it is interesting... to look at how excess brought me... to a place of indulgence... that lead to a gluttonous downward spiral. if you've read any of my posts, you're well aware of some of my darkness.
so... over the past few years, I chipped away at the indulgence, which was really a barrier between me and my truth. I stopped getting high. I stopped drinking. I stopped intentionally self-destructing. I stopped dating. I quelled my craving. I practiced letting go. I practiced cutting the cord between me and my cravings and wanting. clearing the decks of the things that seemed toxic, I made way to have a really intimate relationship.
that person I got close to, is myself. I found a raw child, with her development frozen in time by self-numbing and hiding from her own reality.
in this process ... delusion dissolved, not all of it, but a fair amount. under the layers of silt, I found myself. removing these things felt like deprivation, but once I let go of wanting... freedom emerged.
I suppose, I've done what monks do. as a laywoman practitioner, I'll never really be able to experience extended retreats, or take residence in a monastery. instead, I found a little place far away, cleared out the toxins and people and removed myself as much as I could from society as I know it, so that I could mend what was left of me.
I'm grateful for the years in the lil cabin. the practice I've taken on thus far. despite the fact that I have fallen off my self-care track, I know that I'm still caring for myself in ways I never did just a few years ago.
tomorrow, I embark on a 28 day commitment to sit, practice and discover Real Happiness with an electronic sangha. I've cleared the way, prepared my room, washed the dishes, straightened up. tomorrow, I have the opportunity to start the day any way I want. tomorrow, I will wake up and choose joy. the best part is, my four years of dharma study and practice have taught me that I know how. it is something I can do. I will do. I'm doing it.
not sure what the next 28 days will bring, but I know that I am ready to end my deprivation practice. not that I need to be gluttonous, but I'm enjoying my dance back to a more normal way of life. if I'm being cryptic, I guess here's the part where I confess, I broke my sobriety. I've been very quiet about it, mainly because I don't want to draw attention to it. it's not a big deal. well, I suppose it is, but it's really not. nothing changed when I drank that first sip of sake at the noodle bar. no one died. nothing tragic happened. no fireworks went off, or alarms. it was a lovely moment between two friends, sharing dinner. it was... well.. um, normal.
all this deprivation, has separated me from 'life' in a different way. I swung from one end of the spectrum to the other. deprivation was not the middle way, well, at least, it doesn't feel like it for me.
I don't know what is next... but I am ready to break the seals of things I've held myself back from. I'm done separating myself from society. of course, I know that I love myself enough to not want to injure myself, or do anything that could jeopardize how far I've come. but if Real Happiness is the quest, the end goal, then my next chapter is to step back into LIFE, busy active real life filled with all kinds of fulfilling experiences.
I'll document my 28 day journey..... stay tuned.