Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Then that's what the practice is about.

So I’ve been meditating daily since New Years’. Not really a resolution per se, but it just happened that around then is when I all of a sudden had time to meditate first thing in the AM. Or I created it. More on that later. I already had a daily practice of saying affirmations, which is somewhat meditative, but I hadn’t devoted time specifically to just meditating in silence before my affirmations. Every day is not easy; there are times when even just waking my mind is already full of ideas. Some days I feel too lazy to even want to devote just 15 minutes to sitting with my eyes closed in silence with no agenda. They say on days like those, that’s what the practice is about. I try to embrace those days as part of the journey, to not judge them.

It reminds me of working out daily. There are days when I don’t want to work out because my body is legitimately exhausted, that it needs to rest. Then there are the days when I’m just feeling lazy and would rather sit on the couch and watch TV. I used to always tell myself that workouts count twice on days I don’t want to be there, but since meditating daily I think differently.

I only came up with this about the gym while at the gym today. I had zero desire to be there. I didn’t go this morning. Then this afternoon I sat around on the internet – in my gym clothes – for an hour before I left. I even went to Trader Joe’s on the way to the gym to give myself an easy out. But I kept driving. I was waiting for the elevator in my gym's parking lot and almost turned around to go back to my car. Hell, after 25 minutes on the treadmill [out of 55 minutes] I almost turned it off and left. I really did not want to be there. Then the weirdest thing happened. The most beautiful woman got on the stairclimber in front of me. She was FIT. She clearly works out in a way her body responds to positively and eats the right kind of clean food that supports her physical regimen because her body looked like a physical representation of love. As I stared and realized how beautiful she was, I realized I would never have seen her had I never had gone to the gym. Hell, I would never have seen her if I had even gotten off the treadmill when I wanted. I felt lucky. The universe provided her for me to recognize, and just in time. I felt myself saying “thank you” out loud. For the next 30 minutes, I watched her climb those stairs. Not lasciviously mind you, but respectfully. In looking at her, she became more beautiful. But her body was not just beautiful, it was a work of art. She was inspiring.

Then I had a revelation: more than a physical triumph, working out on days I’d rather be lazy is a triumph over old thoughts; over the old way of doing things. Those thoughts that held me back in the past are just fighting for their existence. In fact, those old thoughts are only fighting so diligently because I’ve created new thoughts to take their place!

As I finished my workout I realized how sweaty I was, definitely more than normal. I chalk it up to the thoughts I was working out as well as the calories I burned. It was a fight, but if it is, it’s just what the practice is about that day.

[© MMXII MD TOTAL all rights reserved.]

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Attempting the Joey-ness.

While in this interesting portion of my life where I apparently [sometimes] have time to do the things I want and need to get done I find myself in a sort of conundrum. Of sorts. As much as I’d like to get everything on my to-do list done as soon as possible, I also feel a need to stretch it out a little as to make sure I get up by 7AM every day. That’s a serious thing that has to be done when you work seven days a week slash every day is Saturday. Or Tuesday. As it were. I find myself going back and forth between days where I spend hours and hours running around being ultra productive and days where the gym and reading a play is all that got “done.”

Zen Joey would tell me that doing hours and hours of productivity really is a week’s worth of production; it’s not meant for one day. Otherwise you become sociopathically anxious on a day when you actually deserve to chill. I don’t know. All I do know is that coffee grinds won’t clear themselves from the kitchen counter, screenplays won’t write themselves, and my acting homework for damn sure won’t explore itself.

I close my eyes and breathe. Zen Joey’s face appears in my mind and smiles not unlike the Mona Lisa. “See. You’re in it. Keep it moving.”

At once I feel grateful and pretentious. Navel gazing 900 – not for non-majors.

[© MMXII MD TOTAL all rights reserved.]