Losing your mind

We went away for the weekend, for a break from it all. I didn’t realise how frenzied I felt until I stopped feeling frenzied. It was wonderful. Still I had one of my wakeful periods on Friday night. This is what I wrote at 3.45 am on Saturday morning.

Storm outside. Thunder and lightning, but not right here. From the lift foyer on the 4th floor of the Mirambeena, I can see the lights of the Stuart Highway, sometimes dimmed by the mist of rain. The wind gusts through the louvres, tossing the leaves on the potted palm, and then settles. It smells warm – although the air is quite cool and I have my blue woollen wrap on my shoulders and white bath towel on my lap. I wheeled my chair back from the louvres, to not be too splashed and blown. It is beautiful.

If we’d gone to any other hotel, I’d have been trapped inside an air-conditioned corridor, since I wanted to leave the family sleeping in the room.

I am awake when I ‘should be’ asleep, but it is very peaceful and relaxing. A holiday from the frenzy. Of course, speed and urgency are of the essence. I am grateful that I have been prompted to this. I knew it was necessary, but my natural tendency is to move towards tranquility, no matter what. But having been urgent, it is now easier to be tranquil. I am doing what needs to be done.

The action has even helped me to be here. Without it, I wouldn’t have all the aids to movement that I need since the small fractures. Without this wheelchair, I wouldn’t be sitting out here – even if I could walk. There are no seats, and the thought of manievrigin one of the seats into the passage at 3am is simply ludicrous. But when one’s seat is mobile, that’s different. Especially since I worked out how to use the chair as a trolley, to bring my stuff out with me and to negotiate the heavy door.

It is the equilibrium between urgency and tranquility that is required here. To take urgent action and maintain tranquility. It is challenge to me.

I have started reading Eckhart Tolle’s Practicing the Power of Now. BEING, he says, is not only beyond every living thing, but deep within. This is my sense. The deep within I can sense, and now I can do that (almost) any time. But still only termporarily, even though I know it’s there.

So I wonder, why don’t I act on it all the time? And I think, it is because of the ‘beyond’ part. Because I sense Being as compassionate, peaceful – but not what I call ‘human’. Beyond human, something that realises everything is perfect, even intense suffering. No, not realises. Always knew. Everything is as it should be.


And my mind says, what??? This is perfect? Apart from the blatantly obvious suffering of all and sundry near and far, having advanced cancer is perfect? Get real.


So obviously what one has to do is to lose one’s mind. Lose my mind. Also, in fact, loose my mind. Both. Lose and loose it. Tolle says, ‘the beginning of freedom is the realization you are not the thinker’.

It has been my problem all along, with praying, with chanting, for an outcome, that at a deeper level I know it I not necessary to do so. I don’t know whether praying/chanting for an outcome works. I believe it can and does – it is possible to ‘achieve an outcome’ in this way. I believe this. However, I know also that it is not necessary, in some ultimate sense.

So then we come to, why is the urgency necessary? Because it is, for me, now. And so is the chanting. In some way, right now, for me, the holding on, the clinging, must be done. It is where I am. But simultaneously I have to let go.

Of course, since everything is perfect no matter what, it really doesn’t matter either way. But on the other hand, it does.

Very zen. Simultaneous urgency and tranquility. Simultaneous clinging on and letting go. What comes next?

Losing your mind?



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Filed under Cancer, Spirituality

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