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Real Happiness Challenge: Week 3: Mind at War

Me and my mind this week:

 

Sometimes my thoughts are relentlessly demanding and negative.  Often I'll react to them by ignoring them or trying to push them out of my mind by concentrating on something else like my work or a book or a movie.  It doesn't work for long and the effort spent fighting with myself is exhausting and depressing. 

This weekend I was reminded of the power of mindfulness by the Real Happiness Challenge.  Sharon suggested we choose an activity and pay close attention to it;  drinking tea, walking, brushing our teeth.  I decided, in the middle of a stressful afternoon, while white-knuckling through a moment of fear and worry, to close my laptop and head to the kitchen.  A stack of dirty dishes sat in the sink.  Rolling up my sleeves, I dragged my attention away from my "what if that awful thing happens next" thoughts, and brought it to the feeling of warm water on my hands.  Then I paid close attention to scrubbing each dish, and noticing the shiny bright reflections on the glasses, hearing the sound of splashing, even smelling the scented soap.   Though my difficult thoughts had not disappeared, their hold on me was much weaker and less painful. Coming back again and again to what was happening in the present moment was a much less painful struggle than fighting against my thoughts.  

IDP is participating in lineage mentor Sharon Salzberg's REAL HAPPINESS Meditation Challenge.  This 28-day practice follows the the program outlined in Sharon’s New York Times bestseller, Real Happiness for the entire month of February. We encourage everyone to join us; since 2011, thousands have participated in this challenge which will help you develop your meditation with support from the entire community.

 

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Comments

NSFW

omg love the song

I was born to do dishes and my mom's really bummed out
I was born to do dishes fuck you, I'm just so proud

Dishes

I mentioned last week how doing the dishes is an ideal daily practice.

I put myself through college as a commercial dishwasher, so I'm a bit - what's the opposite of "spoiled?" Doing my wife's and my dishes is a treat by comparison.

Google "Dishwasher Pete."

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