When the ingredient list is just too long…

Life is not a recipe. But it does hold many parts of it that come with some instructions. Pedal your feet faster, balance on the seat, hold onto the handle bars and make sure they’re straight. Those were the instructions my brothers gave me with a push, and sooner than later I was riding a bike. Many things in life come with instructions, like recovery, the steps that are taken are very much a set of suggested instructions. During the last few months the personal insights and backlog of creativity came flooding out. With a mind accepting the truths was also a mind accepting the faults of that thinking. Sure, there has been many revelations, epiphanies, connections to things I couldn’t see before and a lot of sense making going on. There inventively is a lot of crossover of revelations, the opening of neuroses, the sense making all blown up so to speak. So just like a recipe, after following the instructions what is left is allowing the food of thought to cook.

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Just like a kid at Christmas, the overwhelming amount of gifts and sensory input is too much to take. You can’t play with all of the toys at once so you play with those that catch your attention the most for that moment. That is the same essence of what all of these last few months have contained. Not only the opening up of my head once more to a new sense of normalcy, a better way of thinking installed, boot tested and Mother approved; But also a better personal health, and outlook on the future. The insights and observations have to be taken at face value as well, we are still engaged in an isolationists dream scenario, so the effects of the combined standard traumas are going to have their say in all of it too. All of this reminding not only myself, but others I have heard recently, that it’s never a bad time to remember and practice the beginnings. Time to go through the instructions once more, add some spice, take out some bitterness, and right size the expectation fires that simmer below the stew of it all. More importantly, let it cook. That is one thing that is still difficult for this overthinker anonymous that still wakes up everyday.

The same can be said about the great self awareness insights I have had lately. The true test of whether to believe in something or not is to give it time, the real stuff is the things that stick around. One of my favorite sayings that is still ringing true for me is I can’t wait to see what I believe in next year. That is next year, and there has been a lot of overthinking going on, whether it is a survival or defensive mechanism trying to keep some kind of connection to sanity, I don’t know? It could be exactly what they are, great and life altering epiphanies? It could all just be a conglomeration of gook that my head has to get out of it as if it were a bad song lyric? I don’t know? But just like I don’t know what these things will eventually mean is to be seen. Now I get to let them go from their raw states and see what the flavors of it all will ultimately be.

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Relaxing while it is all cooking is the difficult part. Not the doing nothing, that is all too easily accomplished, rather the actual relaxing part. The sounds coming from the pot insist we care about each and every ingredient at the same time. The installation of those practices of right sized thinking are being pushed to their maximum usage, the breathing and meditation working to keep things from falling out of line. I’m not going to suggest that any part of this is easy, or perfect, or reassuring, it is though the easier softer way that has been talked about for years. The troubles in life get intuitively handled, the thinking about it all becomes a better and recognizable ability. The waiting for the next shoe to drop is weighed less on the made up stuff in your head, and in turn the real world parts as well become less ominous. So as much as is happening, as much as the inputs are touching on the overwhelming, thoughts begin turning toward control based areas. Those reminders of the basics, and letting what you know now set in for a bit, make a bed, stay a night or two, are imperative to remember.

I can’t handle my best or worst right now days without using my best back then basic tools. The hardest of my days in recovery still require the building pieces, the serenity prayer, and the acceptance and willingness to think better and act better in the process. As much as the latest insights are at depth, the only way to get to any of them is to break ground to begin with. So those basic tools of lifting rocks and scraping away debris are very much in play in each day. Overload though can break someone down faster than usual, it can take a person off their good spot, their happy place, off the direction that they are heading in either psychologically or physically. So with a whole bunch of extra life arriving at the door of right now, halt can mean just what it stands for too, stop! In a self care angle it could also stand for having a lovely time… The overthinking, the constant search for what’s next, what now, and what to do is draining on so many levels. It can steal your points of joy, of appreciation and of gratitude. Adapting a slow down routine, a different interest that makes you think differently for a time, or takes your mind off what is nagging it is one way to help it cook. Sometimes a visual art or tactile building works, a good walk can do it too, but be careful not to bring the sticky thinking with you. Many friends read a book, not just the Big one either, that allows their ruminations to take a break. Sports and activities, whatever the thing is that can give that mind a chance to reset, heal a bit, and clear out.

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Moving around the furniture can only go on for so long, every now and then the whole room needs to be cleaned and painted, especially when you get a bunch of new stuff. The setting up, moving around of the pieces and finding out which way the TV is going to face is all a part of the work. Letting go of a bunch of the old stuff isn’t easy right now either since the markets have been slow in this shutdown world. It is necessary though, and even as I find the old couch calling my name and reminding me of the fun we had, the thing isn’t comfortable anymore. Moving, Cooking, learning to use the systems learned with the practicing to train your draggin’. It isn’t ever a perfect stew, or a permanent environment, it isn’t even a recipe, simply a bunch of ideas, a few suggestions, and the ingredient list. When I was a kid my Mother let me make stuff up in the kitchen, her reply comes in as a classic point to make right now. “You’re the only one that has to eat it!” Life comes fast, life comes slow, and sometimes it comes just a little too raw. When it does, remember the basic things, your options to eat it now, or let it cook?

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2 responses to “Letting it Cook”

  1. Awesome. One of my favorites. Can’t wait to see these compiled into a recovery book.

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