Antidotes to chaos

Typically, I blog after having had an epiphany. Today, I am blogging in hopes of reaching one.

I am feeling tearful and fragile. Of course, I want that feeling to go away because I don’t like it. But I created a card deck that helps people put their feelings into words, and I believe that emotions are the inner guidance system by which we navigate our lives. That means I have to sit with and engage all the following emotions at the same time (mouse over each illustration):

Afraid  

  

  

  

  

Why? I could say all kinds of things. Money worries. Having a full-time job plus two businesses and a non-profit on the side. Learning to be earthmates with my soulmate. Raising a teenager with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and a tendency toward oppositional defiance. The tension of integrating into our family a father-figure who has already raised two teenaged boys to manhood, and can anticipate anything my son throws at him. (My son hates that.)

But those are all excuses. Bottom line: I’m not good at taking care of myself. I have a low tolerance for chaos and hate doing anything half-assed. So the more I do, the less chaotic my life will be. Right? I self-medicate with busyness.

The aforementioned soulmate is a Buddhist who gets up at 5:30 every morning to meditate and study the dharma for an hour. With a few exceptions (one of which I call “Facebook Man”), serenity has eclipsed his Irish temper. I have seen him get through an absolute train wreck of circumstances with tears, but an astonishing equilibrium and grace. His antidote to chaos is the time he spends on his cushion every morning.

When he suggests that I might benefit from meditation, I get all fit-pitchy and refer to the many times I have “failed” in my attempts. (I consider intrusive thoughts failure. I also consider intrusive theme songs from television shows such as Bonanza failure.)

I’m not sure why I want to throw tantrums whenever anyone suggests that meditation would do me good. Walking and shamanic journeying work better for me, but in the end, I don’t think it matters how I center, ground, and calm myself. It’s just imperative that I do.

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