When Liesel first suggested a 21 day negativity fast, I snorted, “Like that’s gonna happen!” Thinking.. “What the fcuk will I talk about?” Hmm, anything which engenders that much resistance needs some looking at, right?
I told several friends of my plan, asking them not to draw me into tempatation. 2 replied “See you in 3 weeks then”. I’ve spent my entire life terrified of being boring. Yup, not of being alone, or dying, or pain. Boring. Which meant I was always busy creating drama..
The plan: 21 days of
No criticizing. No complaining. No gossiping. No negative language. No bitching.
I added to this list:
No talking of the past, i.e. re-telling unnecessary stories – (particularly those intended to elicit pity).
And the rule is if you slip up you forgive yourself and start the 21 days over again – repeating Ho’o PonoPono: “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you”.
So then I began. It was easier than I thought. I diligently watched my thoughts, saw how often I looked for things to criticize, and how I sought collusion with others by being right, and making someone else/something else wrong. Like anyones else’s life is any of my business?! I first slipped at the end of the 3rd day, not by saying something, but by listening to a conversation which fed ‘my monster’, without changing the subject. I came away feeling dirty, and shameful.
And though I’ve broken it numerous times – 5 days was the longest stretch so far – it’s become the default place I want to return to. The place I feel strongest, clearest and happiest. I’m inhabiting an entirely different Suki. Creating separation and division leads me to misery! It’s 2012 for freaks sake, time to step up. If I feel tempted to be negative now, I’m noticing it’s because I’m tired, and I haven’t had enough time to myself.
The hugest love and thanks to Liesel for the inspiration, to Anne for the follow-through, and for mankind for waiting for my slow ass to get it. Srsly!! ❤
PS: Mulling over this afterwards, I want to add..
This. This alone, is my most significant practice yet. With diligence and vigilance, during life in action.
AND, the pain in my heart – since the open heart surgery of Vipassana – it’s gone.
AND.. I had a 2 week break from work. Essential. I was exhausted, burnt out, miserable. I cried for 2 days. I saw the darkest places within me, the darkness that I’d spent my whole life hiding, fearful someone would see that I was bad & dirty. Every time someone thought I was kind or caring, I knew I wasn’t really. I really wanted to be a kind person. Honestly, being a therapist was the last ‘career’ choice I’d ever make, because I was shy, and, well bad inside.
And what brought me back to me? Not meditation. Not kirtan.
I went back to my roots: violin concertos – Philip Glass, Bach, Ivo Sedlacek – they blew my heart right open.
Literature, poetry, art & coffee.
Remembering days when I pasted photocopied pages of Jeanette Winterson’s books to my walls. When my life was inspiration saturation.
Make it poetic and I’ll get it. My life has been devoid of ‘romance’ long enough.
By Mark Nepo – thank you Saffire
Burning your way to center
is the loneliest fire of all
You’ll know you have arrived
when nothing else will burn ~
Giving up with reverence what no longer works in order to stay close to what is sacred.
Meditate on the edge of yourself that meets the world and feel it’s thickness,
Meditate on the inner edge of yourself that meets your Spirit and feel its softness.
As you breath, pray for this edge to be as thin as possible and only as thick as necessary…