Motivation

I am concerned about contributing to the world, not about making money.  This presents a challenge in a capitalist society.

My motivation comes from a desire to help others, not from a desire to make money.  A capitalist society is not the optimal design for my kind.

What motivates you?

How do you fit into the bigger picture?

Suzanne Norton

Copyright Suzanne Norton 2017

 

Posted in Motivation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Life, Change of Perspective, One-Night Stands

I brought him home to my apartment.  He was a good dancer who had looked deep into my eyes.  I’m sure he knew that was the way to a lady’s heart.  I’m sure that he had looked into many a lady’s eyes in this same fashion, on many dance floors.  Tonight I was that lady.  But I wasn’t falling for him.  He was too tall.  Lanky.  Although nicely dressed.  Dockers, with a dark blue, long-sleeve button-up. On his feet he wore smooth brown leather dance shoes, on top, a baby blue beret covering a smooth shaven head.  He was from Turkey; I found out later.  A soft-spoken, considerate man.  He danced with me in a way I had never experienced.  In a way that I loved.  Organic.  With lifts and dips.  Making contact in totally unique ways.  I met him with each step and every turn, flowed with him, followed his lead.  I put my trust in this stranger when he picked me up; arching my back and letting my head fall in a beautiful arc.  My petite form transforming with every move he presented.  We were creating a work of art together.  The club was very crowded.  We were like nothing else on the dance floor.  Nothing else that had ever been created.

As the night drew on, he had to leave to go help his friend.  When the club closed, my friend and I made our way outside and discovered my new dance partner had returned.  He was waiting by the door for me.  I invited him along for the ride when I took my friend home.  After we dropped her off, we decided to look for another dance opportunity.  His current home in San Francisco had plenty of  early morning opportunities unlike my small mid-western city, we soon discovered.  Instead of dancing, we ended up sitting on a bench talking for another hour.  He told me he was in an open relationship.  It sounded like a relationship with mutual respect, trust, and much love.

He walked me back to my car.  As I stood against a tree I knew what was hanging between us.  Did we part here, or did I invite him back to my place?  One night stands had never worked for me.  Honestly I hadn’t ever gone as far as trying it.  They just weren’t my thing.  But this was different somehow.  He was leaving for California in the morning.  I may never see him again.  Something about that made it okay.  Right, even.  I didn’t know why.  That’s just how it was.  It took courage on my part.  I told him I was bashful, as I looked up and said the words, “Do you want to come over to my place and stay the night?  Just to cuddle?”  He said he would like that very much, then he hugged me.  It felt awkward with our difference in size.  We moved apart, hopped  into my dusty blue Ford Escape, and headed west to my apartment on the other side of town.

I found my feelings and behavior curious but did not judge them in the slightest.  We agreed I would get something to eat before we headed to bed to spoon and sleep.  I was very hungry.  Sitting on the couch, eating my grapefruit, he started fading, having second thoughts about staying.  “The friend I’m staying with might worry about me.  I have a plane to catch early in the morning.  I will be tired.”

I knew that was my cue.  It was time to put my food, and my hunger, aside if I wanted to keep ahold of this interesting creature I had lured into my den.   So grapefruit placed on the end table, I scooted over and snuggled up under his arm.  In a matter of seconds we ended up chest to chest, torso to torso, and so on.   I’m not sure exactly how it happened but it all felt very nice and natural.  He made mention that we were doing more than cuddling and asked if I was comfortable with that.  I replied in the affirmative.  I had made a commitment the previous week to start saying yes.  So, here I was, saying yes.

We established the boundary of not having sex, then proceeded to do things that two bodies on a couch, at two in the morning, might be inclined to do, creating wonderful electric energy.  We continued to move and touch in very different ways than on the dance floor, establishing boundaries along the way for what each was comfortable with.  I asked him if he was okay going down this road, without reaching the standard destination.  He said he was fine with it. The energy was pretty strong, so we took rests every now and then.  Hours before I had seen a lanky stranger with a face I did not find attractive.  Now I saw a classy man who looked quite beautiful.  He seemed to have forgotten all about his roommate.  His early flight.  Or how tired he might be.  He had acquired plenty of energy for our early morning activities.  I definitely had moments when I realized what I had done.  How it had the potential to be a bad choice.  How I was in a very compromising situation with a stranger from a distant land who could easily overpower me if he chose, or if his passion overtook him and could not be contained.  He was leaning closer and closer towards wanting to break from our original boundary, so we continued taking turns putting the breaks on.

We both knew it would have to end at some point.  After what felt like a fairly short time period, I told him, “I think I should get to bed.  Do you want to join me?”  He said he was pretty sure we would not get any sleep given our demonstrated chemistry.  He suggested a joint cold shower, then ruled that out as well.  The only other option was to call an Uber so he could make the trip to his friend’s apartment on the south side of town.

The driver arrived.  We walked to the door and hugged goodbye.  Another awkward moment, my petite frame to his towering one.  We stood at the door for a moment, I asked, “Do you know my last name?”  He said he would get it from Rachel.  I didn’t tell him I had only met Rachel that night and she didn’t know my last name either.  Instead, I closed the door and headed to my bedroom.

I glanced at the clock.   It read 6:00 a.m.  I had no concept that we had stayed up all night.  I didn’t think I had ever stayed up all night.  I didn’t feel tired and wondered what to do next.  Do I go to sleep or stay up?  What do people typically do in this instance, I wondered.  After all, it was already the beginning of a new day.

I chose sleep, and drifted off thinking about this interesting experience I had added to my life.

Life is interesting.  I have turned down many one-night offers, usually after a night of dancing.  This night I was the one to make the offer, and he accepted.

Life is funny.  The lessons in impermanence are infinite.   Who knows what tomorrow will bring!   :  )

 

Copyright Suzanne Norton September 2017

Posted in Adventure, Dating, Relationships, Romance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Now . Here

Now.  Here.  Needing to be creative.  To sit staring out at the open space beyond the balcony door.  To hear the birds.  Feel the breeze.  Today is a day that beckons me to connect with nature.  I move closer.  Sit on the floor.  With an open mind.  It is an afternoon for being after a morning of doing.  My practices nourish me.  Nature nourishes me.  Fall is here whether the calendar declares it or not.  My body knows.  I am momentarily transported to my Grandma’s house in the country.  We didn’t connect so much as family, but I connected with place.  The old barn.  The basement full of art supplies, a ping pong table, and stacks of bottled soda.  Orange Nehi was my favorite.  The tree out front filled with birds for my Grandfather to watch silently from his easy chair in the living room.  The cabinet in that room filled with items for the grandkids, metal bandaids container, old purse, doll bottle, and my favorite baby doll which now sits in my son’s old room.  I remember breakfast of a triangle of buttered toast, raisin bran, a small glass of milk, a small glass of orange juice.  The same every time.  And then there was bathtime and bedtime.  Consistency.  But no real emotional connection.  We were provided for in all the other ways for sure.  

But I want to come back.  Come back to the pillow I am sitting on.  The kitty at the screen door wanting out.  The sounds below.  People coming and going.  Car doors.  Engines.  Shoes on the concrete.  And me here thinking of you there, reading my words.  It’s as beautiful as the wind in the trees that I look up and see.  I know I am fortunate to have this life.  I am setting fear aside for trust these days.  Trust that it is okay for me to sit here to write instead of sending e-mails or proposing my next class to the next person.  Trusting that some how I will be able to continue to live the simple peaceful life I have created and be provided for in all that I want and need.  To provide for my sons.  To live this life that I am living now.  And whatever I need will be there.  

I am an artist.  A creator.  I need quiet time.  Introspective time.  Time to stare at the sky, feel the breeze, and hear the wind singing through the trees.  It is my nourishment; no different than the vegetables I ate for lunch.  I don’t want to push it to the end of the day or section it off from the rest of my life.  I want to meet others outside for my classes.  To take them with me.  To help them see what I see, feel what I feel, and taste the nectar of nature.  

In order to be the person I want to be.  Teach from a place I want to teach from. Create in an open field.  I need to have this freedom.  I need structure and space.  And maybe a nap thrown in there once in awhile.  

I think I will go see my friend play his music this week.  On the 14th.  I haven’t been to one of his shows for awhile and it keeps popping up in my mind.  Like just a minute ago.  That’s why I mentioned it randomly.

Today is a day of being.  What if we all lived this way?  What if we slowed down?  My student and I talked about this this morning.  He treasures it.  Says it reminds him of being sick and having to just lie there while everyone outside is running around, moving fast.  He said moving slowly is healing.  I think I will post that on my Facebook page as I have been switching how I frame Qigong ~ it is and ancient self-healing modality/practice.  So when he said healing.  I thought ~ yes.  Yes it is.  

I see my little succulents on the balcony ledge.  They are so happy.  Green and pink.  The only two plants that survived the summer heat and my lack of watering.  They are happy with everything they get.  Heat, Sun. Occasional drink of water from sporadic rains.  

An image of my son around 3 in Ashland.  We used to get pizza and have Friday night movie night.  I could have been a better mom then.  But then again, I guess I couldn’t, or I would have.  We do the best we can at the time I often hear people say.  That doesn’t excuse bad behavior.  I think I was a little depressed and isolated, but I didn’t know it.  I think most of the time I was a pretty good mom.  I didn’t know that I needed support.  I am still learning about that, even now.  He is 20.  I didn’t know what I needed.  

I’m noticing a lot of heat come up in my body right now.  In my arms and chest and head.  I think the humidity is rising and the wind has died down.  I feel it is time for me to move.  I will go to the field and do Tai Chi then come in and study yoga.  And prepare for tonight’s class.  I wish I knew what the students wanted.  I don’t like to always assume I know what is best for them.  I like my classes to be customized to the needs of my students.  I will ask at the beginning of class how people are feeling and if they have preferences.  I am learning to be a little more spontaneous and not have everything mapped out.   I have been teaching long enough now to trust myself more.

I am wanting to teach through my FB page more as well but get very few likes and even less comments.  

I’ll leave it at that for now.  

Adios!

I love you!

Suzanne

P.S.  If you made it this far, send me a comment and let me know anything you are thinking.  Anything is fine.  Even something like, “I bought orange socks today.” 

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A Long Time

It’s been awhile.  Seems I say that every time I get on here now.  I am so happy with this new format.  It is so much more user friendly for my tablet.

I’m sitting in that old familiar place.  You know, the one in front of my bedroom window.  I am not the same person I was a year ago.  Two years ago.  Has it been that long?  Although none of us are.  We all change each minute of every day, in some way, into a different person.  Some of us more than others.  My moods change easily.  I am learning what I need for sustenance.  These themes reappear over and over in my writing.

It is an amazing Fall day.  That sweet friend, the breeze, reminds me.  “Suzanne this is where your heart is.  Don’t forget me.” I’m giving myself this time to sit down and write.  It feels lovely.  I forget things easily.  Like how important it is to do the things that fill my heart.  How valid it is to listen to my inner guide.  And how utterly important it is to follow.

I have much to do today, but I am getting better about not letting it overwhelm me.  About not worrying that I won’t get it done.  I am noticing how much these reactions were present and created my suffering.  I am living in the moment more without (or with minimal) guilt or judgement for spending my hours in the way that feels right.

I have condemned myself heavily over these past few years.  I wrote about it often.  The voice of shame and guilt.  She would tell me I was bad for not spending many hours a day in the typical American fashion of earning dollars.  She would tell me that is what I should be doing.  That was respectable.  That was contributing. Doing otherwise was a lazy way.  Irresponsible.  Not giving to the world.  Not changing the world.  That I was putting way too much focus on myself and not others.

I am still exploring all of these things but I have decided the only one who really knows what I should be giving to the world is me.  The only one who can direct my actions, the way I spend my time, what I think, is me.  I am practicing much more compassion towards myself.  I am staying more open.  Controlling less.  Trusting more.  The Universe.  Other people.  I am beginning to understand how to make money to support myself and my son.  I am staying open to believing there are so many ways to make it, and working 40 hours or more a week is not the only way.  Is not my way.   I am getting better about listening to my body.  Feeding it.  Now it is saying, “I need to move.”  So that means, getting dressed and going to the field to do Tai Chi.  I am understanding more when the need is social sustenance.  And not judging it.  I don’t judge when I need movement or food, but I had been judging needing social sustenance.  Thinking I “should” be fine just being by myself.  Now  I am beginning to see, it is no different than food, water, exercise, or sleep.   Solitude is necessary as well.  It is a time I can let insights blossom and bloom.  Let my fears seep out and be heard, felt, and cared for.  A time for writing, crying, and loving myself.

I am very complex and multifaceted.  I am learning to let it all flow through me and around me.  I am no longer trying to become someone.  I have worked hard to become that person.  I will still continue to grow, learn, and develop ~ always.  I worked hard to present myself as beautiful, classy, graceful, peaceful.  Now I get feedback on all of these things, so I can relax a bit.  I have become who I set out to be. It still takes practice.  I am trusting the process.  Controlling less.  Sitting on my cushion more.

Time to move on with the morning now.  Get dressed.   Take my compost out to the field, do Qigong and Tai Chi, deliver the compost to my neighbor’s compost pile.   Clean my house.  So much to do.  I still put too much on my schedule some days.  I have a friend to visit later. Office work to do.  I had made a commitment yesterday to read/study for two hours every day. (That one is one of the hardest to make myself do.)  A new yoga class to prepare for an teach, which I am very excited about. Transitions are getting much easier so that is wonderful and a huge relief.

So, on to making the transition to getting out on this beautiful morning.

Onward and outward.

Peace to you.

Suzanne

P.S.  Please leave me a comment to reconnect.  I miss my blogging family.  Sorry I have been ignoring you.

Posted in Acceptance, Growth, Personal Growth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chameleon

I can be the life of the party on the dance floor, or in the yoga studio, but when the lights are out and I’m at home alone, I feel lonely and unmotivated.  Whatever it is, it’s hard to get started.  The book I was going to read, the papers I was going to organize, the laundry I was going to do, they all wait.  Not all the time, but enough.

Today I was fully motivated when I woke up, but by the time I ate breakfast it was gone.  All I had was a smoothie so it shouldn’t have bogged my digestive system down.  That being said, I did go out and dance the night away and got to bed far too late.  Anyway, my list included meditation, swimming, hiking, and writing.  I did go on a lovely hike.  And, I did, and am, writing.  My state of being changes so much.  Maybe I will track it morning, noon, and night to look for patterns.  I am such a chameleon.  What I want to do with my life changes daily.  Sometimes I have trouble starting things and transitions are hard for me.  When I am doing one thing I can be totally there and in love with what I am doing.  But when it comes time to do the next thing, it is tough to switch gears.

It is a lovely cool night.  Feels like fall.  There is a sweet gentle rain and as usual the balcony door is open letting in my dear friend, the breeze.  I just remembered I need to check my bank account balance to make sure there is enough money in there for the rent check I wrote yesterday.  I am sitting on my couch with a blanket over my legs. My income is very limited right now as my ex stopped maintenance payments saying he couldn’t afford to pay since switching jobs and we had talked about it ending after two years.  That’s okay.  I just have to figure out this supporting myself thing which I have never in my life done, so it seems incomprehensible to me.  I am currently teaching 9 classes but some are not full enough.  Not enough to earn a living on.  So I am living largely off the sale of my home but that will only last so long and I don’t want to deplete it.  I am back to deciding what I want to do and how I want to live my life.  I know I don’t want to work a crazy number of hours.  And 40 might be crazy!  I don’t know yet.  I know I love variety.  So maybe several jobs will feel more up my alley.  : )

I am going to go check out Mr. Money Mustache’s page for some advice on living the life you want without working very much and Ok Cupid for my latest message.

So happy you are still out there after my long absence.  I will try to get back in the groove and connect with all of you out there in cyberspace to play catch up.

With love,

Suzanne

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Nibbana

“If we look at it in this way, nibbana is here and now.  It’s not an attainment in the future.  The reality is here and now.”

Ajahn Sumedho


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My Cats are Thugs

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My cats are thugs.

I awoke this morning to the two of them ricocheting off of my headboard, then my bookshelves, then around again.  A very effective strategy to get me up for their 6:00 a.m. feeding.  I guess they were thinking~ it’s a tag-team kind of day.  I will have to admit, it was a very impressive and innovative approach to a wake-up call.

I gave them a 10, then wondered, “What in the hell can I throw at them to get them to stop?!”

My teddy bear in hand, (yes I still sleep with a teddy bear) this seemed the most logical choice.  I slung Ted by the leg, just missing Carley.  It worked.  Momentarily. Those two can be relentless.  So I caved.  All the while worrying I was reinforcing this invidious behavior, yet seeing no way around it, if I wanted more sleep.  So, that was that.  A little scoop of canned chicken deposited into two little white bowls, and all peace was restored.

I melted back into the softness, sandwiched between two fleece blankets.  Aaaah, heaven.  Fading in and out of that delicious space between sleep and wake.  Do you know that place?

The window open.  A delicate breeze brushing up against my soft skin.  The intoxicating scent of fresh morning air, complete with birdsong.  This is when, and where, I know that heaven exists.

My thoughts were on my dream lover, as I rested, nestled into my little cocoon.  My dreams had put me in the bed of a much younger man.  I was an older woman in a teenager’s bed wondering what we would tell his mother.  He hadn’t confessed his age when we met on the stadium bleachers, and I hadn’t thought to ask. Now my son was waiting for me, still at the stadium I presumed. We were to catch a plane.  I had disappeared, leaving him to fend for himself, while I followed my passion, my young adorable dark-haired crush.

My son was a teenager himself.  I was worried when I realized he would not know where I was, where I had gone.  He sent me a text, a picture of his childhood toys that he had gathered together and was planning on selling, or giving away.  I took note of each item and felt a bit of sadness.  My friend turned up in my dream and looked at the items in the picture, assessing each one.  I needed to coordinate travel arrangements for myself and my son, considering how I could get out of the room unnoticed, and how he and I would connect.  My new young friend was not any help.

So that was that.  The dream ended there.  I gently eased into a more alert state and began thinking about my day – I would write in front of my open window,  meditate, eat breakfast and drink hot tea, like I used to in the mornings.  If time allowed I would attend my local sangha to sit on my cushion with others and feed the part of me that needs community.  It would be a nice balance to the morning’s blissful solitude.

Namaste.

I love you Dear Reader.

Posted in Dreaming, Dreams, Humor, Humour, Meditation, Morning, Romance, Sleep, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment