Sunday, 4 March 2012

{Fixing Yourself update} Just One Thing

I had a bad day last week.  I have a lot of bad days, to be honest - starting life over again after divorce is exhausting - but one day in particular was exceptionally hard.

Of course, that's the day I headed to the bookstore.  The bookstore and library are usually my sanctuary, the place I go to breathe deeply, relax, and take a step away from anything that's going on in the world outside.  I find that when I'm teetering on the edge of major anxiety attacks, this is the one place that will keep me grounded (other than a small town pub with a live band and a lot of alcohol, of course).

"This is fucking perfect, " I panted, leaning on the shelf in the 'Well Being' section in the throes of a major panic attack, attempting to calm myself down before I drew too much attention.

Don't mind me, just another woman having a break down in front of You Can Fix Your Life by Dr. Phil.  The irony is not lost on me.

I eventually managed to pull myself together, locate this months Fixing Yourself (Without Whiskey) title, and scurry back to my car.

Moral of the story?  The timing for me to read a "Self Help" book is dead on.

My first impression of Just One Thing: Developing A Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick Hanson is pretty simple - it's a small, easy to read book.  It's broken down into 52 mind exercises, which I'm reading two or three of a day.  Well, that's the plan, anyway - so far I've accomplished reading only one a day.

The first part is about being good to yourself.  I kind of thought drinking myself to oblivion was being good to myself, but whatevs.  I've read the first four practices thus far, and so far I've learned the following:

1.  I'm not my own friend, most of the time.  After reading the section on this, it's made me aware of how much of a shitty friend I am to myself.  So now I'm aware of it, but that's it.  I think that makes me an even shittier friend to myself.

2.  Take a few seconds to enjoy the feeling of the small good things - this is a fantastic premise, and one I agree with.  Then the author spurted off some lame and corny analogies, like ".. a warm glow spreading through the chest like the warmth of a cup of hot cocoa on a cold wintery day.  "

Right.  Eyes rolled.

3.  Compassion to yourself - acknowledge difficulties, challenges and suffering.  Again, fantastic.  I'm kick ass for leaving a man that didn't value me enough to respect me.  Right?  But yet again, off we go with the laaaaaaaaame sentences like ".. visualize a light radiating from you, maybe from your heart.  "

Eyes rolled, whiskey poured.

4.  Relax.  Breathe.  breathing exercises.  deep breaths.  The usual.

So far, I'm not feeling very fixed.  I'm feeling like I need a drink.

Or five.

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