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Yesterday night, after being late for yoga and unable to enter the studio and going to McDonald’s for an icecream cone, I went to Starbucks to read for a little while. I ordered a large iced herbal tea (passiontea) with no sweetner. And then, considering the little “wants more” and the fact I saw a chocolate chip cookie in the dessert case and had wanted one before, I at first went for the dark chocolate graham cracker but then switched at the last second to the chocolate chip cookie.  Needless to say, I felt a little confusion and shame and hoped that this chocolate chip cookie would be my last, or rather, the last “enjoyed” under such circumstances.

So I seat down and took a large swallow of tea. Delicious and refreshing, to my under hydrated body that drinks too much soda.  Then I had some of the cookie, and it wasn’t as good as I’d thought it would be. In vain I realized that consuming something now just because I wanted it earlier wasn’t going to make me feel particularly fulfilled, especailly as I’ve been trying to curb my sweet intake, and do healthy things like go to yoga.

No, the cookie really wasn’t that good. It wasn’t like those cookies in Fracne that I remember with a gleam in my eye, from the days I felt lonely and went to walk by the river in my little town and give myself a pick me up of an American sweet sweeter than any French confection that reminded me of home and yet was better than any chcocolate chip cookie tasted on American soil, ever, I’d say. I remember going out of my way to look for said chocolate chip cookies in Paris, then being slightly disappointed when they were less moist and chewy than I would have liked, and I felt more judgement from myself than usual for eating then.

At the time I was actually eating the chocolate chip cookie though, I was thinking of all my feelings, god and bad and confused, about how the dude I was dating in Paris finally called me, “very soon” about a weekish after emailing that he’d call. I don’t really no what’s giong on in his life, but I am well acquainted with my own frustration , hurt, and genuinely less than positive attitude towards it at this point.

So maybe that’s why I ate the chocolate chip cookie, every last crumb, but didn’t enjoy it.

I’ve noticed that I tend to weigh less when happier, which makes sense, but the key to both weighing less (typically accompanied through diets, which seem draconian and would tax the little bit of willpower I have left over from pushing myself through schoolwork) and getting happy (always a good goal) might be mindfulness. I can only change my circumstances so much, I can only vent and talk to friends and try to relax in the evenings so much, but maybe the key is not taking my thoughts too seriously.

The last two times I feel for someone deeply, I can remember the wisdom of my body. More than just a “Darn, he’s cute.” sort of thing. More like, wow, look at me smiling at him for no reason. I like him. I feel good around him.  Yeah, let’s hang around him more. I remember finding that loving feeling, not trying to diagnose it or wondering if the dude would enable me to check off all the boxes on the list. In fact, the reason I didn’t think I felt passionate love or wasn’t sure about it with the guy in Paris was that I did a bit of a “Whoa, Nelly,” and started wondering about the check box kind of stuff and if he really liked me, etc. And I would say pretty much all of our relationship difficulties can be linked back to “monkey mind,” of all your thoughts rushing around and acting out stupidly and not knowing what you want and desire is the root of suffering*ish (because I’m Western and not Buddhist but I recognize some ancient wisdom when I see it or so I’d like to think). Even with this blog, I delve into my monkey mind, I try to give voice to my fears and hope that helps them go away (it does help, sometimes), it doesn’t always clue me in to my feelings because I’m so distracted by the endless chattering and listen far too much to my insecurities. And maybe not enough to the voices of “reason” and compassion.

I’ve also been fairly unhappy and anxious in my MBA program and over the whole job and wanting to be abroad thing. I can’t change my circumstances quickly enough to find solace to cope with my challenges. I can change my attitude, but I don’t want to miss the messages of what my emotions are trying to send me and of course, I want to live authentically. I don’t want to be in denial and find myself in line for more of the same.

What I actually like to do is just kind of learn, and write, and ponder, and speak French. And travel. And do yoga. I would like to do these things, but they aren’t a core part of my studies and I will have to put in some extra time to keep them going, I do believe.

If I’m not going to get passion from what I’m doing to hopefully earn a living, I’m going to need to find it somewhere else. Much as I LOVE to just write and do stuff on the fly, I don’t think that’s really a viable strategy to put the time I need into things that I want to do and aren’t prescribed by my program. But I’m going to do them anyway! Just need to pencil it all in and not avoid doing work so much.

Because I have to find the freedom to do those things I can’t not do. Now that I’ve found them. I can’t stop myself from doing the things that actually bring me joy if not necessarily directly linked to getting a paycheck or finishing school- although tht estress relief is enormous.

It’s also easy to get lost in monkey mind chatter over what I “should” do, think, act like, be like, etc. and all the reaosns I’ll never “get there.”

honestly I think that finding a job is something that comes to you as much as you come to it. Like finding love, it’s about being in the right place at the right time, and being true enough to yourself that you are in the right place. Showing up is always half the bottle or 80% of success some Hollywood actor said. Just gotta keep on showing up.

The truth is, come hell or high water I will find a way to do the things I’ve just gotta do. Now I’ve got to just do all those things that I have chosen to do as part of my largre goal, and learn all I can from them too.

I’ll figure it out. I have something to offer the world.

And I’ll even lose some weight too- but not through strongarming. Or through mantras, writing stuff down after the fact, or figuring out the optimal diet for my body.

I’m going to learn the hard, and old-fashioned way. Through direct observation of my lfie and my feelings.  Thisis how I am going to figure stuff out through what is, not what I wish was there or predict. By living in the present, I am going to notice and hopefully correct, and understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m going to let my own present reveal its solution, rather than being up in my head which is so far from the ground.

I’m figuring it out.

Peace and love to you all,

MJ

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