to believe in something that can't be proven, well, I just never thought I'd be able to do that. To be honest, I'm even a little embarrased by it -- like people will think I'm simple-minded. Also what little faith I have is so weak and vulnerable, the slightest inconsistency could obliterate it.

I guess I figured it was worth the risk.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Childhood Friend

Growing up I had a best friend who lived just two streets down from me. In the excitement and impatience that only children possess, we discovered a shortcut that saved us a few extra steps to each others' houses.

I broke my leg at her house when I was five. Her mom curled my hair for picture day once. Our older sisters AND younger brothers were friends.

But then, she moved away. We wrote once or twice to each other but somehow, we lost touch. I've thought about her often. When modeling for my students the idea of writing about something that is special or important to you, I used her as an example.

Who would have guessed though, that our paths would ever cross again?

Through the wonder of technology, our younger brothers' paths crossed. Now I have her e-mail address and am looking forward to her reply.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Snow Drops Keep Falling On My Head

This is the first year I wasn't looking forward to the snow... until it starting falling in those beautiful lake effect flakes.

The dusting started last night and I felt the childlike excitement building. I wasn't even upset at having to scrape off the windshield this morning.

But when I saw the fat, wet clumps of snow falling as I drove into work today, I knew that deep down I will always look forward to the snow.

Monday, November 3, 2008