Saturday, November 05, 2016

Stress Cleaning and Meditation.

When I'm stressed, I clean. I've been working on decluttering for a while now; it got sidetracked by hurricanes and busyness and Disney weekend. This weekend, right before the scariest election of my life, I CLEANED.

I cleaned the garage. I was going to put a bunch of large plastic storage tubs used in the last two moves out for a curb alert, but yesterday mentioned them to a co-worker who is packing to move, and she wants them. They are now cleaned up and in the back of the new RAV4, which is hugely roomy with the seats folded down. We'll fold down the seats in her SUV on Monday and transfer these suckers. Problem solved. Garage is swept. Space has been made. Sad, droopy bike has air in the tires, and is no longer about to faint if a breeze blows by. Tomorrow morning I may even go for a ride.

But I'm still stressed, and the walk-in closet in the office/second bedroom is now better than ever.

My hair is freshly colored.

I'm still stressed, but I'm managing.

About that meditation book. 10% Happier. Seriously, I am loving this book so hard!

I have never watched Good Morning America - okay, maybe once or twice 20 years ago, but not in the last decade. I had no idea the author was a TV guy. I don't watch weekend morning shows at all, because I have better things to do, like, I don't know, scrub toilets. So I had never heard of Dan Harris, let alone this book. It popped up on Amazon as a bargain read about meditation, and I decided what the hell.

Holy shit. This was one of those serendipity moments.

First, the book is very entertaining and honest and well-written. He's funny and self-aware and not at all into navel-gazing. But what struck me most, and got me hooked, was that he was, in the course of his investigation of religion and then meditation, describing the same skepticism and disdain I had for the "woo-woo" aspect, but still felt like there is something real here. It's a very grounded and non woo-woo description of meditation, and a very funny and thoughtful and conversational approach to the subject. He addresses his own discomfort with even telling anyone he meditates, and the reactions he received. He interviewed and was very unimpressed with Deepak Chopra and his ilk. He went on a meditation retreat and suffered the tortures of the damned and wanted to just go home, until he was advised by one of the teachers who had turned him off at first to basically stop taking it so damn seriously and just relax. Then, it got really cool. Then, he had to rejoin the real world.

And for me, personally, I laughed at how I recognized the names he interviewed, because I'd read (or sometimes just attempted to read) many of these teachers' books, and the ones he found most real and grounded were the ones I also thought were sane and not woo-woo, but he also examined his own preconceived notions about meditation and meditation teachers. It basically dissects the subject of meditation in a very readable and honest way. I'm not one to write fan letters, but I was tempted to send him one. I felt more validated and sane and re-focused on the benefits and want to deepen my practice. Especially right now. Because, DAMN. Eventually, I'll run out of things to clean.


Anonymous said...

Wishing you all the best for Wednesday - if it looks scary from here (and it does!) it must be terrifying for you,

Gae, in Callala Bay

Anonymous said...

After the weekend we have had, a friend and I were just trying to GUESS what it all cost - at the worst we had at least a dozen fire trucks and their crews lined up the length of our street. Two water bombing helicopters on a constant circuit, a small observation helicopter making regular passes - the noise was incredible. That is just the stuff we could see from our front windows!
Rural Fire Services trucks have the name of their home town or village on the side, and they literally came from all up and down the South Coast - from Batemans Bay in the South, and as far north as Kiama. There were a few trucks as well from the 'professional' NSW Fire Brigades in Nowra. The Rural FS firefighters are volunteers, but when they attend a big fire like this, someone has to organise feeding and watering them. Very proud and grateful.

Gae, in Callala Bay

wednesday said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I am always looking for a good book on meditation.

I am hiding away from all but the occasional peek at the political news. Wednesday can't come soon enough, unless, of course, by then we are a literal nationwide trash-fire and have begun rioting in the streets.

Catherine said...

It's not so much a book about meditation but his personal discovery of it and an investigation of how it is becoming mainstream. But it's refreshing in its skepticism combined with an honest story about how it has helped him. Very entertaining read.