Be An Observer ~

I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE. …

A bit of PTSD. 

Today I took lunch to go from a raw food store with delicious food that fits with the ‘Corona Quarantine cleanse’ I am doing ~ I am psychologically wrapping this period of dis-ease up in every way I can think of!)  

I parked in front of the scene above. What a great place to park and eat and gaze at junk.  Of course by the end there is at least one thing you consider buying…

In the store where I got lunch, I had an exchange with someone who, if looks could kill, she mutilated me. I must have inadvertently come inside eight feet of her when I peered from afar into the case of food. She asked me to get out of her space.  Disappear. Shoe fly. I didn’t realize what was going on, probably because we really were more than six feet apart, but not her six feet I guess. I apologized and backed away and hovered by the door until she was finished.

Then, when she was finished, and needed to go to the register and would need to pass within about four feet of me, she asked me to go away a bit farther so we could switch places with a wider margin.
I submissively backed off again. I had and have no judgment–she has her story, and I have mine. But, it still felt bad. Those steely eyes were enough to send me to the junkyard for a lonely girl lunch.

I have no idea what is going on in her world, nor does she in mine. Chances are though ~ something. Corona is bringing up a lot, for each of us. I believe we need to listen to that. 

A friend called today after consoling her daughter, who lost a close college friend yesterday to accidental Xanax overdose. Yet another beautiful being, a 21 year old business major, with a bright future ahead of him. This extremely dangerous frighteningly mainstream recreational drug du jour is crushing our young people, young men in particular.

Please know this- this is not your mother’s Xanax. This is a highly addictive street drug version that so many are deluded into thinking is harmless, probably because the name is familiar and the perception is it is a mild relaxant.

This  brought up alot for me.  And then I heard my friend say;

“I can’t stop thinking to myself “what is the point?” 

“What IS the point of such nonsensical sadness, devastation, depression???” Good question.

I was on a zoom board call for the Institute for Nonviolence last night where we all checked in and shared experiences. The pain and grief was palpable, so much death and destruction in the air, not just the virus, but also the fall out of fear, seen in violence and suicide rates.  It was an emotional exchange, to say the least.  

At the end we each checked in about our thoughts and hopes for the future; there was a spirit of hope and motivation. I think our board president put it best when she described that what she felt was not only an awakening, but maybe also a sort of reckoning.  

Wouldn’t that be good news? 

And wouldn’t that make some of the struggle we all endure, and are enduring right now, seem somewhat “worthwhile?”

This process starts with observation.  Recognizing the conditions of our lives is extremely difficult at first, but oddly enough, relieving after a bit. When we meditate, whatever that process looks like, we inadvertently move towards establishing an “observers’ mind.”

This begins by simply slowing down, something Corona Quarantine has forced us to do. This, I believe has been a gift, with the ability to work magic. 

Not only do we stop and see the beautiful things that are happening, and in doing so are lifted up and away from the utterly depressing statistics and news around us, but we also go a little deeper into “what the point is?” How do I want to be, or the ol’ “what do I want my obituary to say about the way I lived? Is it to bark up the tree of material accumulation or information? I don’t think many of us would say yes to that, but so many of our actions and energies pre-Covid were all about that, leaving little room for feeding our spirit. 

If you look at all the faith traditions, every last one, the core tenants are all the same. Be quiet. Invite the spirit of creation into your world and celebrate that spirit by observing the beauty of this earth together, and by loving and giving and communing with one another. 

By observing, we mean not just seeing, but also honoring.  It’s hard to notice things when we are running around like a bunch of chickens with our heads cut off.  Technology and modern day demands for productivity enable us (in both the good and bad sense of the word) to be productive, but they also take us away from the things that truly feed our spirit.  

Wouldn’t it be amazing, even worth our while,  if we all made it possible to hold this same space for observation and reflection we’ve had in quarantine, and observe it going forward?

I am reckoning so…

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead
observed this today…

Final Meditations~ the Lenten extension of “Clarity in 2020”:

  1. Let go, cleanse–our thoughts, our homes, our bodies. (5-19)
  2. Keep faith, and be true to our nature (5-20)
  3. Create- creative expression is the ultimate antidote to the slow death of stagnation (5-21)
  4. Observe-the dynamics at play in our lives and our selves~clearly, kindly, and consciously (5-22)
  5. Be thankful- we chose the lens we see life through. An attitude of gratitude contributes to how we experience life (5-23)
  6. Service- and the reminder in giving we receive (5-24)
  7. Remembering ; the lessons and silver linings of this time, and to stay present. And peace out~ (5-25)

***

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Rob Tesar

    Author Michael Lewis on the stories we tell ourselves:

    “As I’ve gotten older—I would say starting in my mid-to-late 20s—I could not help but notice the effect on people of the stories they told about themselves. If you listen to people, if you just sit and listen, you’ll find that there are patterns in the way they talk about themselves.

    There’s the kind of person who is always the victim in any story that they tell. Always on the receiving end of some injustice. There’s the person who’s always kind of the hero of every story they tell. There’s the smart person; they delivered the clever put down there.

    There are lots of versions of this, and you’ve got to be very careful about how you tell these stories because it starts to become you. You are—in the way you craft your narrative—kind of crafting your character. And so I did at some point decide, “I am going to adopt self-consciously as my narrative, that I’m the happiest person anybody knows.” And it is amazing how happy-inducing it is.”

    Source: The Tim Ferriss Show #427: Michael Lewis on the Crafts of Writing, Friendship, Coaching, Happiness, and More

  2. Jenn

    Elinor – thank you! In many ways you have saved me during this time. Please don’t stop!
    I also wish you would write a book! xo

  3. Jen Pen

    ❤️
    I love that those who used to be disregarded – grocery store employees, delivery folk, and our sanitation workers have now been placed in the position of respect – where they always belonged.

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