Friday, January 25, 2008

Mind is Water

I learned this little saying from a co worker in Alaska last summer. It's a great concept, but kind of hard to practice. no, not kind of. It's REALLY hard to practice.

It goes something like this.

when water is not actively churned or agitated it settles into a calm and even state. the mind can be a serene place if you don't stir it up with worries. things that happen cannot be undone, don't slosh it around in your mind. Let it go. (ever practice yoga?) "Breathe in the tranquility around you, feel the peace spread through your body. Breathe out, feel the turmoil within escape. Contemplate on the areas of the mind that harbor bad air, with your next exhalation, purge these areas of pother and allow repose to take its place."

I think that's the general concept. I hope I'm not missing anything big.

One thing I've noticed is that I am able to do this on big matters, and I tend to hang on to the trivial things. I'm going to start working on that right now, tonight.

examples of big things that don't get me down. A few months ago I found my car being towed. I caught the tow-truck man and had him drop the car. he charged me $60 to drop it. Mind you , that's easily only half of what I would have had to pay if I had come out of the concert 5 minutes later, But still. In the past I've had a problem with dealing with these sort of situations, I have fantasized taking a tire iron to the head of a parking patrol officer as he removes the boot from my car... This time I was able to own the fact that I didn't see the tow warning sign, and that the guy was just doing his job. I was able to see my good fortune at not having to pay upwards of $200 in towing and storage fees had I come outside 5 minutes later. I paid the man and I wished him a good night. and I while I did tell a few friends about the incident, I was actually just bragging that I was able to control my self.

A few days ago I logged onto my online bank account, it said I had a hundred some odd dollars. 'that's fine,' I thought 'I'll deposit my paycheck before school sometime next week.'
I logged on last night to see that my account was overdrawn around 350 dollars. What I hadn't noticed a few days ago was that my balance was in parentheses, meaning my account had a negative balance of a hundred some-odd dollars. I had accrued an additional $200 in overdraft fees on small purchases like hot chocolate, taco bell, a netflix payment etc. Oh man, I was pretty shocked, irritated. I am paying for this semester of school out of my own pocket. The deadline isn' too far off in terms of pay periods. It's been on my mind that I need to make a hefty payment soon or I'll have a doubly drastic payment on the deadline. Needless to say this $300 deficit in my account set me back a bit. But instead of flipping out and beating myself up, cursing my bank and their $32 overdraft fees. I looked over my statement and found out just where I had erred. and when I figured it out, I accepted it and let it go. It feels really good to do that.

Some little things that affect me in a big way.

I was pretty poor growing up, almost unbelievably so. My dad was pretty thrifty, and we made do. I guess he had this theory of being self sufficient enough to be able to survive on an income that exempted us from taxes. We did this by raising poultry/eggs, growing our own vegetables (mostly squash) and eating a lot of cheap staples (probably why I'm allergic to beans now.) We ate tons of pasta, beans, squash, stew, lintels etc. My mom went to midwifery school in Texas for a few months and during that time my dad instilled in me an appreciation for food on the table. If we didn't care for the meals in front of us, we were welcome to go to bed without. It was not acceptable to pick out the parts we didn't care for (squash, hot dogs in macaroni). To this day, if I see someone picking the celery out of their stew, taking just potatoes and meat from a pot roast, or throwing away pizza crusts, it just plain affects me. This is something really small to most people, even to me, but I can't help but think of waste and expense when someone doesn't eat their crusts. I have decided to make a conscious effort to not bring it up again. This is the last time. right here and now. If I do bring it up, call me out on it... Okay I may ask for your crusts before you infect them with your filthy saliva, but I wont jump down your throat/into the trash can if you say 'no' and throw them out.

It really is good to let things go. releasing that stress is taking control of your mental health. It's really, really good. try it.

No comments: