December 27, 2011

The Zen Experiment - Day 1

I have been giving my New Year's resolution a lot of thought this year. Ideas came and went.  I discarded my old standby of losing those last five pounds (make that seven now) or on curbing my addiction to Hallmark TV (it's porn for trite junkies). And I won't be flossing anymore than I already do, which usually consists of three judicious days before an impending dental visit. No. This year I wanted to do something truly fearless. And since jumping off of anything higher than a basketball hoop was out of the question, I was left with the only one option. Letting go.

I will, I declared to myself and my husband, find my zen. I will stop obsessing about my hair, the dimples in my thighs, or on where to find the best deal on a 20 pack of toilet paper. In the grand scheme of things its really not that important. The only thing that really matters is sapping out some sort of happiness in this crazy world and I am determined to do matter what. My husband was all for it, especially if it meant that I wouldnt give him the look when he tossed his coat over the back of the sofa instead of hanging it up where it belongs. So he gave me a kiss on the cheek and told me that he would support my decision any way he could, and trotted off to kill some bad guys in one of his video games.

I racked my brain thinking of ways that I could become more Zen. Perhaps I could forego brushing my hair on some days, which is really a pain and only gets messed up again anyways.  Or even better, shave my head the way some monks do. Then I would never have to worry about my hair again! Scratch that, I thought. The growout has to be awful and shaving my head daily would be time consuming. Being Zen should save time. Back to no brushing. Except when I was going out. Or company was coming over. Or a new magazine suggests a fun new style that would look perfect on me. This was just getting confusing.

There had to be other ways I could become Zen. Maybe I would get up and just bowl. We live right across the street from a bowling alley and its something I had always wanted to try anyways. Wouldnt that be awesome? I could just get up and walk across the street (with sucked in gut and neatly combed hair) and just start bowling. Unless there was a league thing going on. Then I would probably have to wait for awhile for a lane to open up. I could kill time playing dance dance revolution in the arcade whilst waiting for the place to clear out. This was a good start. And in my new Zen mode I could do things like that if I so chose. Maybe next Wednesday.

It turns out that thinking about being Zen isnt so Zen. I'm a little worried that I'm off to a bad start. But it is a start. And for the next four weeks I will learn to be Zen or die trying.

In one month I will be a calmer, less neurotic version of myself who is happy and healthy and thriving in a 'just be' attitude. I will not feel the need to constantly produce or create to prove my worth. I will no longer point out to my husband the housework that I did while he was away (I may not even do housework). And I will allow the Universe to work through me in whatever creative fashion it deems appropriate. I WILL let go.

Now if I can just pry my fingers from the ledge....



  1. My dear April,

    That was a wonderful blog. I, too, suffer with neuroses and the ever searching of Zen, Chi, chakra balance, acceptance, my inner Buddha, staying present, keeping an inner smile, tatata, blah blah blah, through meditation,surrender, Valium, my Enneagram studies, being open to what the Universe delivers. Perhaps 5-HTP will work. Or booze. Or a Valium/booze combo.

    Your search, thus suffering, clutching by the fingernails off the ledge of life, helped bring normalcy to my day. Thank you for sharing that piece of April. Now back to my search. Wish me luck when I look over at you from alongside that ledge....

    On a more serious note, I find myself in a metaphorical Winter or death... this bit of darkness and dis-ease a familiar visitor. I also know what follows is a rebirth to something for which I'm unaware. Reflection of my past experiences tells me to settle into what is - however I catch myself searching, reaching, and definitely clutching to that ledge. Sometimes I feel anchored by one leg in a body of murky water that settles just above my chin with predators beneath that surprise me now and then causing an unpredictable panic and fear.... This phase is certainly uncomfortable. Perimenopause? Very late onset mental illness?

    I've been working on a book "A New Earth" under the recommendation of my Enneagram mentors. If you haven't read it and are open to reading it, let me know what you think.

    Looking forward to the next blog :)


  2. Thanks for sharing Lisa. Have you ever read The Heroine's Journey? It's written by Maureen Murdock and documents some of the reasons women can suddenly 'fall'. I went through something similar to what you are describing a few years ago. The good news is that I came back, wiser than ever. The bad news is that I think you never recover your innocence.

    I do wish you well in your search for Zen. I will document more of my quest as I go through it. Today will be a good test for me. Wish me luck!

    Also, is A New Earth by Tolle? Absolutely love Tolle. Read it and the Power of Now if that is what you are referring to. Life Changing!