I’ve done this. It works.
Thanks for writing it up.
I’ve done this. It works.
Thanks for writing it up.
So guys, why do we tie ourselves in such knots?
For example, minor but illustrative:
My sister and I were cooking Sunday lunch recently (“the other day”) and I was looking for something useful in a drawer – and couldn’t find it. Of course, it was there. ‘Man looking’ was the comment. Fair enough, I didn’t really look, I just stuck my eyes in there for a nanosecond and then said I couldn’t see the (insert cooking item here) whisk.
My sister had a point. I looked again, slower, and there it was. Simple enough. But illustrative of a wider issue. And be sure, I’m not the first to think about this, or mention it.
Does make you wonder though: why do so many men pressure themselves so completely without need. Unnecessarily. Ha! I even worry about the fact that spelling unnecessarily is difficult, and that I should know that, and why is it hard and why aren’t I better etc… Yawn.
The monster list of things to worry about, not to say, not to do – classic examples being crying or showing emotion. Boy (pun intended) that makes me sad and furious all at the same time.
How dare that be the current status quo, how dare fathers and patriarchs everywhere instill and reinforce such heinous and pathetic rules. Get over yourselves guys. In being so “strong”, you make clear your weakness. It’s just perverse.
Crying is a basic human outlet for emotion, feeling and acceptance of reality.
Showing emotion is at the forefront of being human.
Without an effective ability to show your emotion your ability to be human is severely limited. How dare they pretend that is the right way.
Masculinity is a thin shiny shell that needs to be firmly snapped, shattered and all those sharp edges created in the shattering experienced and felt, sobbed over and accepted. Come on guys, get a grip of being human, being frail, wrong, lost, unsure, fearful and above all, just stop pretending.
With love to everyone.
And especially with love and hugs to all those many blokes so tied up with their standards and requirements of themselves that this post is hard to accept, hard to like, hard to see the value of. Because I’ve been there enough to know what a hard place you’ve pasted yourself into (or been pasted into, although it is always your choice really).
Please, amongst righteous and widespread climate change protests today and a severe lack of both long-term thinking and care-driven behaviour, let’s all be good to ourselves and let it all hang out.
Well, I learnt the obvious lesson again the other day, so thought I’d write it up.
Simple enough, and a well worn lesson too.
109 days of mindful formal practice, no matter how short, and the day I do not practice (and lose my run record) is the one where I am argumentative, provocative and not in a good way and clearly lost any chance of choosing how to behave.
It’s been common enough, for me, to skip a day now and then, until about 3 years ago.
About 9 months ago, I reached my 378 day run record. Nothing especially clever about that, takes determination, and a genuine understanding of the value daily practice.
How good are you at choosing a better response to a situation? Compare when you’ve been meditating daily for 6 months v before.
Now, the other day, I had a combination of events that contributed to me allowing myself. I still let myself to be annoying, right. It was a harder choice after a fever filled 3 days, once of which I worked hard through. And we had to pack for our massive trip to thr Asturias, basically moving abroad for ages. And we weren’t doing it as my muscles were shaking inside most of the day and I felt horrible. Hence the picture of the roofbox on our hatchback Toyota hybrid.
And much harder as I hadn’t meditated that morning, and thereby set up my day to just ease off any edge, and set me up to be better able to choose.
Every day has massive value
So, to reiterate, I recommend every single day, even if 5 minutes (longer is better, no doubt), and first thing, or a close to actually before anything else as is possible. E.g. I do put in clothes.
This stained glass dragon reminded me of another dragon I painted on my wall aged about 12, and I’ve recently made good use of the dragon to help me understand my thinking, and to choose to think differently.
What came from the reminder idea was a mental prompt tool for me, that has become pivotal to my calm, and my awareness. Essentially, I drew a simplified version of the dragon, and called it the Dragon Glass. The following explains a little about it.
The Dragon Glass has become a mental prompt that reminds me to take alternatives to specific topics of my negative thinking, and thereby to come back to a mindful, calm and objective state of mind.
For a good deal of my life so far, I’ve spent time thinking, in not-so-positive ways. I think most of us do this. I found recently, when I did a few weeks of writing notes on my thoughts, that I spend a lot of time on the same topics. And mostly negatively biased on those regular topics.
Each different element of the drawn version below represent a recurrent thinking topic. These topics of thought vary from the self-absorbed to the basic and essential. Though of course, many are fundamental to existence in life, such as ‘My view of the future’. Many were predominantly negative for me, but with some positive or useful qualities, such as ‘My judgements’.
Here is the drawn Dragon Glass. It’s deceptively simple, so I’ll try and explain how I use it below. If I’m aware enough, I use the Dragon Glass as a prompt and reminder many multiple times a day.
You’ll see each part represents one topic of thinking. What’s less obvious is how they can combine. Also, note that the topic titles I’ve written describe something specific and personal for me, even though they are broad titles.
An important element is that the Dragon’s chest represents mindful awareness of my breath. Another is the Dragon’s head, representing my logical thinking mind.
The other parts, as you’ll see and especially if you can read my writing, highlight a broad range of thinking topics. Each one of these I would spend dwell in, spending unhelpful time feeling less than brilliant.
Essentially, the aims are twofold and simple:
1 – Spend more time mindful of my breathe, enjoying the here and now
2 – Spend less time dwelling negatively on the many things that run through my head.
I use the Dragon Glass as a prompt – to remind me and show me there are other things to think about. If I’m experiencing something, or thinking something I’m not enjoying, I bring the Dragon Glass to mind, and it is clear where I am on the Dragon. Immediately, it is clear where I am, and where else I could be.
If you’ve ever been caught up, stressed out about something, or preoccupied you’ll know what I mean. For years (and still often, let’s be upfront), I find it difficult to realise that there is an alternative, right here and now.
The mental map of the Dragon Glass shows me I can be calm, even in the face of stressful work, or calm even when something I’m doing is ridiculously frustrating. It shows me how I’m currently thinking and what my alternatives are.
So, put simply, the real power of the Dragon Glass is to show me that I have a choice.
I always, always have a choice.
A choice to accept this emotion, or to move past it.
A choice in every moment, to be aware of my breathe, to be calm.
A choice to be as logical as I can be (it’s relative, still, of course).
A choice to be as objective as I can be (also always relative).
A choice sometimes not to influence or decide, but to just enjoy what is happening.
Hopefully, you get the idea, and it might help a little. Certainly did for me.