Baby steps are getting bigger…

Funny how things work out in our best interest, even when we least expect it.  I’ve been planning to tear myself away from cable television for a long time now.  First, I spend too much time unconsciously watching it or having it play in the background for no good reason.  Background noise distracts me; it doesn’t help me focus, as others claim.   And I don’t know about yours, but my combined cable-internet-phone bill is $165 per month.  That’s way too expensive when there are better things I want to spend my money on – like Reiki treatments (more on that in a bit).

Well, Comcast sucks ass and has consistently locked me out of my online account over the last few months.  I call and get things set up again and when I log on to pay the bill the following month, I can’t get in.  I do things when I have the impulse to do them – this includes paying bills.  That impulse usually hits around payday while I am sitting at my computer at work.  I have paperless billing and I pay everything online but my rent.  Everything.  Well since Comcast hasn’t been cooperating, I have apparently relegated them to the fate of the other “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” things in my life.  I haven’t paid them –probably 2 months running now.  Yesterday I came home to notice that my cable box no longer displayed the time (I can’t even get the TIME for free!!).  I quickly realized that, oops, cable bill hasn’t been paid so no cable, internet or land line for me. 

I sat in my quiet apartment and realized that I enjoy it.  I had time to read and think and journal and meditate and I wasn’t tempted to distract myself from those nobler tasks by watching my TiVo’d reality shows or Rachel Ray make yet another meal I’ll never cook.  I liked my night without TV and I knew I would, I just couldn’t bring myself to make the decision to end my cable addiction on my own.  I needed help.  Well help has come and — lest I be criticized for not paying my bills – I’ve decided to pay Comcast what I owe them and have them come pick up my cable boxes and modem.    That’s right!  No more TV or internet at home for Lex.  This is a good time for it too.  My lease is up in August.  I hope to be moving by then and I’ll reconsider introducing them back into my home when I’m settled in a new one.

I still have my Crackberry, so I won’t be completely isolated from the rest of civilization and there are more than enough places near my house with free WiFi for me to go somewhere deliberately for a set amount of time to do whatever  I need to do online. 

I feel so light today.

P.S. – Has anyone had a Reiki treatment?  I’m scheduling one soon to see what it’s like but I want to hear stories first.

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Getting in My Own Way

Sometimes I have plans to sit quietly at home in the evening and enjoy a meal without television, internet or a book.  I usually am completely unsuccessful in these attempts.  At one point I thought I was avoiding the loneliness of eating alone again, and maybe that was a small part of it, but there’s more to it.  I have a hard time sitting still.

As I begin to study more about spirituality (in tremendous contrast to religion) I find that I avoid, run from, am maybe even a little afraid of that which I seek after the most.  I want to connect to that which is bigger than I.  I want to know my own soul and hear its truth and its direction.  I want answers I know I already possess, but I’m afraid to sit and listen.  I am afraid to be still and know that I am God.  (Typing that last sentence freaked me out because, as a partial quote from the Bible, my use of it will surely be interpreted as blasphemous by many. )  But it’s true– the thought of sitting and contemplating my power and my connection to everything, the thought of quieting my thoughts to find what exists beyond them entices and scares me at the same time.

I don’t feel trepidation or anything.  I’m not shaking in my boots when I think about meditating or praying or just being still and quiet – but I avoid it.  Even this weekend, as quiet and peaceful as it was, I had my books.  My mind had to remain constantly engaged.  You may have read the list in the previous post.  I am addicted.  I thirst for knowledge and am addicted to ideas.  I am beginning to realize that my addiction to ideas is impeding true knowledge—the knowledge that only comes from going within.  I sound like some freaky mystic, but I know that what I say is true.  I am avoiding myself.  I’m afraid that I am more than I ever could have imagined and I’m not sure how I’ll handle that knowledge.

I want to hear from folks who have taken the journey within.  Share your stories with me.  How did you get past the fear of the silence?  How did you force yourself to be still?  Is it incremental?  A daily practice?  A month long retreat?  Please share.