Trying to practice mindfulness during my drive to work. Today, I tried practicing while listening to a podcast (Ted Radio Hour – A Case for Optimism). Although listening to something doesn’t really seem like a meditation, when you realize how much your mind is bouncing all over the place instead of solely focusing on what you’re listening to, I think a case can be made that this practice is a form of mindful meditation.
I did a considerable amount of walking today, but I did not do any separate exercise.
While I was listening to the podcast this morning, specifically the segment on John Hunter – How Can We Teach Children to Create A Hopeful Future?, I was overwhelmed with emotion. This is not an unusual occurrence for me. I’m probably moved to tears about 85% of the time I listen to a podcast. Granted the kind of programs I listen to are pretty deep and involve either remarkable people or rather moving facets of human life, but I’m generally a very emotional person. I used to think this meant I was crazy or that something was wrong with me, and even now when I’m listening to a simple intro and tears start welling in my eyes, I’ll often fan my face and utter out loud, “What’s wrong with me?”
But today, a thought struck me that caught me off guard. It just gently, but very quickly flew into my mind like a little fly enters an open window. I have my mom to thank for this. Like many people, I have a very complicated relationship with my mother (made more complicated by the fact that she probably thinks our relationship is totally healthy). I love her, but she drives me crazy and for a long time, I really resented her because I blamed her for a lot of the ways I was. Being overemotional was one of those ways.
But today, it occurred to me that I should actually be grateful that she bestowed this sensitivity in me. My dad is a very calm and brilliantly wise man. Consequently, he isn’t very emotional. I’ve often wondered how and why my father ended up with this woman. I’ve fantasized about the type of person I could have been if he had chosen a more well adjusted partner (fully acknowledging and dismissing the fact that I would obviously not be I, but some other person). However, today I realized that if it wasn’t for this oddly blended marriage between these two polar opposites, I would not be vested with the sensitivities and yearnings that make me me. And all insecurities and self deprecation aside, I like me. I’m happy to me. I think there is a great purpose to me being here, in this form with my dispositions. I know it’s taking me quite awhile to figure out that purpose, but some things take time…some things take a long time. And that’s okay. Everything is okay.
Do not go out to drink.
Do not eat garbage (fast) food.