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.