We sent off our tax payment Friday morning and I try not to think about how badly the money is being used these days. Meanwhile gas is getting higher and higher and it really hits us because Dave commutes about 45 minutes to get to work. He drives a van, and of course that takes more gas than a smaller vehicle.
I have many of the same feelings that Preyobrazhenya has about the actions of our current administration. My one ray of hope is that the worse things get, the more open people will be to a Democrat in '08. For now, I respond when my party asks me to do sign a petition or other action and try not to focus so much on the things I cannot control. Controlling stress is vital for a heart patient and I am reminded of the Serenity prayer's advice to accept the things I cannot change. I did everything I could to try to achieve a change of leadership, and my side lost. So we must bide our time now.
Meanwhile it is springtime here where I live. I am looking for plants, big pots, and nurturing seedlings into maturity. With the time change the light lasts into the evening and therefore I enjoy more of it. So I am starting to come out of my winter depression. Now if I only had more physical energy to go with the mental energy. I did feel much better for a couple of days after my acupuncture appointment recently. I figure the allopathic docs have had their way with me for the last 4 years; it is time to bring in another paradigm of treatment.
Every spring it is exactly like I've been hibernating all winter. I start to wake up, look around, realize that stuff has been accumulating all winter that I need to go through and pare down, that I haven't been spending enough time with the people I love, and I dive into cleaning and socializing and arranging and planting. It is my favorite time of year, normally. I have all those implulses this year, just not the energy to follow through. It has been easy to divert my attention into this forum (Gaudiya Repercussions) because I simply have to sit and write. I can do that.
I am inspired to take care of my end of life preparations and gathering together what I want in terms of atmosphere, verses or ritual, directive, updating my information for settling my affairs, and just to feel like I have taken care of those details for my family. It is the last thing I can do for them. I don't want them to have to search for information during their grief, or wonder what memorial or burial I would want or how to word the obituary. I want it all ready in a neat packet that everyone knows the location of. I have a lot of it done but it's not all neatly organized and I might want to change some of it.
I am thinking ahead to my next life as well. I guess that's the ultimate in renewal, a whole new body that no longer aches, lacks energy, or faces sudden death. I am trading in for a new model.
As a devotee I was taught that my new body or life was all a result of karma and my consciousness. Now I am finding myself more and more drawn to a paradigm that I used to recoil from: that we ourselves decide what kind of birth we take and what challenges we face. As the theory goes, in between lives we review our progress, our mistakes, and contemplate what we need to learn in the future. We work with a guide or even a group who advise us. We have the opportunity to study various subjects as well. When we are ready to reincarnate, we choose our family. I recoiled from this idea because I couldn't imagine in a million years that I chose my family. Now, in retrospect, they taught me many important lessons in this life in the negative--how NOT to be. The legacy of challenges from my family of origin have kept me busy for much of this life, overcoming the verbal abuse, the depression, the povery, the genetic heritage, and the manipulation. It has also taught me about forgiveness, and seeing my family in the context of their own upbringing. Each of them did the best they could from what they themselves were given, and each generation has parented better than the one before it. This culminates in my daughter, who I would be glad to have as a mother in a future life.
I can't help but feel that I was a little overzealous as I chose this lifetime, a short but intense series of trials. I think in my next life I want to go a bit easier on myself. So here is my current wish list for my next incarnation:
Two parents. Lesbian or gay is just fine with me.
A sibling or two to make childhood less lonely and more interesting. It would be great if I get along with at least one of them.
No major family dysfuncions, thanks. I don't ask for perfection, just no mental illness in my family.
I don't need to be rich, but middle class would be a step up. I'd like to have the advantages of a better education, things like piano lessons. (My family should value music and books, for sure.)
A healthier body from the start.
I want a socially conscious family, perhaps Wiccan but definitely a liberal spirituality, and I want a family that actively contributes to the community with volunteer work and money. There should be an obvious connection between spirituality and social justice and activism.
That's a good start. I am almost looking forward to it, but in due time.