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:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do you react when you believe that thought?
- 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.