Do you know who Sylvia Boorstein is? I didn’t know who she was until I found her book “Happiness is an Inside Job” on a mark-down table at Powell’s City of Books when I was looking for a cheap way to chill TF out I guess. Sylvia Boorstein is the wise Jewish-Buddhist grandmother you never had. She was the gateway for me to mindfulness, meditation and how to stop making a Big Deal out of everything.
Anyway- she has a story she tells in The Courage to Be Happy (which you can purchase on Amazon on audio-CASSETTE – what even IS that?) about her teacher, Sharon Salzberg, reminding her at the end of their meetings, “Sylvia, be happy.” I was so thrilled to find Sharon Salzberg has a collection of guided meditations available on the Insight Timer app (and do you have that? What are you DOING? And PLEASE don’t say you’re paying for Headspace or Calm or any other app you have to pay for. Stop it. You’re being silly.). Anyway- Sharon Salzberg has a loving kindness meditation which is magical anyway, but it was so cool to hear her say “be happy” over and over again.
OK- so- here’s the whole point. Sharon Salzberg has been doing a month-long meditation challenge and she’s invited those doing it to blog about it on her blogging platform. But I forgot my password. And the password recovery thing sends me an email which links me back to the “forgot your password” page which sends me an email which links me back to the “forgot your password page” which- you get the point. I emailed the support team asking them if it was part of the mindfulness challenge LOL. They didn’t respond.
SO I’m blogging about it on MY blog. The most useful thing I’ve learned is how to interrupt my reactions to discomfort. She has a meditation which asks you to consider your physical sensations. I have a cold like everybody has right now and I’m tired like I always am. And the thing is, I feel woozy and headachy which is bad enough, but what I also do is assign a ton of meaning to these feelings. I feel bad that I feel bad, but I feel worse about how I’m going to feel later- like later when I have to concentrate, or when I have to be enthusiastic about stuff in front of students or tomorrow when I have to work another full day or on the weekend when I’m supposed to be doing another set of things I have to do. I start to resent all the stuff I have to do when I’m sick and just want to lay down for a month… So this physical discomfort I have is made 1000x more powerful by all the thoughts and emotions that I attach to it. She’s given me a tool to interrupt that thought process.
And perhaps you have a cold and are making it 1000x worse like me. So listen to this meditation I’m linking to again. For free! You don’t need to suffer more as a result of your suffering. So stop it. You’re being silly.