May 2009

You’ve heard about Beginner’s Mind and about being in your Don’t Know mind but lately when my thoughts have been driving me crazy I’ve been working on my Never Mind.

These days I’m getting lots of practice what with being pregnant and all. 

I remember being in a training thing and we were introducing ourselves to the class and one woman was five months pregnant.  This was when I was still on the fence about having kids.  And she said that she was excited about having a kid but it was really stressful.  And I thought – what’s so stressful?  You want a kid, you’re on your way, what’s there to be stressed about?

Ah, so naive I was.  Because of course there is lots to be stressed about.  Just because you can get yourself knocked up doesn’t mean you’ll make a good mom, or enjoy being one.  What’s the saying – buying a piano doesn’t make you a concert pianist?

A woman once told me she got pregnant because it was banana daquiri night with her partner and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  But here she was at an all day yoga thing with a baby at home.  She was exhausted and quietly napped in the corner for the afternoon.  I was suspicious that she didn’t come to the yoga thing to get caught up on Yoga and Physiology, but to get caught up on her sleep.  It shows to go you, what seems like a good idea under the influence of banana daquiris does not always look that way when you can’t tie your own shoes anymore.

And I didn’t plan this pregnancy at all, so yeah, for me there’s been a lot of Never Mind practice going on.

Telling myself to “Never Mind” helps me hit the pause button on my worrying and catastrophizing.  “Never Mind” is a reminder to have faith in the gift of time.  That some part of my worry will likely dissolve before it becomes reality.  Or that a solution will come to me while I sleep.  Or that I’m just having a rough day.  Or that I’ll know what to ask for, and heck, might even get it.  Never Mind means cutting myself some slack and trusting.

It’s definitely not about denying what’s going on.  I don’t want to do that.  But it does mean making the committment to find a bit of space where I can breath and believe it will work out somehow some way.  Sure, there’s still a huge possibility that the catastrophe I’m imagining will come to pass.  It will be horrible and life will fall apart around my ears.  Sure, and that would suck.  But Never Mind tells me that I want to also be open to the possibility that there will be some Yuck mixed in with the OK, mixed in with the ‘This ain’t so bad’.  In other words, Never Mind, you don’t know how it’s going to pan out so just breath.
Whatever I’m obsessing about probably won’t kill me.  And on my really dark days I think hell if it does then I won’t have any of this to worry about :-)  Sure it’s dark, but whatever gets you through the day right?

I’ve been reading Byron Katie who has a great process that she calls The Work.  It’s about dealing with the thoughts that drive us nutty crackers.  Basically you question the thoughts or “reality” that is driving you crazy and force youself to call it into question enough that you can chill out about it.  The questions are:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

#2 reminds you that you probably can’t absolutely know the reality that you think you know.  And #4 let’s you see how you might be without the thought, so there’s a little incentive to letting go.  You find yourself saying – hmmm, if I’d be calm and sane without this thought maybe it *is* worth trying to let go of it!  It’s great stuff, I’d highly recommend it.  She takes it to all kinds of places.

In another book she talks about ‘loving what is’, not resisting things and not just living with them but *loving* them.   Here’s a quote:

A lover of what is looks forward to everything: life, death, disease, loss, earthquakes, bombos, anything the mind might be tempted to call “bad”.  Life will bring us everything we need, to show us what we haven’t undone yet.  Nothing outside ourselves can make us suffer.  Except for our unquestioned thoughts, every place is paradise.

So there are still days when I think – what if this kid is Devil Child?  What if we don’t like each other?  But most days I’m able to tell myself – Never Mind, let’s meet him, because it just might be OK.

I was talking to a friend who’s Aquarius this morning and she was grooving on her horoscope for this week from our favorite horoscope dude.  It’s about forgiveness. 

I find it so amazing in the personal ecosystem I call my life, how my past experiences of being hurt by people can be such a trap.  I seem to believe it gives me permission to wallow in being a victim.  I get to tell myself about how the big bad people were mean to me and I couldn’t help it.  I can be powerless and smug.   I don’t have to do a thing.  And of course that’s utter crap.

Now I’m not minimizing the hurt or saying that it doesn’t matter.  Of course it does.  But until we find a way to shake ourselves out of being the victim, nothing changes.   And the problem is that it’s not just there – we relive it.  We remind ourselves of the past event when we’re feeling lousy.  We “re-feel” all the yuckiness, all over again.  We allow it to become a pattern in our lives because we tell ourselves we can’t help it.  So wait a second, now who’s become the big meanie?  

When we recognize the ‘hurt/victim’ pattern it’s a signal to jump in there and work on changing it.  It’s not about saying disingenuously – wow the meanies are awesome!  The forgiveness is for us.  And it’s tough work.  But I like D.K.’s formula:

“I forgive myself for allowing myself to choose this painful experience. I forgive myself for mistaking the past for the present. I am willing to let go of all negative emotions around this and step back into my natural abundance.”

The ‘natural abundance’ thing reminds me of something else.  When I’ve been able to start the forgiveness process,  I get carloads……no, boatloads of perspective about the situation.  All this new information comes along about myself, the “meanie”, the situation, you name it.  Stuff I never would have seen or heard while locked smugly in victim mode. 

It’s like the situation was black and white and then there’s a rush of all the grey stuff that makes up most of life.  The contradictory, ironic, ‘who’da thought’, complex story-bits, the kind you get from a good HBO series. 

It seems like in return for the work I do, I get the gift of being able to understand the situation with a dose of brutal clarity.   And then the really hard work of forgiveness can begin.