Oh My Nerves!

Clump #116:  Clear off kitchen island and table.

This photo of a gingerbread man made me laugh.  It was part of an article in The New York Times, “20 Recipes for Cookies and Bars.” Something about the placement of eyebrows on his face makes him look like he’s saying, “Help!  I’m overwhelmed!”  Or maybe that’s just me.

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Everywhere you turn in this countdown to Christmas, there’s an article or flyer or book advertising new and better holiday recipes, meals, gifts, crafts, decorations, etc., etc.  Enough!

When I was in my twenties I worked in the Accounting Office at a University.  Right now I can hear the snickering of people reading who know my poor math skills.  Be that as it may, the chairman of our department called our office “The Nerve Center,” which seemed appropriate, since we kept the grant money flowing that funded the research.  I’ve often thought of the kitchen island as our family nerve center.  Even though it’s just the two of us now, when we get busy and a bit overwhelmed, everything gets plopped down there; and the escalating clutter further escalates the stress levels: “Where did I put the…”

Our nerve center was in overload and shutting down.  Nothing works when the nerve center is blocked.

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So thanks to a clearing session lasting the span of the soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas, the island energy is flowing freely again.  Even our rooster, Raoul, seems impressed.

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I have to add one more morose photo that would go with yesterday’s set.  My husband and I went to the grocery store early this morning.  On our way out of the parking lot we saw this line of vultures on the roof of the Old Country Buffet.  It gave new meaning to the expression “All you can eat.”

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Also, reading an email discussion thread today from the International House of Reiki gave me the image of exactly what I was striving to say in yesterday’s post.   A writer named Paul Norden joined the conversation and mentioned a few books that had inspired him.  One was Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche; Mr. Norden wrote, the experience of reading it was  “…like a sage who comes and shines a light into the basement of a poor man’s house, illuminating the riches that are there.”

Since I refuse to end with a photo of vultures, here are some poinsettias from the red, green, pink, and white floral sea in the market today.

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And, for good measure, a fittingly stress-relieving “quote of the day” from Frans Stiene of The House of Reiki, via Pema Chodron:

“The happiness we seek is our birthright. To discover it we need to be more gentle with ourselves, more compassionate toward ourselves and our universe.  …

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The happiness we seek cannot be found through grasping, trying to hold on to things.  …

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It cannot be found through getting serious and uptight about wanting things to go in the direction we think will bring happiness. We are always taking hold of the wrong end of the stick.  …

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The point is that the happiness we seek is already here and it will be found through relaxation and letting go rather than through struggle.”

–Pema Chodron

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