“I saw the window, so I took it,” was what he said. This was in response to the question of how did you quit large doses of prescribed pain medication and copious amount of pot smoking? He started out with neck pain and back pain. The pain medication and pot smoking rained down to cover the pain. There was also mention of PTSD lurking in the background. It needed something too. So he used substances, lots.
Then he quit.
How does it feel? “Good. now it’s just me,” he said.
I’m not sure why but he looked around, saw a window for change, and he took it. He didn’t deliberate. He didn’t wonder if he could do it. He figured it would be hard. He did it anyway.
Maybe he got lucky. He didn’t notice a painful withdrawal. He said it was neither painful or dramatic. A little while after he stopped the pain medication, his pain got better, decreased noticeably. After he stopped smoking pot, he felt more engaged/available in his relationships.
Now he actively meditates, gets acupuncture, and looks for holistic ways to nurture a healthy body/mind/spirit path. He wants to be active in his life, engaged, and, as he said, “become better.”
I see a lot of people who want to make positive changes happen. They are very sincere. But they struggle with obstacles. Real or imagined, the obstacles get in the way. Real or imagined, excuses clog the path, the stream, the field, and ultimately, the window. They can’t get to the window, much less open it.
I am curious, how we get there ourselves? How do we help each other? How do I help clients? I had a teacher once tell me that what I do (acupuncture/Chinese medicine) is like a housekeeper and gardener. The practitioner must help to trim the brush, sweep the walkway, wash the windows, clean the pond, hang up laundry in the sun to dry…. you get the idea. This maintenance and attention to the inner and outer landscape may lead to a sharper focus. It cleans up the noise and distraction and leads to an easier path to a row of open windows with bird songs floating in.
How people get there is diverse. The man I talked to seemed to just bob to the surface one day and it happened. I think a lot people can be motivated by witnessing others, being inspired. Though many appear to have inspiration like a new baby, a dream job, a great love, a new house- all the stuff we can see- none of this is enough to actually make change. From what I have seen, change comes from a deep inner place that has its own reasons and they can’t be seen or analyzed. They just are there and they have a louder voice than all of the reasons to not change.
Where do you find inspiration that lifts you and lasts?
Water is a great mood stabilizer. Even a bath or shower improves the attitude. I like to hop on my stand-up paddle board (SUP) and glide just on top of it.
I drove to Dorena reservoir, Harm’s park, and unloaded easily. There were only three people there, swimming at the boat ramp, ignoring the no swimming sign. This park is no frills compared to Baker Bay across the lake, which has an entry fee. It also has a swimmers’ area, campground, and more picnic areas. It was a very warm evening, 84, so it made sense to go paddling. I made a quick picnic dinner and strapped it on the front of the board. I wanted to eat off-shore. I slipped on my water shoes to protect against the rocks and potential broken glass. I love to push off silently and get that instant water connection, completely shedding the land underneath me.
The wind was calm, only some movement brushed the water. This was about 5:00 p.m. The air smells good coming off the water. It’s quiet. You can hear bird sounds. Some traffic, but not that much around the lake. There was one other boat and they were fishing so not making noise or a wake. I stopped for dinner in a slightly protected no wind area.
This semi-protected little cove was the perfect place to munch on a casual meal of lentils, raw yellow pepper, mozzarella, and a splash of olive oil. Everything fits easily in my trusty dry bag that snaps onto the bungee cords that are attached to the front of my SUP.
I wonder why I seek water. Why does it feel both soothing and invigorating to me? It must be the exchange of ions. This theory popped into my head. It sounded so true! But was it? I don’t know. I looked up ions on wikipedia. Yes, water did seem an important part of the transfer of chemical compounds and sea water is mentioned a lot because of the salt. But then it became too much to digest and interpret for this blog. This blog is more about spirit rather than scientific explanations.
Speaking for myself, I feel an exchange of molecules in and around the water and the air and the surrounding trees. Even the rocks and sticks, of which there are many, play along. I absorb and breath it into my pores.
It is incredible to be alone on the water, paddling along, choosing my path, noticing the light, sky, water, wind and surrounding hills that look very old. Yet, they are not ancient really, they are totally current, responding to each other every minute.
While among this, as a guest in the midst of it, I feel within and among the source. After our visit, I go back to life refreshed. I have exchanged energy with what feels like the vibrant base of life.
What’s your element? Visit it often. Make time for what feeds your source.