I was planning to write a post today about holiday gift-giving and how we're all under so much pressure to buy presents that we forget what it's like to be generous. Except on Saturday I started to feel pain around my right eye. I thought it was probably from grinding my teeth (I have TMJ) but by Sunday afternoon the pain had increased and redness appeared underneath my bottom eyelid.
In this photo, my dog, Margaux, (pictured with my son), is the warrior. In this photo, my son, the ninja, is also the warrior. Beyond the frame of this photo, my husband, my daughter, my other dog, Claude, are, and I am, the warrior. In life, we are all the warrior.
So I guess it’s time to follow through on those New Year’s resolutions… I’m reminded of a quote, “We overestimate what we can accomplish in the short term, and we underestimate what we can accomplish in the long-term.”
I have not underestimated my ability to forget the name of this person, but the point seems clear given the various fads of self-improvement out there. When we make a slapdash effort to get fit, start meditating, lose weight, etc. we often have unrealistic expectations for ourselves.
The Buddha said that if you practice lovingkindness, or metta, meditation, you will experience scores of benefits (well, 11 specific ones). His list did not mention that you will have a better time at parties. Add that.
As a child who grew up in a one-tv household, without cable, banned from watching MTV at friends' houses, and now a parent running a family without cable and with minimal screen-time, the introduction of a gaming device into our home felt as though decades of negative-perception-baggage were plunked down into our family room, and onto the laps of our salivating children.
I used to make the joke that my husband talked me into having children. I’ve since stopped, realizing it was not that much of a joke, nor was it terribly funny. Having children wasn’t something I dreamed about nor longed to do. In fact, I used to try to talk my husband out of it. Now it’s something I study passionately – I’ll even throw down a Brene “wholeheartedly” here – both for my and my family’s well-being, and for my work.
I used to dread grocery shopping. Even thinking about it made me want to run screaming. The fluorescent lights, the cold grey surfaces, and the utilitarian feel of the activity. I hated that I hated it, and hated that I couldn’t seem to feel any other way about it.
I’ve often heard people say that we eat mindlessly. This isn’t quite accurate, though. Actually, while we eat, we spend most of our time daydreaming. This daydreaming is a form of hypnosis.
Under hypnosis you can become so focused on the contents of your mind that you lose awareness of the external environment. You can even lose awareness of your body. When we’re eating, we maintain just enough awareness of our body and environment to get the food into our mouth, and to get an initial taste of it. But then we go off into fantasies of various kinds.