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Archive for July, 2010

mary-mackenzie-150This morning I went to the club to swim laps.  I had forgotten my swim suit a couple of days ago and so I asked the desk clerk to look in the lost and found for it.  It wasn’t there and so I said out loud (much to my disappointment), “I can’t believe someone stole my swim suit!”  I went back to the locker room so see if it was there and then went back to the clerk and said, “Is there anyplace else you can check?  I just can’t believe someone would steal my swimsuit.”  He checked a few other places and determined it wasn’t there.

Not having other workout clothes, I couldn’t think of anything else I could do for a workout so I hopped into the Jacuzzi.  While sitting in the Jacuzzi, I started to notice my thinking which went something like this, “I can’t believe someone stole my swimsuit.”  “I’ve been coming here for years and nothing has ever been stolen.”  “I’ve lived in Flagstaff for 20 years and nothing has ever been stolen.” “This used to be such a safe place to live.”

After about 5 minutes I woke up.  Sat straight up in the Jacuzzi and said out loud (fortunately, no one else was around), “Mary, what do you actually know?”  I answered, “That I left my swim suit here on Tuesday and Thursday it wasn’t here.”

I said this to myself a couple of times until I calmed down.  Then, I felt embarrassed of what I had said to the desk clerk and my thoughts in the next several minutes, so I gave myself empathy for wanting to be more conscious, to live without blame, to Live in the Observation.  Deep breath.

To me, Living in the Observation, is a spiritual, moment-to-moment practice.  It requires me to WAKE UP, notice what I’m thinking or saying, and bring myself right back to the observation.  In doing this, I don’t allow myself to linger in the suffering I cause by what I make up about a situation.  In this case, what I made up was that someone stole my swim suit, that Flagstaff wasn’t a safe place anymore, and that my club wasn’t a safe place anymore.  All of those thoughts caused me suffering – self-induced suffering.  When I can bring myself back to what I know “I left my suit at the club on Tuesday and it wasn’t there on Thursday,” I can pull myself out of suffering and relax.

I don’t know what happened to my suit.  Maybe it was stolen.  Maybe it was ruined (because I left it in the sauna to dry) and so someone threw it away, maybe something else.  The point is I don’t actually know what happened to it, so imagining what might have happened to it only causes suffering.  I prefer to Live in the Observation so I can enjoy my life experience more.

Okay, so here’s a bit of gratitude.  The time span from the time I walked into the club and when I woke up in the Jacuzzi was approximately 10 minutes.  I used to live entire years in self-induced suffering.  I am incredibly grateful that I WAKE UP much more quickly now.


mary-mackenzie-150Today I got a handwritten card from someone who is visiting family in Ohio.  She wrote to tell me how much she appreciates my book Peaceful Living that was published in 2005.  Then, she mentioned that she was writing because she’d heard about the forest fires in Flagstaff and wanted me to know she was thinking about me and wishing me well.  I don’t know this person and don’t recall having any previous correspondence with her.

I am so touched by this card and the sentiment because of the community, care, and love I receive from it.  You know, sometimes I just go about my life and forget how many lives I touch just by living.  Do you ever feel as if what you’re doing isn’t making a difference?  Or, that you’re not making progress?

I have felt that way many, many times in my life.  And then today I get a card from someone in Ohio who tells me she’s thinking about me and appreciating my book and hoping I am safe.

I believe my role is to live each day in integrity with my values as best as I can.  To keep showing up for life valuing all needs, focused on the life in each of us, and committed to nonviolence.  When I do this I feel better about myself and I feel better about everyone who crosses my path.

I am so grateful to be reminded of this, and equally grateful to know that there are people thinking of me and wishing me well, even when I am not aware of it.  This helps bolster my commitment to live in NVC consciousness.

I write this now because I want to express gratitude and to let you know I’m thinking about you; whoever reads this, I’m thinking about you and sending love.

mary