Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh, Universe.

What a crazy couple of weeks. Do you ever have those periods of time where you can tell that you’re going through some serious stuff, but you can’t really explain it or define it? Like there is something fundamental going on on an emotional level, a paradigm shift of sorts. You know it’s big, but you also know not to question it too much or try to define it until you get thru it and have some more perspective. So I’m in that now. I know it’s a good thing, but I feel keyed up, like my nervous system has been put on high gear. My sleep patterns seem to be changing, my emotions are all over the map from one second to the next. And yet, there’s a kind of relief and joy in all this – though its sitting side by side with fear and confusion.

Seems like a good time to get back to learning more about meditation and such. Once again I was talking to a friend of mine who has recently been exploring meditation – the one who told me about the class I wanted to take . Each week during the session they’d leave with little assignments and guidance to work on their practice. One night this week she was showing me the “homework” and it said that during the week, in a moment when you’re particularly anxious or stressed, do this. First, pause. Then ask yourself these 2 questions:
1. What am I thinking right now?
2. Is it true?

This didn’t really resonate for me during our conversation, but that night I went home after an extremely stressful day. One of the greatest things I enjoy in life is a hot bath, and I had been looking forward to it desperately. I got the water running and started getting ready. After awhile I notice the bath doesn’t seem to be filling properly. Turns out the stopper is not going down – and I can’t get it work. The water had run so long there was no more hot water even if I had been able to fix it. I could literally feel my blood pressure going up, my frustration rising. After this crazy day, all I wanted was a stupid bath and even that isn’t working. I started to spiral out in my head a bit but then remembered the questions.

So I paused.

I asked what I was thinking right them (“the universe is conspiring against me completely.”)

I asked if this was true (Pause. Sigh. “fine, no, the universe probably isn’t devoting its energy to interrupting my bath plans.”)

And amazingly, it worked! In less than minute I felt physically calmer, and certainly had a better perspective. Instead of a bath I had a cup of tea and relaxed with a book. I can already see many situations a day where this quick practice will probably be helpful – I know I’m certainly going to try it out. I’ll keep you posted.

P.S. As I was trying to post this my computer froze up and I had to do a hard restart. Ironic, as again I felt myself starting to tense up and getting seriously annoyed. Still calming down, but the questions worked again! No, my computer isn't trying to make me insane, nor is the universe again dedicating itself to screwing with me. (Though its disappointing to realize I'm not as important as I think I am.)

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