On the walk back from my mailbox the other day, I noticed a very active yellowjacket kind of spazzing out right at the opening to one of those hanging plastic traps. So of course I stopped to watch, thinking I could cheer for him when he was victorious in his escape.
It soon became apparent that he was not trying to get out of the trap ... he was scrambling like crazy to get IN!
As I scoured this internet in search of remedies to relieve my
discomfort from a bunch of itchy red welts on my face and arms, it occurred to
me that my bug bites have a lot in common with current events -- specifically
the Brexit vote yesterday, and the support that Trump has garnered in our
I think a lot of people are bugged by their current state of
affairs, and just like me, are going in search of a remedy to relieve their
pain. We want to feel better, and we
want it now. We don't want to have to go through a bunch of steps to heal the
underlying dynamic that led to our suffering -- that would take too much time
and energy. We just want relief, and fast.
Unfortunately, pain and clear thinking don't go together.
Never have, never will.
The ringleader at the circus usually opens the show with a time-honored phrase: "Your attention, please!" Why is this? Because he knows that if he's able to direct your attention, he can control your experience.
In my opinion, the single most important skill to develop in life is becoming the master of your own attention. (And by the way, I have a lot of work to do in this area!)
At any given time, there will be many events, people, and circumstances clamoring for your acknowledgment.
It recently came to my attention that all of my life I have moved at a particular and relatively constant speed when doing tasks like wiping the counters, typing, installing screws, and taking the stairs.
How did that speed get determined? Why didn't it allow for changes in pace to deal with obstacles? I have no idea. I don't remember anyone ever standing over me telling me to move faster or that I couldn't ever slow down. But I am now keenly aware that this arbitrary pace I've never questioned before has been triggering an awful lot of unnecessary frustration for me.
Have you ever observed a grove of pine trees in the wind?
The younger trees, with their vibrant green needles and slender trunks, lurch wildly at the top as they are buffeted by the breeze. Although their range of motion is wide, they eventually settle back down to their home position before the next gust invites them to dance. They can bend quite a bit without breaking, and their trunks waver the least where they connect to the ground.
I am writing at Panera this afternoon. I like it here
because the buzz of activity helps me to focus. And
yeah, the cinnamon crunch scones ain't bad, either. A few minutes ago, an older woman came and sat down alone at a table near me and
started eating. That was unremarkable.
Things got interesting, however, when I noticed an older man ever so slowly shuffling toward her, carrying
a very full tray. I thought she would jump up and help him with it, but she
didn't even look in his direction, nor did she slow the pace of her eating one iota.