With family in town, visiting from Hawaii, it has been nearly impossible to keep up with my daily rituals. Even tyomd has become a bit of a midnight affair, which any other time would break some unwritten ordinance. My meditation schedule is all outta whack, my yoga to shit, my diet–pffff!
My normal self wouldn’t recognize me right now;)
As the ever observer of the inner kicking and screaming, I have come to realize just how valuable my daily rituals are (hence why I’m up at 6:30 AM writing). However … I have also allowed myself the freedom to let go a little.
It’s funny, we work so hard to develop discipline in certain areas (I like how entheos calls them blissiplines.) We pride ourselves on our daily productivity. Yet, in the budhist-esque mash-up philosophy that I practice, it is non-attachment that we’re ultimately after.
Leaning into this, I have discovered meditation through patience with my seven-year-old nephew, playing Chutes and Ladders. Also, witnessed meditative moments piecing together a painfully difficult puzzle with my twelve-year-old niece. I’ve noticed myself more present, away from email and social media. Not to mention, the experience of joy goofing off on the slopes with the crew.
In college, I had this super type-a girlfriend who had a list for everything. Her clothes were neatly folded and color coded, her room and car always obsessively tidy, her school work impeccable. We’d always tease her about her OCD and she’d laugh (anxiously), as long as we weren’t fixing to mess with her program.
A friend of ours interned at Shepard Pratt, the local psychiatric hospital, and just so happened to work with patients with severe OCD. She would tell us stories of the patients experiencing anxiety over one of their ticks and she was trained to ask, “On a scale of one-to-ten, where is this for you?”
Well we just took that and ran with it.
Teasing my girlfriend was way more fun with a system in place. Just after she’d make her bed, for instance, hospital corners and all, I’d come running in and flop and flail about just to mess it all up.
She’d start yelling (panic attack rising), while I probed, “One-to-ten, where are you right now.”
“Ten, ten, ten!” she’d yell, half laughing, half traumatized.
Years later, now that I’ve become a little type-a myself, I can feel that ten rising in my chest. I know just what she felt when I messed with the covers. I also know that they’re just covers. That a week without rituals won’t kill me. Perhaps it will only solidify my intentions when I get back to my normal.
In the meantime, Chutes and Ladders it is.
I leave you with this: One thing Victor Frankl said in Man’s Search for Meaning: you think there are things you simple canNOT live without. Yet, when they are taken from you and you somehow survive, you wonder what the point of all that attachment ever was.
Mess up your routine. Just for a day or two. See what you can do without. On a scale of one-to-ten, where are you?