These two guys appeared on my doorstep this morning. They won’t tell me their names so for the moment I am calling them by what’s printed on their T-shirts:
“Is this all there is?” and “What’s the point?”
Ever since they arrived, I’ve had a queasy knot in my belly and my chest is all a-rumble. When I stop distracting myself with things to put in my mouth, links to click, sites to check, worries to fondle, I feel scared. I’m afraid they’re right.
Now you might be saying that I should just throw them out. And I appreciate your idea. Except that it doesn’t really work. Not really.
I know how trying to ignore or get rid of things I don’t like inside myself goes. I did it for many years and it just makes things change clothes and come back in another form. I can totally see these T-shirt guys coming back in drag. Or taking hold of my body and becoming a pain in my neck. Or butt. Things I try to ignore or banish can totally put my back out. Ow! And let’s not forget how they can make me anxious, and how anxious can grind everything to a halt. Including sleep.
Um, no thanks.
It’s just that I need help. I can’t do it alone. So, I was wondering… um, how to say…
You: “You talking to me?” [turning around to see if someone's behind you.]
Yes, you! You’re my smart and courageous reader. Please?
You: “I want you to be OK. It’s just, I don’t know what to do, really… ”
OK. Here’s the thing. I don’t want to be alone. I’m scared. But with you? Different story. Then I’m not alone. You and me is two, and there might be others. Plus, I’ve seen your dance moves and your air guitar… You could totally entertain them, I just know. All you have to do is keep them occupied while I remember who I am. And I’ll totally return the favor. One day I’ll do my best moves for you when you need me.
You: “OK. I’ll try. I want you to be OK.”
Oh wow! Thanks man. Now excuse me while I find my curiosity superpowers… I know I left them here somewhere… Oh, it’s been too long… Ah, there! Good.
Donning my curiosity cape, I re-enter the scene. I can move around freely and see everything. Including you! Oh my, you have totally been practicing your shimmies, haven’t you. My friend, you are amazing. If I didn’t have things to do, I’d totally join you. Maybe later. But now, I’m investigating.
Since they haven’t talked to me, I’ll start with what’s on their shirts. The words look like questions. Except they’re not. Because they contain no curiosity. A true question is curious, open minded and willing to listen, to hear. A true question is wonder-y.
My thought-guys’ questions are very thinly veiled conclusions about me and my life. And the implications of their non-questions really scare me when I believe them. Which I am. I’m TOTALLY believing them. Which can only mean:
I’ve Gone. Into. TRANCE!
No wonder! OK. I’ve noticed. Whew! Noticing is crucial. It’s at least, oh, 99%.
Once I notice I’m in trance, then I can send the part of me that noticed, the part NOT in trance (even if it’s just the eensiest bit of me right now) to pull out my sheet of
trance procedures trance magics. That’s the other 99%! (Yep.)
ONE. Call yourself only by the sweetest, kindest of names. Sweetheart is good. My love works wonders. Darling drumstick makes you smile. Sweet pea reminds you of people you love.
TWO. Under no circumstances believe any thought crossing your mind while in trance. Don’t try to stop the thoughts. Don’t fight them. But also, don’t believe them. Trust me. Don’t.
Things to do instead of believing thoughts while in trance: You can notice them, you can play Byron Katie with them, you can Veronica Mars them, you can put them in a jar, you can make daisy chains out of them, you can chew on them and blow thought bubbles with them, you can juggle them, you can make soup with them, you can build a tower out of them and lean against it while you eat lunch. But whatever you do: Do NOT Believe Them.
OK, good. Onward:
THREE. Write. Write. Write.
“But I suck. And I have nothing to write about,” says a tranced out voice.
To which I must refer you back to thing ONE and TWO. Also, I’d like to point out that “You Suck” is not a name you like.
FOUR. Get fresh air. Get movement. Find water. Take a shower. Take a bath. Take a lake. Dance. Watch the kids run through the sprinkler at the park. Take pictures of trees. Eat meals. Drink water. Mind your body. Remember animal-you. Remember Mary Oliver: “Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” Which reminds me, you love poetry, so… Read it.
FIVE. Visit The Pause. (Dude! The Pause just opened
a page a bar on Facebook. Go! Hang out!)
SIX. Do not, under any circumstance, try to make decisions while in trance.
SEVEN. Call a meeting of your Inner Council.
EIGHT. Listen to a Tara Brach podcast.
NINE. With your Inner Council or with Presence at The Pause, consider this: If you weren’t believing those 2 thought-doozies, what would you be feeling? And then do THREE. Or FOUR. Or EIGHT. In any order.
Rinse and repeat. Until the trance lifts.
Oh my. Thank you so much! You saved my butt. Yes, you! I’m going to be pondering the question in NINE… maybe I’ll write about it here, maybe not. But thank you!
Hey, will you teach me that move? The one that had my beefy thought-guys laughing so hard they were crying?
Until next time, maybe I’ll see you at The Pause. In case you forgot, it’s on the corner of Now and Notice, where that old dive Reaction used to be. Presence tends bar. Shots of compassion on me today.