Becoming Buddhist

Attempting to Live a More Mindful Life

Reflecting and Regathering


Hello friends; long time. I’ll make the usual excuses: colds, flus, holidays, new year. I’d planned various kinds of new year’s posts, was going to write about how I woke up at midnight on New Year’s Eve (I’d gone to bed at ten), heard the teenagers whooping down the street, and felt an enormous sense of peace and excitement. It’s 2014, I thought. This is the year I’m going to have my second child and get my book published.

That lightening bolt thought totally thrilled me.

Trees on an island in Maine

Trees on an island in Maine

But before I could sit down to write about it, I got food poisoning–salmonella, I think. Last weekend and the early part of this week were awash in despair as I….worked it out of my system. At one point, I honestly thought death would be preferable. I was having flashbacks to the three months M and I spent in South America in 2004 and 2005.

But I’m back, almost like new, and it’s a beautiful sunny day in California, where we have never heard of the “polar vortex.” Everything seems to carry weight in the new year; habits new and old, relationships new and old, routines new and old. I keep thinking, maybe I should resolve to do X….and then the moment passes. And on the other hand, so many small changes already seem to be happening to me, and I notice them more at this time of year.

I’m reading a self-help book called Feng Shui Your Mind. First: I don’t read self-help books. Second: this one was written by my acupuncturist. Third: If I can get over the fact that I, you know, don’t read self-help books, I would say that there is this message in the book that has really reminded me of Buddhism and has really helped me to reframe things. The book is all about positive thinking, how opening yourself up to positivity can shift the very energy around you. I’ve been trying to replace thoughts like “I will never get published” with “How exciting that I finished a book and am in the process of finding an agent.” Does it sound cheesy? I think two years ago I would have immediately said yes. But somehow, in 2014, I feel like this kind of thinking could change my life. It could certainly help me feel more calm and positive about life’s challenges.

Truth: My meditation practice has been spotty. I’ve been reflecting on that. My sense is that, maybe due to my new positive thinking, I’ve been needing it less. But I know intellectually that that’s no reason to stop, that if anything, that’s when to go deeper. I’m trying to reconcile that.

It’s been almost a year since I had the ectopic pregnancy rupture and nearly died. I can’t, as you’d imagine, stop thinking about it. Part of the horror of the salmonella was that I kept having flashbacks to that experience, too. 2013 was a difficult year in many ways. But I’m not sorry it happened. Just happy to move on.


Author: becomingbuddhist

I am a writer, teacher, and mother living in Northern California. Recently I decided to try an experiment in living more mindfully. This blog is my testimonial.

2 thoughts on “Reflecting and Regathering

  1. I just wanted to say that I’ve been following you. I love your words. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading. 🙂

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