Saturday, February 23, 2008

Waking Up to a Wonderful Life

marlie yoga


Life is wonderful.

We all know that. On certain days. At certain times.

And then there are other days, other times, when we forget. We are not so happy. We are miserable. We are numbing. We are rushing through our lives like zombies, like robots, like automatons. Like assholes, let’s say it out.

Okay: so we seem to have a broad range of possibilities: an asshole hour or a wonderful hour, a numb afternoon or a wonderful afternoon, a rushed frantic and worried day or a wonderful day. And isn’t it a beginning, just to acknowledge that we have these possibilities.

And then, the obvious question: what to do?

And the answer is not at all so obvious, because the world is littered with people, who is a rush to try to lift up from misery or escape from misery or smash out of misery or deny misery have gotten themselves into alcoholism, or drug addiction, or war, or relationship war, or ongoing cycles to “trying” and “failing” and “trying” and “failing.”

And what’s that all about?

Take this example.

Joe Blow is having a frustrating day at work. He is a little tired and hung over from drinking “a little too much” last night. So his work as a carpenter, or accountant, is a little sloppy and he keeps making mistakes, and feeling annoyed with himself. To make things worse, a fellow worker comments about his mistakes, and this allows him to indulge in feeling annoyed with this commenter and even more annoyed with himself. “Trying” to make less mistakes, he makes more, and has in general, a lousy day. He can’t wait to get out of work.

He tells himself over and over, how relieved he’s going to be after work. Finally, the workday ends, he rushes out, and celebrates his relief with a friendly drink at a friendly bar. Ah, one drink and he really feels relaxed. And then, thoughts of the crummy day creep in, and another drink relaxes that tension away. And then tension, in the form of thoughts about his wife scolding him in he comes home from drinking, and his own scolding himself about drinking “too much,” and he needs a drink or two to wash those tensions away. And then some “asshole” at the bar, says something, and he argues, and almost gets in a fight, and needs quite a few more drinks to get back to the idea of himself as a mellow, together fellow.

By the time he gets home, his wife is worried and annoyed, and he feel lousy, and he can’t eat well, nor can he sleep well, and the next day is a set up to be even “worse.”

Alright, easy to show a problem. And what is the answer. Well, this whole book is about a batch of ways to make our moments and our hours and our days wonderful and then more wonderful. There is no one “cure” for every person at every moment, but a good starter, if we can pull it off is this: come into the present.

What? This man’s present, poor Joe Blow, it was awful.

Well, maybe yes, maybe no. Was he present when sitting at his accounting desk or hammering nails at the job. Did he feel, in the moment his breath coming in and his breath going out. (Do we, reading and or listening, and or writing this, notice and sense our breathing coming in and out?). Did he notice his relationship to gravity: his butt on the chair, his feet on the floor? Did he notice his hammer feeling in his hand, or his finger on the pen or keyboard? Did he notice light coming in his eyes, and sounds coming in his ears?

All these are possibilities, hints as to how alive and vital and available to all of us, all the time, the Present Moment thing is.

And that, in keeping with my idea of keeping each of these little essays a small and digestible morsel, is our start at how to have a wonderful life. By waking up to the present.

More will follow.

Much more.

Enjoy and play with and practice and explore and agree/ disagree discover for yourself whether the truth of these essays works for you, is true for you, is kind and useful for you.

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