“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” – Lao Tzu
Don’t multi-task. You cannot possibly be total in what you are doing. Being total in what you are doing is the essence of presence…of true joy.
Every time I come home and walk through my door, my pitbull-mix dog Opal runs to greet me. She has done this every time I’ve walked in the door since I adopted her on February 16, 2013. Every. single. time. She loves me, this is true, but she also does not tire of routine or sameness. She doesn’t get jaded or bummed out because she’s been missing me all day.
I walked into a bank today and the young man who greeted me was very enthusiastic about everything: greeting me, asking me if I needed help, guiding me to my appointment, and then going on to greet others. I later learned that he just started working at the bank. Do you remember being new at your job? I do. I loved everything about my day. Nothing could get me down. Everything excited me.
Buddhists have a saying: “Happiness is a choice, not a result.”
Sometimes our most important challenge is to keep life new and choose to not be jaded by things.
I started to lose my way when I learned that our school superintendent did something (it has not been revealed to the public) and will be fired and be paid out several hundreds of thousands of dollars. We just passed a tax hike for education. I’ve been pretty down about it, thinking that certainly, the next expenditure for education will not pass because of this. I got angry thinking about all those tax dollars going to this one woman and not to the thousands of students in our district. But I can’t worry about that. I need to choose to be happy because I have students in front of me now.
I am more productive when I’m happy than when I’m frustrated/disappointed/sad/angry.
Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
“Be where you are; otherwise, you will miss your life.”
“Happiness is a living thing. You need to feed your happiness in order to have happiness last. It’s like love. If you don’t feed your love, it will die. Understanding and compassion are the foundation to happiness.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Current symptoms: listlessness, insomnia, constant hood of worry, anxiety, pessimism, road rage
Prescription: (To do at least once a day until symptoms disappear)
Go to a mall or your sister’s house or other place where toddlers are eating or playing (a children’s playground at the park or school is not advised for you might be reported for peculiar behavior – not your fault)
Observe toddler’s feet dangling from the chair; his cherubic cheeks and glistening eyes focused on what’s in front of him;
Note the fat hands hungrily – joyfully – grabbing the sandwich/spoon/bowl;
Listen, really listen, to his easy laughter and his babble.
If you could ask him, he’d tell you:
He’s not worried about tomorrow or fretting about the past;
He’s here, with you, and nothing else matters.
When toddler begins to cry or have a temper tantrum, cease the observation and seek a quiet place immediately.