Monday, August 25, 2014

mantras for a modern life

I really find mantra repetition to be a useful practice. While I do use a traditional mantra regularly, I also have a few modern ones that have helped me out of a world of trouble. I thought I'd share, in case they were of use to anyone else.

Sometimes, in a self-pitying mood, I get into the whole "why me?" cycle. I find if I just repeat "why NOT me?" a few times to myself, my perspective shifts just enough to get out of it. Who am I to sail through life with no troubles, no worries? what makes me so privileged, so special?  The answer is pretty clear -- shit happens, and we have no IDEA why. It might happen to my neighbor, the person down the street, me. Nobody gets a pass.

When I struggle with a co-worker, or someone doing their job particularly badly, I can  feel myself getting irritated, angry, truly pissed. How could this person inconvenience me this way? My time is valuable. I have too much to do to deal with this crap. Really. That's about the time I pull out "they're trying to do a good job, just like you". Even the inept, the incompetent, are almost always trying to do a good job. Maybe they are just bad at it. Or are just having an off day. Or what they need and what you need put you at cross-purposes. It doesn't work every time, because I'm not a saint, and sometime I'M the one having a shitty day, but generally, it works.

The next one is sort of multi-purpose, and has smoothed work, social life, just about everything. When I find myself feeling slighted, or like the whole universe is out to get me, or people are ignoring me, or whatever, I pull out "IT'S NOT ABOUT ME".  Seriously, the things happening around you, that you think are happening TO YOU, probably aren't. When it rains the one day you had to park 6 blocks away, when a friend didn't reply to your messages, when you caught a cold before your first dinner out in weeks, whatever it is -- IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU.

Okay, I know -- sometimes your friend isn't returning your texts because they really aren't your friend. Or you washed your car (which really does make it rain). But generally, it rained because it was going to. Your friend is away for the weekend at a family wedding, and just isn't replying to ANYONE. You caught a cold because that virus needed somewhere to be. It didn't single you out because you had plans.

With "why not me?", "they're trying to do a good job, just like you" and the ever useful "It's not about me", I find that I argue less, blame less, beat myself up less, and just generally have an easier time of things.

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