I'm never sure where we left off. But lately, at work, which is still primarily on Zoom, people are telling me that what we're doing is working. Mindfulness. Just so you should know. This rarely happens. Usually if I prescribe a behavior it is with confidence that the patient will likely act receptive during the visit but will shift to oppositional soon thereafter and do their own thing. They will either succeed or fail but we'll have something to talk about next time.
Mindfulness is extremely powerful, so while in my 'office' this is what we are.
Siddhartha Gautama, as a young man in search of quiet, noted that we humans spin from topic to topic in our heads and can't let thoughts just go. Then he realized if we focus on what is, rather than what was or could be, 99% of the junk in our heads, we are more calm. We see birds in the sky. Flowers. Bugs. One another.
Then he realized that this is likely to be temporary, this calm interlude. We will inevitably, maybe within seconds, return to our minds and our minds are full of much gobbledygook. I think that was his word. And we judge with abandon. This is bad and that is bad. I am bad, they are bad, that one is good, no, not really. What is the point of all this judging? Does it change anything? Anyone? No it does not. Compassion. We all need that.
BUT MORE THAN THAT. If we shift our attention to the breath return our attention to what is, the thoughts spinning in the head become irrelevant. (I say this is because we cannot parallel process. We can only focus on one thing, not two, so choose focus on the breath, not whether or not So and So is likely in a car accident. At least for a moment or two, return to the breath. We will return to the thoughts but can easily shift back to what is, especially to the breath. It is breathing we can always rely upon. As FD likes to say in his humble medical opinion, Breathing is important.
There is more, but the holiday of Succot is upon us tomorrow night and I have to make gumbo, a therapydoc standard recipe for a holiday that requires hot food in a cold succah. Because in Chicago, and I'm still in Chicago, it can get pretty chilly, even in late September, early October.
There, in the succah, a hut that FD has up on the deck, I'll try not to think about work or the sorry state of the world, or anything that might interrupt the sublime experience of communing with our history. I will make the exception, roll back in time to wandering in the desert protected by Clouds of Glory.
Next time I post, no surprise, I have a feeling we're going to be talking more about mindfulness. Mindfulness and OCD, Mindfulness and ADHD, etc. But we might talk about the latest novel I'm reading.
Yours in peace and non-judgement,