Chop Wood, Carry Water (Even better if you chop with a knife-hand strike)

Axe on chopping block

Today my life changed in a significant way and leaves me to make significant choices. I have cried, fretted, raged, and analyzed more in the past two months than I have in the past year, and I am mentally exhausted. About a week ago I finally relaxed, stopped resisting, and felt amazingly light and “at rest” in my emotions. For those of you playing the Law of Attraction home game, I significantly (dare I say quantum leaped) up the emotional/vibrational ladder.
The only thing I need to do right now is stay healthy, strong, and fabulous and make it one moment at a time. A very significant person in my life shared a Zen proverb with me a few months ago:
“Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.
After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.”

Life continues moment by moment, and if I can remind myself that I don’t have to “live” in my future (i.e., agonize over it) or ruminate over the past (i.e., you know the drill) then I can make it. That takes a load off my shoulder. Chop wood, carry water. Okay, I’ve got this.

What the old me would want to do is crumble. Old Me would want to lie motionless on my couch for three days straight and watch Netflix. Old Me would want to become addicted to my sleeping medication again and bonus points for washing it down with whiskey (Which is why I started taekwondo in the first place.)  Old Me would want to alternate between dulling my brain with gooey sweets and gleefully hearing my starving stomach rumble day after day. Old Me would want to flirt with dark thoughts that will thankfully never see the light of day.
Old Me would want to control the only things I have left. Old Me want to punish myself for my supposed mistakes.

You can guess by now that I am not Old Me anymore although once in a while she tries to stage a comeback tour. So far I’ve been screening her calls.

I know I’ll go on a clutter purge of my home and go on my summer detox diet, Christmas cocktails and a few goodies notwithstanding. I might have a few couch/Netflix hibernations, but I was no stranger to those already. Those dark thoughts will flirt with me but will dissolve just was quickly as they appeared. What was once so intimately familiar now seems so strange and foreign. I will have moments of loneliness and maybe even a little resentment of my current situation. I will most definitely want more than anything to escape the pain that may surge up unexpectedly. I’ve been given the advice to “sit with the discomfort” many times, but this will be the test to see if I can actually do it.

I will be challenged to actually be (and rest) in those seemingly mundane moments of metaphorically chopping wood and carrying water. I will be lost and then I will find myself again. Guided by the indomitable taekwondo spirit I will get up yet another time.

[Note: if I have completely gotten the meaning of the Zen quote wrong and you are just itching to point out what an idiot I am—save it. It means what it means to me and I will Kick. Your. Ass. Just save it.]

So what will I do? This situation has kept me out of the dojang more days than I have liked in the past month. This week I haven’t been able to go at all. It’s time to go home. I will return to taekwondo class and enjoy the camaraderie, the energy, the focus, and the love and support of that environment. And if I’m lucky I’ll tear my right rotator cuff so I have a matching set, hooray!

I will also to be listening to a LOT of Biggie and Dr. Dre for a while. That’s my power music!
Chop wood, carry water, b*tches!

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One thought on “Chop Wood, Carry Water (Even better if you chop with a knife-hand strike)

  1. Pingback: It’s Hard to Be Depressed When You’re Doing Duckwalks… | Little Black Belt

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