"It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubborness of the inorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed." - Albert Einstein

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I aspire to a stubbornly incorrigible nonconformity. The degree to which I have achieved my aspiration I leave in the capable hands of those whose wisdom and humilty exceed my own.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Life Is Good ... Again

I taught my daughter to make Cresca, my great grandmother's traditional Easter bread, which is more like a quiche, this past Saturday. It was a great success and everyone loved it. I have such fond memories of enjoying this treat every Easter and have not made it for years. Even though I could not eat any, I think I enjoyed passing this on to my daughter almost as much as I would have enjoyed eating it.

I have been trying, for years, to practice the Law of Attraction, what you project is what comes to you. It's really hard to assess the effectiveness of something like that because the universe is a random place and practicing the Law of Attraction doesn't mean that you will never experience any bad things, only that you will be better able to cope with the bad things that you do experience.

I do have some difficulty accepting that the Law of Attraction explains how everything works. I don't think that children are abused or neglected because of their negative attitudes about life or that people who die unexpectedly are somehow responsible for their demise. But I do think that cultivating a positive attitude and practicing a life of mindfulness, being truly and completely present to each moment, does produce tremendous benefits.

I had been dreading the phone call I made yesterday. Last week I submitted a sputum sample for testing. I was mentally preparing myself to have to go back on IV antibiotics, which is yet another tether and might mean I would not be able to attend my three day Buddhist Sesshin later this month. At the same time I was consciously trying to have a positive outlook and thanking the sacred for the gift of the health that I do have.

When I called my doctor yesterday and spoke to his nurse, she gave me some very good news. The sputum sample that I submitted last week grew only "natural flora," and there were no pathogens at all. That means that I am healing well and won't have to be on IV antibiotics. I was so happy and light that it made my afternoon zazen a little challenging but so enjoyable.

It is interesting to me that I was able to hold two contradictory thoughts in my head and heart and soul at the same time - dreading what I anticipated happening and simultaneously feeling, or trying to feel, confident that there would be a good outcome. I find that I do this in life and I think I have seen other people do this too. I have done it so long that it just feels natural to me now, but when I stop and think about it, it seems a little crazy.

I am celebrating my good news with a cup of coffee. My wife, daughter, and I have all agreed that there is a delicate balance between quality of life and quantity of life and that I will not sacrifice the certain quality of life for an uncertain quantity of life. So I get to have an occasional cup of coffee or a cold beer with no regrets or shame or guilt. And I have to say that the coffee is particularly satisfying this morning.

It is intriguing how little thingss like sharing something special from your heritage and experience with your daughter or getting good health news can buoy a person up. Yes, life is good ... again.

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