Boom or Bust in the mountains

Being in a new relationship the second time around is so interesting in my 50’s.   I have heard people call their first marriage their “starter marriage”.  By their second marriage they are determined to live the lessons they learned from the first.  To show up differently in their next relationship.

Since moving to the mountain we have bought a crock pot.  We have tried to make lamb stew and beef bourgeois.  I do feel like a new wife who wants her husbands belly to be happy.    I myself like cooking and chopping and drinking and nibbling more than I like eating the end result.  Suffice to say I am an ok cook but not great.

So I decided to go to a local bookstore to get a crock pot cookbook.  I ventured out in Breckenridge and found a great used bookstore run by two young guys.  I asked them about cookbooks, they led me to a back room and pointed to piles of books on the floor.  “These are all our cookbooks”.   I said I was looking for a slow cooker cookbook.   One young guy pulled out the “fix it and forget it” cookbook, I flipped through it.  It was mostly ingredients like velveta and cream of mushroom soup.  I opted for the classic vintage crockpot cookbook titled Mable Hoffman Crockery cookery from 1975, it used whole ingredients.

I went home and cooked beef bourgeois as per her recipe and it turned out great. It seems that at altitude more flour and water is needed. My fiancé seemed super happy and we ate it once with french crusty bread and once with pasta.   I forget that if something is not sealed and in the fridge it goes rock hard within an hour or two.  Welcome to thin dry air in the Colorado mountains.

I think about women who married gold miners here in the 1800’s what kind of life they must have had.  No running water, and a wood stove.  One woman who owns a clothing store told me that her space used to be a bathhouse in the 1860s.  She said that gold miners would come down the mountain and take a bath on one side of the store, and then buy chocolates on the other side of the store for their sweetheart.

We live right in the gold-rush town.  “Downtown” consists of 4,500 permanent residents, with 160,000 tourists that arrive over the winter season to ski. The town  becomes a ghost town on April 23rd when the mountain closes.  Boom or Bust.

For us not against us

Last night I dreamt I had a plane ticket and I lost it.  Then I found out someone had stolen my passport photo and I could not use my passport.  I looked up the meaning of this in dream dictionaries and it said that I feel out of control with my life.  Have you ever felt out of control with your life?

Experts tell us hat we really can’t control life, that it is an illusion.  The only thing we can control is ourself.  Even then when we go to sleep our subconscious takes over in our dreams.  How much of our  behaviour is programmed in childhood and then set.   Unless we take the time to examine our reactions we end up assuming it is the other person who has the problem.

My father used to believe that the world was out to get him. What if I grew up relating to the world as an adversary?

I do have a choice now, to look at what I want to believe about the world and the people that surround me.

I choose to believe that the universe conspires for me, not against me.

The heart loves silence

Have you slowed down enough to listen?  Where can you slow down enough to make space for the silent whisper of your heart?

There is so much silence here in the mountains.  On our daily hikes we have found secret meadows for a picnic, and spots where we can dip our feet into the cold mountain streams.

I have taken to meditating by the mountain stream.  The rushing water creates a background of pink noise that you can zone out to.  I imagine sending my energy and stress down to the earth and into the stream.  I invite the pine tree energy and the cosmic sky above to flow universal energy in through the top of my head, and mingle with the earth energy.  I can smell the pine trees, I can hear the running water.  I am sitting on the moist earth after a night of rain.  Running these two energies through my body clears out any “cobwebs” or stuck energy that I have picked up thought the day.

My two dogs sit beside me, drawn by the energy.  What a privilege to be here in the mountains at this time, insulated from the chaos in the rest of the US.

You can always find stillness inside if you slow down enough to listen. I would love to hear what is your place that allows you to get to still inside?

The selfie culture

We took a break from the mountains and flew to Kona Hawaii the big island.  We stayed at the Hapuna beach hotel.   The sand and water were so soft, like gorgeous well water. Even the shower and drinking water tasted soft.

As I walked on the beach I noticed that people were posing for themselves.  Practicing smiling, fluffing their hair and adjusting to get the best selfie.

Have we become a culture of self oriented navel gazers.  Clinging to our devices in paradise?  Most people on the beach were staring at their screens rather than the ocean.   In a place that offer sublime beauty and smells have we lost the ability to just be?

If we don’t take a selfie does the moment exist?

As we walked along the beach a woman stands in her dress, her young child building a sandcastle while she primps for her own picture.  What is she missing?  the moment with her child, touching the sand, interacting with the earth, listening to the ocean.

I believe when someone is interacting with a device their others senses are dulled.  We cannot multitask the moment, and be in the moment.

Try having a meaningful conversation with your partner while they are texting.  It does not work, they are not present with either the device or you.  I believe our brain can only process one thing at a time.

“The short answer to whether people can really multitask is no. Multitasking is a myth. The human brain cannot perform two tasks that require high-level brain function at once” thoughtco.com   

So next time when your partner is talking to you and you are texting.  STOP. Listen.

Be present.

Next time you are in paradise, just be.

Pick up a shell,  touch the sand,  let yourself get wet.

Aloha

digital detox

*When was the last time you went 48 hours without responding to email, checking Facebook, answering your phone, or being over-stimulated by external media?

*Have you given yourself the space and time you need to reflect, decompress or relax?

*Are you feeling burned out, tired, addicted to your social media, or simply need a new perspective on life?

*Do you find yourself reaching for your phone or device in any moment of down-time?

*Do you interrupt conversations or lose track of time to meaningless online activity?

*Do you sleep, eat and use the bathroom with your phone?

*Do you need space to reassess an important business move, give your mind time to rest, or just want a break from the tethered life?

*Is your personal health declining or interpersonal relationships suffering from the imbalance in attention you give to your screens or work?

I went to a workshop with the talented Amy Lieberman, integrative health life coach (www.amylieberman.com).  She spoke about going on a digital detox diet, (disconnect to reconnect).  Turning off the pings and dings on your devices to reduce stress.

“Research shows that many of us feel so tied down by technology that we can’t let a single message or email slip by without responding to it immediately, or feeling a sense of anxiety. The cultural pressures to constantly check messages and to stay up to speed on the latest blogs or news media often lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed and frustrated without time to breathe.  Unplugging for just one day can give some users mental and physical withdraw symptoms” (digital detox.org)

 

My fiance takes his phone everywhere.  When we watch a movie he puts his phone, the remote and his glasses in his crotch while we watch the movie, just in case he will need them.  I admit we like to stop and chat in movies, and google facts about actors in the movie, like how old they are now, who are they married to, what other movies they have done.

He used to bring his phone to bed when we were dating, and when the notification would go off, he would sit bolt upright in bed.  He has two phones, a work phone and a personal phone and carry them both everywhere, pulling them both out simultaniously like a gunslinger doing a quickdraw. He even takes his phone with him to the bathroom so he can play backgammon to facilitate his movements.

What would digital detox look like at our house?  First I would love to lie in bed and not hear pings in the living room on three possible phone.  I would love all notifications turned off by 8pm. In fact vibrate would be a great setting.  Who says when someone texts that we have to respond immediately?

I would like no phones in the bedroom period.  I fantasize having one room in the house with no digital devices, tv or phones.  Perhaps books and a meditation altar.

Recently I have decided to take digital detox breaks, for me this means going out without my phone, or switching it off.  Tonight we went for happy hour, when my fiance went to the bathroom I reached to check my phone, and then I realised that I had consciously left it at home.  After a quick pang of anxiety–  I looked out the window and noticed the purple crocus and tips of daffodils peeking through the alpine soil and took a deep breath.

*If you are ruled by your devices, or have fear of missing out (FOMO) try small steps to digitally detox, work with a coach or go on a digital detox retreat offered by digitaldetox.org.