My post is a simple attention grabber about my topic. It is meant to be pleasing to the eye and catch the attention of social media users. I posted the “flyer” on my Instagram and it has a link at…
I followed the advice, but I ended up with something other than what I expected.
They say by doing something consistently for 21 days, we are helping ourselves to establish a new habit. We implement an automatic process and free ourselves from the need to maintain that habit through volitional decisions. No more effort is needed. And if we continue on that path for 90 days, it’s not just a reinforced habit, it’s a change in lifestyle.
Just think about for a moment what this means.
We have changed our lifestyle, which means we are changing our life.
It is common to hear how our life is changed even shattered by external, unexpected factors beyond our control. We also hear stories about how some special people change their lives, but heck here is our personal story of a significant change worthy of a magazine cover.
It turns out that instead of willpower using support systems (in my case, by asking my followers on Facebook to meditate with me for 20 minutes in the morning for 21 days), we can change our life.
But wait what a change it is.
I expected to turn calm and sober due to everyday meditation, with nothing to throw me off balance, nothing to make me angry or sad, because I would be able to distinguish clearly what in the world depends on me and what does not.
Because I will meditate, my immune system will act well and I will be healthier. I will work diligently on my projects with fewer distractions and do a lot of useful and fun stuff, I will be kind to people, I will have time to meet people I care about, I will grow my business, I will study two foreign languages every day, I will write, film, edit, I will spend time in state archives doing my research. I will enjoy plants and stones, I will walk at least 10 km a day.
All this will be happening because I will meditate in the mornings.
There was once a monk with a similar plan, deciding never to give in to anger until he reached enlightenment. He succeeded and is now known as the Unshakeable One, Buddha Akshobhya.
Whenever the Dalai Lama or the 17th Karmapa announces there will be a ritual or teaching broadcasted in Akshobhya’s honor, I make sure I tune in.
I watch youtube, I listen, I eat an apple, have a cup of coffee and I admire the unshakable Akshobhya. He knew how to see the difference between what is real and what is an illusion. You become what you admire.
Except that nothing like that happened to me in those fifty days of everyday meditation, and some things happened the other way round.
At least a few people were deeply annoyed by my behavior, and I was annoyed by their reactions. Two very nice people have written to me to say that I let them down. A third one called and said, ‘Well, this is terrible what you do, I’m so disappointed’.
It seems that my ability to distinguish between reality and illusion has only weakened during this time of meditation. I have never had so many misunderstandings in my life. As I have been slipping away, I have been lacking in energy, and I have nothing to boast about in my work — although I seem to have done my best and a little more. And I had a cold. The things I want to write are still waiting. The archives are never visited. Writing, filming, and editing are on hold. Language classes are on hold too.
It’s true that I drank water every day, which is unusual to me. And I walked a lot more. Because I walked more, I had more new ideas. I drank coffee in reasonable quantities, not too much, and not at night. Meditation in the morning has become as routine as brushing teeth.
But all those positive changes can not make up for the emotional fireworks.
What did I do wrong?
Or maybe my nature is just different from Akshobhya’s, maybe I am becoming more fierce and difficult to live with when meditating?
I would like to think of myself as a very nice person.
But I cannot.
Maybe this is the most important change that I have made, even if it is only for a short time meditating in the mornings.
It’s news to me, and I like it.
I don’t know what Akshobhya did before his decision never to get angry, but he was definitely not a woman, so it is very likely that he was not conditioned to direct his anger inward.
Anger is a protective reaction that is inherent in all of us and is very necessary. Anger indicates that something is wrong. Denying, repressing, or even turning anger inwards does us no good. For millions of women around the world, it brings autoimmune diseases. It is the same as denying, repressing, or swallowing pain, mourning, or any authentic reactions.
The changes are manifold, and vary in different situations, but if I had to summarise in one sentence, I would say that I have a clearer sense of my boundaries.
I find it easier to say ‘no’. I understand what doesn’t suit me. I find it easier not to continue the conversation. I understand better when not to say ‘I’m sorry’. I can accept that the other person is unhappy with me more easily and understand that this is their opinion, their emotion, which means that it neither makes me feel better nor worse, so I don’t have to go the extra mile to prove they have misunderstood me. Or rather, I will try, but only a couple of times, not twenty like I used to do before.
I am more aware of my desire to please and I can observe it, and it’s less of a factor in my decisions. I am more likely to notice the aim to manipulate me.
Although at first glance I appear anti-Akshobhya, I think I now understand better what Akshobhya had in mind.
So I no longer have that idea of being a very nice person. I understand better that I do not need that ‘very’ at the cost of my boundaries.
Thank you for continuing to meditate with me in the mornings, or for considering meditating in the future.
I trust you’ll discover things about yourself too.
A special holiday message and reflection from Teressa P aka iWriteTee
Breath warmly leaves my body. “Breath” is published by Randy Shingler in The Creative Cafe.
Trend-spotting is an art and a science. Anticipating change is the key to finding success in trend-spotting. It helps you see what not to do and where to go next.