I have to admit it: although I have a high regard for all life (such that I don’t even like killing mosquitoes, and I’m a spider-saver from way back), I’m not really what you could call an animal lover. We had dogs, guinea pigs, parakeets, finches, doves and fish while I was growing up, and as an adult I had a dog for 16 years that I loved dearly. I’ve had affection for a couple of cats, but my body doesn’t respond well to cats, and I was told by my eye doctor that I’m allergic to them. In general, I prefer to keep animals (with the exception of my beloved little sisters, the bees) at arm’s distance. However, David has a dog, Baby, and a cat, Kitty, and though my eyes are itching and swollen regularly, we get along all right. I even petted Kitty one day when no one was looking. He’s actually pretty cool. Mostly, though, I ignore them all as much as possible. But Sunday afternoon, I had a weak moment. Usually I have no patience for cats on the counter, but this is David’s house and David’s cat, so I let him (the cat) go where he will. And for some unfathomable reason, I suddenly decided to go one step closer to the dark side, and actually turn on the water in the kitchen sink so Kitty could have fresh, running water. I certainly never did that before!
Monday, day 300 (DAY 300!!!), we walked down the hill for an appointment at A Page in the Sun, a cafe and used bookstore for the English speakers in PV. I was meeting the owner, Lindsey, to talk about me doing a book reading and signing. We got there way early, so we sat outside having breakfast. A man came by selling honey, and a lady who had been talking our ears off on a variety of topics started telling us all about this guy’s honey and his different products. He sells a white honey that is specifically for use in the eyes. I had never heard of that, and of course it really piqued my interest, so I bought a little bottle. She warned that it might burn a little at first. OH MY FREAKIN’ GOSH!!! OWOWOWOW!!!! But only for a few minutes. SHEESH! David tried it too. And you know, once the sting went away (it only stung David a little bit), our eyes felt pretty darn good for the rest of the day. I googled it when I got home, and, sure enough, this is a known use for honey. Imagine that! I used it again that night, the next morning, and again this morning. The sting wasn’t quite so bad, plus my eyes don’t itch nearly as much as they usually do down here with the cat and pollen and dog.
When we first got to the bookstore, David’s friend Chris was waiting for us. She was reading the hot-off-the-press issue of Vallarta Tribune. I glanced at the open page, and there was the article of my interview about beekeeping! And one of my favorite pictures of one of my bees on my hand. That was fun! And then, the whole reason we were there in the first place, we set up an Author’s Event for November 11, just two days before my grand Mexican adventure comes to an end.
Day 301. I’m a great believer in serendipity, in the perfect alignment of two or more seemingly unrelated things or events. We’ve been watching some of Tony Robbins’ online seminars. from his Robbins-Madanes Coach Training. I am a big fan of his work, simply because it has had an immeasurable and positive influence in my life and in my journey with depression. In these seminars, they talk about the six basic human needs, needs that all humans everywhere share and will do whatever it takes to get met. They are 1) Certainty/safety, 2) Variety, 3) Significance, 4) Connection/love, 4) Growth, 5) Contribution. According to this philosophy, if any behavior meets at least three of the top four needs for a person, whether in a positive or negative way, it’s addictive. If a person wants to change habitual behaviors, it’s useful to understand how they are meeting those top needs, and how those needs can be met in a more desirable manner.
I mention this because I’m having a lot of trouble these days dealing with the everyday stuff of living in a foreign country with someone I’d never met before. It has become increasingly clear to me that I have some ways of talking to myself (mind chatter, or monkey mind, as the Buddhists call it) that are making me miserable, but I can’t seem to change it, even though I theoretically know how and have had a lot of practice. I started thinking about that whole idea that behavior that meets at least three of the top four basic human needs is addictive, so as I was doing the dishes I started asking myself how thinking bitchy thoughts, how seeing the bad more easily than the good, how being unhappy is meeting those needs for me. I took the time I needed to get honest answers, and also I thought about some examples from my past experiences, both “good” and “bad” experiences. Then I asked myself, “How might being HAPPY get those needs met for you? How might being CURIOUS rather than judgmental get those needs met for you?” And then I took the necessary time and thought to get some real answers and examples around that, too. What an interesting exercise! And VERY educational. I plan to stay with this inquiry for awhile. I’m thinking to do it around all sorts of things, like drinking and being overweight and whatever else. The thing is it’s such a non-judgmental inquiry. It is pure intelligence gathering. And if, in the process, I find answers that will change the behaviors that aren’t taking me where I want to go? YEEHAW!
Have you done something new today?