Counting Down to Day 46 (out of 129) of the Middle Path Makeover – Letting Go of Anger

I’m had one of those days where I found it incredibly challenging not to react to some feelings of anger. I was quite aware of the anger; I acknowledged that. But I already knew I wasn’t going to act on the anger so there were really only two choices left:

Choice #1: Stay angry until the vein in my forehead starts to bulge, my blood pressure rises, begin to resent most of the human race and finally, implode.

OR Choice #2: Let it go.

While choice #1 seems like the more attractive of the two choices, I’m going with the healthier choice #2 instead. Seriously, look at what all this anger is doing to me?? It just ain’t good.

Part of my daily to-dos on the Middle Path Makeover Project is to acknowledge anger without reacting to it but I honestly don’t know if after all this time of practicing this particular to-do has made any progress. I’m skeptical. All my other to-dos seem to be swimming along famously or coming along swimmingly or whatever the saying is! So what is it about anger that makes it so damn (excuse me, *darn*) hard to let go of? This is a MAJOR aspect of the Zen practice and yet, I still have yet to learn this lesson.

What do you do? Seriously, let me know. Help a sister out.

Keep on keepin’ on and keep on forgiving,

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

Counting Down to Day 61 (out of 129) of The Middle Path Makeover – Grace

I will keep today’s post short and to the point:

If you can handle whatever life throws at you with grace, you will be sure to see the biggest picture of them all: unconditional love for all sentient beings (yourself and all others included, of course). This is my life’s work.

Keep it graceful,

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

Counting Down to Day 78 (Out of 129) of The Middle Path Makeover – Be Open

What do polka-dots, potholes, loud noises, mice, raging hormones, the pyramids of Mexico (I haven’t yet been to the ones in Egypt, although I hear they’re great), sulfur “scents” from natural hot springs, the bathroom scale, the center of a Tootsie roll lollipop, low credit score, after-effects of a yoga class, high credit score, a vegan burrito with real cheese in the middle, hide-and-go-seek, vampires (wait, they’re real, right??) and the next person who crosses your path all have in common? You guessed it! They all have an element of surprise. 🙂

Some surprises may be more pleasant than others. But I try to keep myself open to possibility, and people often pleasantly surprise me.

Today is a new day to be the best people we can be. Be open to that!

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

BIWEEKLY REPORT CARD:Counting Down to Day 85 (Day 45) of The Middle Path Makeover

THE GOAL OF MY 129-DAY MIDDLE PATH MAKEOVER PROJECT IS: To follow through with my “to-dos” consistently for 129 days straight in order to find myself living a more awake, peaceful and happy, balanced life (and perhaps inspire one or two others to do the same). Here are the lists followed by their corresponding updates:

Blogging – I have been successful everyday. Well there was one day when I did blog but I was so tired that I forgot to actually “publish” it. But I have blogged everyday.
Zazen sitting meditation a minimum of 10 minutes per day – I have completed 40 out of 45 days
Eating until I am full, not stuffed, and following a balanced diet program where I will track my food/activity – I have consistently stuck with this for 36 out of the 45 days
Positive self talk – I have been getting better at this (finally!!!) I am successful 32 out of the 45 days
Commit to working on a single task at a time – I have been successful 37 out of the 45 days. (This seems to go so much more smoothly when I’m mindful and “awake” in my actions!)
Do something kind for someone without expecting anything in return – I have been successful 42 out of the 45 days
Abstain from gossip – I have completed this task 32 out of 45 days
Abstain from reacting to anger I might experience – I have abstained from reacting to anger (still usually catching myself just before I react) for 29 out of the 45 days
Exercise a minimum of 20 minutes per day
I have successfully completed 35 out of the 45 days

Community service – I have completed 4 acts of community service and am behind by 2 projects at this time.m
Video Blog documenting my community service experience
I have successfully completed 1 community service video blog and still need to complete videos for projects 2, 3 and 4.

After 45 days of the Project, I have been more focused than I’ve been in a long time (maybe ever?). I’m becoming pretty good with time management which has always been a weaker spot of mine in the past. I’ve had some “freak out” moments where my heart starts racing and I worry that I’ll never get what I need done, done on time. But just as soon as I let that go, I almost always seem to let it go. As the Husband says, “What you don’t finish today will still be staring up at you tomorrow”. So true.

Last but definitely not least, I want to thank you for following along with me. I’m sort of beginning to get the hang of this whole blogging thing. Your energy supports me beyond words and I’m very grateful to have you stop by for a visit.

Keep on keepin’ on and see you next time!

-Leah Joy, the Zenful Blogger

Counting Down to Day 88 (out of 129) of the Middle Path Makeover – It is What It is

Today’s post is dedicated to the part of myself that gives others the benefit of the doubt even when I know it isn’t realistic for them to follow through and do the right thing. I know that I can’t expect anyone to be anything other than what they are. It is what it is. This lesson has been shoved in front of me time and time and time again. I (seemingly) refuse to give up hope. But in the end, it is I that am disappointed. It is I that feels like a fool for trying so very hard in hopes of a different, perhaps better result. The irony here is of course that it is I that cannot be anything other than what I am. And so we are all in this together. It is what it is. And so the lesson here (I think) is I must be at peace with this.

For peace’s sake, accept the disappointments; the exceptions. Accept your exceptions.

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger