• Lijing Cobb

Know my enemies, know my friends

Day 5 of this blog, last day of the year, eve to the year of good. Today I continue to narrate my intentions and lay out my plan, and keep reminding myself of what is at stake.

Like the great red panda Shifu in Kungfu Panda would say, inner peace.

In the middle of yesterday, I said to my bestie who was still visiting with us, I'm feeling anxious. Just saying that out loud, putting that into the universe and having another person hear of my mental state, eased my anxiety somewhat. I started asking myself what's causing this feeling of unease, and as my hands slipped towards my phone to secretly check how many people have read my blog and liked it, I had my answer. The more I checked on my baby, the more I wanted it to be loved by others, the more my inner peace leaked out of me. At the time I expressed my anxiety out loud, my barrel of inner peace was riddled with little holes whence the precious substance oozed out. I needed to patch the holes immediately to stop the damage.

I did not check my blog for the rest of the day. When my mind wandered in that direction, I reminded myself of how several friends had taken the time to comment that they loved reading my blog, and how that made me feel. My heart was filled with gratitude, and I refuse to self-sabotage and let doubts whittle away that precious gift my friends had given me.

When my mind wandered in the direction of seeking external approval, I reminded myself of the great sense of satisfaction I felt when I finished the blog. If I know that I created something out of love, in an honest effort to better myself, with a sincere hope to touch hearts, why does it matter to me how "many" people read it? I approve and adore my own efforts. I know for sure that my friends who have taken the time to share their feelings with me appreciate what I do. Such are my anchors to ground me. Such are my roots from which I grow and flourish.

Know my enemies, know my friends. I've never really understood why people say, keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Is it so that you can choke your enemies and end up with only friends?

Ah, inner peace. I hope you can see my smile and feel my gratitude right now.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the new year. As I've mentioned before, for the month of January my intention is to explore the topic of non-violence, or in yogic terms, Ahimsa. I'm following the guidance offered by Deborah Adele in her little jewel of a book, The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice. During week 1 of my study, I plan to find a little more courage in my otherwise safe life, overcome some fears, and see what happens along the way.

Deborah's suggestion is to do something every day that I wouldn't normally do, so here is my list of challenges from 1/1 to 1/7:

1/1: Play video games (I think of it as a gigantic waste of time, but it could be that I'm not willing to learn a new way of interacting with the world)

1/2: play board games (I think of them as boring, but I think secretly I'm afraid of losing)

1/3: get muddy (how dare my kids track mud into the house? How could the dogs!!!)

1/4: snuggle with my dogs (I'm married to a kennel owner but I don't snuggle with dogs, go figure)

1/5: Put on make-up (on my wedding day I put on some lipstick, and that's the extent of my experience with make-up. My dear friend and sister Ke wants to initiate me into that. My husband might have a heart attack if he learns of it.)

1/6: make a long-dreaded phone call to a family member

1/7: Eat all my meals without simultaneously doing a million other things

If you think you have a list of explorations that could help you find more courage in unexpected ways, I invite you to join me on this journey. In the words of 3LAU and Luciana, "This could be the start of something new, this could be the moment we break through..."

The symbolism of sunrise, right at home. Beauty, mystery, power. The same, everywhere.

My front yard in the fall. What abundance nature offers us! I think the same glory is within us as well.

Beautiful reservoir to the back of our house. Kids and dogs aren't afraid to be part of it. They jump right in, literally.

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