Liminal Luminous

The shining threshold
creativity Disability/Chronic Illness Living well Mental health

What we do every day

I took a month off of work over December, which was lovely, although as I write this it is my last day of holiday and I don’t want to look in the inbox of my client email and my business email of a month’s worth of emails. Luckily my voicemail has the option to turn off the ability to leave messages.

I was pleased that I managed to keep into my normal routines, apart from I picked up two different lurgys, mainly cold and cough – the cough is still hanging around. This cough, especially meant that I couldn’t swim, do yoga or play my flute for about ten days.

Because of my wonderful dog I had to keep walking, although I only went to places which didn’t involve hills and I was careful to use my Buff over my mouth to prevent asthma attacks due to a combination of cough, breathing deeply and cold air.

I used to suffer a lot with back troubles, but it has largely gone away over the past year or so. I noticed that while I was cooking it was really beginning to play up and hurt. When I found myself squatting on the floor while hanging onto the kitchen worktop, trying to stretch it out, I suddenly realised that this is how it used to feel all the time and it must be the yoga which was preventing it.

Just ten days of not doing yoga had caused the back problems to return. If I had been honest with myself I could have kept doing a very gentle yoga practice during this time, but I took that cough as an excuse and as a direct result the pain returned. And of course one day of practice didn’t restore it, it has taken five days of practice for it to ease.

And as for my flute! In ten days I completely lost my embouchure – which is the mouth shape you make to play. The higher notes, which were coming with ease, were a squeaky raspberry farty noise. Which is always pleasant! Again, this took quite a few sessions of some dreadful playing before it came back again.

One of my favourite quotes is from Annie Dillon,

how we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives.

It is such a little thing, but so easy to forget. The tiny actions we take each day actually shape our lives.

There is a similar, but rather grander quote from Gandhi

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

That’s quite intense and scary when you think about it like that, that’s a huge amount of pressure to put on our little thoughts.

Just ten days of no practice meant I lost my lip and my back started to hurt again. Can I extrapolate that out into wider thoughts? That losing my focus for a short amount of time causes me to drift away from how I want to live my life. Every day I need to stay targeted on how I want to live my life, from my thoughts through to my habits, which will inform my values and maybe even my destiny. Or at the very least how my days, and thus my life looks.

What about you?

4 Comment

  1. I love that Annie Dillon quote. but I also find some of your conclusions depressing, like you said: “That’s quite intense and scary when you think about it like that, that’s a huge amount of pressure to put on our little thoughts.”
    I can’t put that much pressure on myself, I’ll crumble.
    I think for me it’s most helpful to frame these ideas in the positive, not negative, so I don’t beat myself when I lose focus, lose habits, etc. But just turn my intention back to the action again. It’s actually ok to “fall of the wagon” in many things and it’s very human. Falling off reminds us why we make the effort to stay on the wagon!

    (just some random thoughts before I start my work day)
    PS. Do you know your enneagram type? have you written about that here?

    1. Yes! That’s my point really – I can’t think about the end result, I have to focus on the tiny daily steps that I can do. I’m sorry I came across as depressing – I do think my general state of happiness starts off several levels below everyone else’s level of happy.

      Like in my sermon (I shared it yesterday – did you see?) if I think about how I want to be an awesome piano player that is far too much pressure to put on myself and I just cannot do it. But actually spending 30 mins everyday playing the piano – yes! That I can do.

      I’ve not looked at enneagram type. I know I”m a INFJ and it really does shape my world.

      1. Oh no, don’t apologize. I was hesitant to use the word depressing. But I didn’t want to over analyze my comment (Cause I do that and then never hit publish). I was saying the first thing that came to mind, don’t take any offence.

        I think it’s cool that we are almost opposites (ESTJ) and still relate a lot.

        Re: enneagram. finding out my enneagram number has been one of the most useful tools for me for spiritual growth and self-awareness. And given me incredible insight into my subconscious (how I define and seek wellbeing and happiness, for one). I think you’d like it 🙂

        1. I’m not offended!

          I hadn’t realised you were so opposite to me, I would have said we were quite similar…..but yes, there are a lot of relating points. I will get an enneagram book, I’ve only really heard you and Richard Rohr talking about it. I think you recommended some books, so I will look through your posts.

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