Put it in a box

Wow. What a weekend.

Friday fight with husband. (Ouch)

Saturday I-clean-best-when-I’m-mad-fest. (Yay)

Sparkle fairy non-staff meeting at 4. Went so great. Record attendance, folks engaged and excited. (Yay)

On to finale of Vision Mapping party with Madeleine and Tami. Awesome and revealing. Exposed a few layers under the surface of comfort level and deepened already wonderful relationships. (Yay)

Sunday hangover from staying up past 10 pm. (Ouch) Taught class and felt connected and present. (Yay)

Picked up by husband (still in fight mode- Ouch) to then pick up stepdaughter from sleep over. Huge drama ensued because stepdaughter had snuck out of  house at 1 am and rode about 3 miles on bicycle with a friend to a mystery destination.  All the things that “could have” happened. (Ouch)

Sunday birthday celebration plans for stepdaughter canceled due to you could have been killed drama. (Ouch)

Afternoon book club meeting. Amazing, oddly emotional, and deeply connecting. (Yay)

Evening phone call with my dad. Hadn’t talked to him in over a month. The conversation rubbed a lot of old wounds. Didn’t say what I really wanted to which was, I miss you. I want to know that I’m important to you. (Oouuuuuch)


I was journaling this morning and thought of the story of the farmer who has a very even attitude about all of the things that happen in life:

there was once an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years.

one day, his horse ran away.  upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.

“such bad luck”, they said sympathetically.

“maybe” the farmer replied.

the next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two wild horses.

“such good luck”, the neighbors exclaimed.

“maybe” replied the farmer.

the following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown off, and broke his leg.

again, the neighbors came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“such bad luck” they said.

“maybe” answered the farmer.

the day after that, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army to fight a war.  seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by.

“such good luck!” cried the neighbors.

“maybe” said the farmer.

In my rush to categorize ouches and yays, I miss the lessons of, or even the simple experience of those situations. There’s something satisfying about putting a feeling or situation in a box of “good” or “bad.” We feel like we know it, understand it (and hence, control it). But that is an illusion.

So now I sit with a kaleidoscope of thoughts and emotions about the weekend. I can hear myself in class: Make room for whatever is arising. Not pushing away or holding onto. Without labeling as good or bad.

Time for a little of my own advice.


8 Responses to “Put it in a box”

  1. 1 Amy --- Just A Titch May 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I think that one of the most difficult things to do in life is to just sit with what’s there. To allow ourselves to feel the anger or sadness or joy without getting attached and then moving on to the next thing. It sounds like this weekend brought up a lot of “stuff” though — hoping the rest of the week is a bit smoother.

    • 2 blogasana May 24, 2010 at 6:25 pm

      hey – i just commented on you!
      you are speakin the truth here. yes. *so* hard.
      today is all about not hurrying on to the next thing, emotion, whatever.
      thanks for relating =)

  2. 3 yogaquest May 24, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Rich, and so incredibly real. Being with what arises, not pushing anything away, and not spiraling out – or spiraling out, and being with that, whew, I’m crazed just relating to your entry. The practice of mindfulness and refraining,…what a practice indeed. “Refraining – not habitually acting out impulsively – has something to do with giving up the entertainment mentality. Through refraining, we see that there’s something between the arising of the craving – or the aggression, or the loneliness, or whatever might be – and whatever action we take as a result. There’s something there in us that we don’t want to experience, and we never do experience because we’re so quick to act. The practice of mindfulness and refraining is a way to get in touch with basic groundlessness – by noticing how we try to avoid it.” ~ Pema Chodron

  3. 4 Frenzy36 May 24, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    We are our own worst enemy when it comes to crisis. We jump to conclusions and gravitate to all the worst possible outcomes. How unhealthy is that.

    Basically once an action is done, its over. There is nothing we can do to reverse it all we can do is to teach and learn from the incident. I stress learn and I mean ourselves. It might be the teen that took liberties but examining our own over-reaction to them is enlightening.

    I’ve been there done that with the over-react method. I found taking a break and dealing with the action – not the imagined action is the key.

    In bad times thinking of good things isn’t a cop out, it’s really a good solution.

  4. 5 tami May 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    i’ve been re-reading havi’s brilliance on shoes and sovereignty (http://www.fluentself.com/blog/stuckification/destuckifying-when-the-shoes-are-flying-overhead/) and the monsters coloring book. both are helping with the overall asskicking feeling i feel i’ve experienced recently.

    dude, 2010 has been pretty big so far. i’m seriously grateful for the little moments of now because the past has been absolute crap.

  5. 6 Elizabeth May 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    It is so hard to sit with things without putting them into a box. I am getting better at sitting with them but, even as I am sitting with them, they are still in their box of good/bad.

    Good or bad aside, that sounds like a weekend full of emotion.

  6. 7 blogasana May 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    @wags – that pema gets right to the heart, huh? what a perfect quote – thank you friend.

    @frenzy – taking a break was essential and didn’t happen. i find that today (2 days later) i can actually think a little more clearly about it. lesson learned for next time.

    @tami – ‘absolute crap’ sounds like a box =) love ya

    @elizabeth – it IS hard. knowing their in the box is better than not.

  7. 8 janeen May 26, 2010 at 2:45 am

    Not labeling is so very hard. How do you not do that? Since you had so much experience with not compartmentalizing your emotions this past weekend, maybe we can have tea and you explain it to me. I need those tools. Like now.
    I’m so sorry about A. I did the same thing when I was 13. But I wasn’t caught. As a parent, I don’t know what I’d do in that situation.
    Be well, friend.

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