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Friday, October 30, 2009

Not Finding Calm

SERENITY - the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; composure, peacefulness, peace. [Serenity week begins here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

Having another failing grade week, after my 8 for whimsy week, when I really thought I was on a roll. More likely it has something to do with my personality. Whimsical is state I am comfortable in, calm not so much. (Laughing here... I can barely type the word! I just typed clam instead. Nice dinner option, had them last night, but not the topic at hand!) I've been mulling over my field work from my initial serenity post earlier in the week. (For your reference I re-post that section here.)

Field Work - There will be two aspects to my field work this week. First I will be creating and practicing a morning ritual of solitude and reflection. I mentioned this during my creativity week but haven't yet formed any habit. My second piece of field work is to go to my local Japanese Garden at least twice this week and otherwise expose myself to soothing landscapes. My new home is fabulous but it is time to look outside the walls! If you don't have a friendship garden near your home pick another park or beautiful vista you can access. You know, that pull off on the highway that you drive by everyday but haven't ever taken the time to look or that park just minutes away that you have never visited... there is beautiful scenery all around us, this week it is our job to notice!

I've accomplished none of it!  Rob and I are sharing a car at the moment so I have had too many errandy (made up word!) things to do when I've had the car so I haven't made it out to the Japanese Garden yet. The week isn't over but from where I am sitting my odds for making even one visit don't look that good! I did notice a killer sunset from my bedroom window and even shared the moment with Rob so all is not entirely lost on the noticing beauty aspect of the assignment but I haven't done what I set out to do.

Going even more dismally is the morning ritual of solitude and reflection. This is an idea I really love and still I am not able to execute it. Mornings are just too unpredictable. Sometimes Jessie wakes up early, sometimes Rob has time to talk over coffee,  and nothing ever seems to happen at the same time each morning. If I wanted to insure I had the moments I picture when thinking about this I would need to wake up before 6:00am and I am just not willing to do that, YET. It is yet because this night owl girl can see the benefit of early minutes, potentially a whole hour, alone so it is calling to me...

I've Kindled my book and haven't read a page. My non reading excuse totally out the window! My high school friend, Joanie, did come to stay with us for a few days so I could blame her except for the fact that apart from late evenings she was busy at a conference!

I was very proud of my calm approach to my regular Friday play date lunch group when I made a simple crock pot stew and for one of the first times in my history made the correct amount of food (we usually eat leftovers for a couple of days!) The calm was dashed when my friend Kristen's mom noticed we had an Oleander bush in our backyard. As part of Inquiry week (next week) I was planning to find out what all the plants in my new yard are but thankfully I didn't have to wait until then for this piece of information. Oleander is SUPER SUPER poisonous!! One leaf can kill a child. Horses that accidentally graze on it go into cardiac arrest. This is NOT the kind of stuff the mom of a practically pica afflicted (thanks to Amy for letting me in on this one!) 2.5 year old should have in her yard! Needless to say, any calm that may have been present was disolved.

As I am typing this my fabulous gardener is removing the toxic bush, so the chance for calm returns -- once I get Jessie down from balancing on the back of the couch...

Next Post: Looking for composure if not calm

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise
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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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