I was watering my houseplants just now, and I started thinking about how much better the world would be if we all took care of ourselves just as regularly. Sometimes when we get busy and neglect ourselves, we don’t have enough awareness and concern regarding our own needs to know that we need more self-nurturing. Maybe we have some idea of how our friends feel, and how our plants look, but we lose track of ourselves. If we put a little more effort into making friends with ourselves, then we wouldn’t end up feeling “wilted” and wondering why we have so little energy left for others.

Word-art that says "It is lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others. If we make friends with ourselves, then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others." -Dalai Lama

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

This time of year, it often feels as if the pace of life has speeded up and, sometimes, that there is just too much going on. In the modern world, we do indeed have a lot of assorted obligations and distractions, which can make it hard to keep track of all the details.

What’s good about it, though, is that we also have a lot of choices. We don’t have to stay in one place doing the same things forever. Instead, we can pick and choose among the many possibilities that are open to us, keeping the ones we most enjoy and letting the others go.

Word-art with many inspirational messages, beginning with "This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

October 8, 2019 · Write a comment · Categories: Musings · Tags:

I woke up in the middle of the night after dreaming about zombies. I was walking along a street when it suddenly seemed to tilt upward into a steep hill. All at once, the sunlight looked much brighter, and I got dizzy and began to feel very strange.

Street going up a steep hill.

(Creative Commons image via flickr)

I knew that meant I had caught the zombie virus, and I was trying to convince my husband not to give up hope. After all, I told him, we didn’t know for sure that everyone who caught the virus always became a zombie, so we shouldn’t assume it. Maybe some people were able to recover; or even if not, it was possible that a cure might be found soon.

Then I started to wake up. Unlike other dreams I’ve written about on this blog, I didn’t have to guess at the meaning of this one because it helpfully told me, just before I was fully awake. “The meaning of this dream,” a voice murmured in the back of my mind, “is to avoid assumptions and leave space for improvement.”

After a while I fell back to sleep and had more dreams, which I can’t remember. As each dream faded, I heard the same voice saying, “Don’t forget—avoid assumptions, leave space for improvement.”

That seemed strange enough in itself, but it got even weirder after I woke up. While I was getting a cup of coffee, the nagging voice in my head made an appearance once more. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before, and I couldn’t guess what was so urgent about the dream’s message.

When it showed up again mid-morning while I was sitting at my desk doing my usual work, I decided that I’d better do something about it. I wrote myself a note in all caps: AVOID ASSUMPTIONS, LEAVE SPACE FOR IMPROVEMENT. Then I put it prominently in the middle of my desk.

“There, subconscious mind, I won’t forget,” I said. “Are you happy now?”

Apparently it was, because I didn’t hear anything more from it after that. I was still left wondering, though, what exactly my nagging subconscious wanted me to do about the mysterious message. It seemed like reasonable advice, but what was so important about keeping it in my thoughts right now?

As far as I knew, there wasn’t anything going on in my life that put me at risk of turning into a zombie in some figurative sense of the word. Sometimes traveling to rowing races on the weekends with my husband left me feeling tired on Mondays, but not to the extent of being zombified, and I didn’t feel that I was making negative assumptions—or at least, none of which I was aware.

But of course, if people knew they were making assumptions, they wouldn’t be doing it. So I concluded that the nagging voice wanted me to watch out for harmful assumptions that might be holding me back from some kind of improvement. While it would have been much easier if my subconscious mind had given me any clues as to what those assumptions were, I suspected it probably thought I’d benefit from reflecting on the question for a while.

Now that the fall season has started for rowing races, my husband and I have been going to regattas on the weekends. On Saturday we rowed in Toledo’s regatta on the Maumee River. It was a lovely day with calm water and excellent weather.

We’ve been there several times, and by now that river is starting to feel comfortable and familiar. It’s very different from just a few years ago, when the race course seemed like a big, scary, dangerous place. When we made the decision to start traveling to regattas as novice rowers, sometimes it felt overwhelming. But as time went by, it naturally got easier.

Word-art that says "The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity." -Amelia Earhart

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.