Friday, February 03, 2006

Friday, Feb. 3: To be alive and to improve: way cool

To be alive is a miracle, and then the other miracle is that we aren’t thrilled with this every second of our lives. What dopes we are! We look out into a Universe full of rocks and air and clouds and water, and we are alive, and we know we are alive, a Universe of space dust and empty planets, and we are alive and we can know we are alive.

And we forget to be happy.

Or we set up situations where some people are poor and diseased and being shot at and bombed and it’s very hard for them to be happy. What are we thinking, making a world with hungry people and marginalized people, and people grinding away in factories on the other side of the world so we can have fancy shoes and the latest stuff, with which we stuff our lives? We’ve got to be bonkers, and how to solve the world situation is a huge one, but I think a start is to buy less stuff, and to think about what do we really need to be happy:

The conditions for a good life seem quite simple:

Some people to talk to and touch, also known as friends.

A place to sleep. This is usually a house, but in mild climates sleeping outside is one of life’s sweet treats.

Something meaningful to do with our time. To be creative. To be useful. To engage is some work or activity in which we learn and use ourselves fully.

Some good food, organic food, grown local food.

A way to get around that doesn’t ruin the Earth or drive us to the poor house. Here I could go into the car addiction thing, but I won’t. Take a walk. Take a bike ride. These are fun ways to be.

How to solve the world situation?

I don’t know. Encourage less addiction to oil in our own lives, encourage a shift to slowing down and enjoying life as it is happening now. Love the moment. Love our friends. Love learning.

Feldenkrais, the work of Byron Katie, both are sweet and amazing ways to learn. In both, we take habits that lead to unease, be they habits of tightening as we move, or habits of blaming when we feel bad. We discover what the habit is. In the Feldenkrais work we might do a movement five different ways to discover habitual and non-habitual ways of doing something as oblique to our awareness as sitting down and getting up from a chair. In the Byron Katie work, we write down the thoughts that we waste our time rolling over and over in our mind. ( So and so should have washed the dishes. So and so should appreciate me more. So and so shouldn’t be such a bossy person.). Then we give ourselves, in the Katie work, options to the old way, the way of believing our thoughts.

One option: question if this is really true.

Another option: become aware of the consequences of attaching to this thought.

Another option: imagining, however briefly, that we are living without attachment to that thought.

Another option; trying the “turn-around.” What if it is just as true that “I should listen to so and so better” as it is true “So and so should listen to me better?”

In both the Feldenkrais work and the Byron Katie work use our awareness to expand up and out of our habitual unfreedom. This is a good way to start on the path to ongoing happiness.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home