Strange things are brewing. I fear that something un-wicked this way comes.
Reflect on something good that happened
The train I take to work starts above ground and then moves underground about halfway in, which is usually the metaphor for my day. The escalators to take you back up to the surface are often broken (the metaphor continues), which when you’re half asleep in the morning and running late and really hot in your suit jacket and kind of out of shape, can really piss you the hell off. There are 76 steps to climb. I climb them often and count as I go because it distracts me from my pissed-offness.
They were broken again today. And my perspective on the situation was so incredibly different that I was probably smiling like a crazy person as I huffed my way up all 76 of them. My workout this morning was a little clipped, and I saw those stairs as an opportunity. I had the chance to get my heart rate up again and get a little more exercise time in. I was almost glad, yes glad, that they were broken, and considered going back down just so I could climb them again. I honestly cannot remember a time that I was ever glad to be forced up a bunch of stairs at 9 in the morning. But most of all, I was struck by how I could see something that was broken as an opportunity, a way to turn it into a benefit, and it shifted the focus from “poor me” to “yay me.”
As I mentioned, exercise was cut a little short. That’s because the bed, today, almost won. I suspect this is going to be a daily war, and I’m ok with that. I’ll continue to strengthen my armory and strategize my battle plan. The sad thing is that I wasn’t asleep. I wasn’t even lying down. No, the problem today was not only was the bed warm and soft, but the Buzzfeed lists were funny, and neither the bed nor the lists asked me to sweat, work, or pant.
The saving grace in all of this was that it occurred to me that working out after work would be the greater of the two evils. So I rolled out of bed and on to the yoga mat for 20 minutes. I was only 10 minutes in when it started getting easier, and then I kicked myself for not starting earlier.
15 minutes of post-yoga meditation this morning. I’m finding that I don’t need the guided meditations anymore. I’m not saying guided meditations are a lower form and I’ve graduated up or anything like that, only that just me and the breath do alright together now. Having someone talk me through it no longer feels like a necessity to keep me from either napping or silently screaming.
3 things I’m grateful for:
1) My piano
2) The tree outside my living room window and the really comforting sound it makes when the wind blows
3) A stereo in the kitchen and the pleasure it adds to cooking.
Random act of kindness
I wanted to somehow revisit this thing that I confessed to where I frequently curse people under my breath. When I’m forced to be out in the world, I’m typically judging my way through it. That person has terrible manners and was raised in a barn, this person has something wrong with them, don’t know what, but something. I never say these things out loud, but my internal monologue, fed by insecurity and social anxiety, can be a raging bitch when I’m making my way through strangers.
I’ve felt pretty inspired by the meditation thing and this idea of choice that it presents (that you can choose where you focus your mind). So today I wanted to do an experiment on my inner bastard. Today’s random act of kindness was that anytime those mean, judgey thoughts came up, I would replace it with something nice. The guy who didn’t hold the elevator open for me as I was running toward it had great taste in shoes. The old man on the train that insisted on standing in the middle of the very packed car and jabbing me in the back with his elbow every time the car jostled, well he had a great head of hair for his age and should be applauded for making it this far through life and still riding public transportation.
This wasn’t so much a singular act of kindness, but my attempt to practice kindness throughout the day, to look at people kindly, to throw another voice in that internal monologue—one that noticed or assumed the good in strangers instead of cursing the things about them that irritate me. For all I know, I could be doing something unwittingly annoying, too, and I’d want the same benefit of the doubt. Though jabbing someone in the back with my elbow, I think I’d notice. But bless the poor dude; he’s just trying to get someplace in a way that’s comfortable for him—same as all of us.