Are we all mentally ill?

Woooo big scary!  What’d she say?  No she deh enh!

I don’t have kids.  I don’t have that distraction.  We Americans all have distractions, but a lot of us have large person(s)-sized distractions in the form of children.  My distraction has been in the form of a mental illness.  I recently went through an alchemic cauldron (a very rough 4 month-long sailing trip) which allowed me, (rather painfully), to evolve enough so that I no longer need part of my mental illness that was based in shame and self loathing.  This side of my mental illness kept me small, unable to find my voice and use it.  Gladly that is dissolving like hot-mouthed cotton candy before my eyes.  The other part of my illness, like many, is really an inability to live in this time and place with all the distractions and stimuli there are. That part shut down my ability to deal with just mundane tasks that a lot of people handle without blinking an eye.

GUAY, (God(ess), Universe, Allah, Yahweh), blessed me with my this-life’s soulmate who not only loves and adores me but also pays the bills, does the taxes and generally takes care of the stuff that kept me from succeeding in life because I was spending all of my psychic energy on those tasks.  If I didn’t have him I quite possibly would be homeless even as an RN because I could keep it together for a time, but there was always something I would run up against that would knock my ability to take care of myself out from under me.

I think most people have a very mild form of this.  So we are all mentally ill???  Well, according to an AWESOME documentary called, I AM, this, former Bruce Almighty, Patch Adams, director takes a Siddhartha path to the we-are-all-mentally-ill conclusion.  His is mostly relating it to the materialistic obsession run rampant in our country.   I have to agree, and I fully believe we can help each other to manage in spite of, or help each other in changing the paradigm so that we no longer have the distractions which drive us crazy.

And that is where peace comes in.  Kindness is the salve for this illness.   Kindness instills peace.  If you are being kind there is much less room for arguing.  Kindness takes up much more space around an issue; space enough to walk around, point to the stars, smoke a peace pipe and hammer something out that works for both, a compromise.

If the theories of quantum physics, (which I nod at when I hear them and they make sense but I cannot spatially grasp so that I can explain them to you besides E=MC2), bear out then we might actually literally BE the change we see in the world.  So if I am STILL experiencing anger at the asshole drivers around me then I will attract things that make me angry. if I fear – things to be afraid of, If I  resent – things to be resentful for, guilt – things to be guilty for…

The thing that I want to do most in life is to show people there is a different way, a parallel path to the destructive one they are on.  Imagine two giant glass cylinders side by side one, the one they are stuck in looks chocolate-milk stained from the inside.  In their world, things get worse, older, dirtier and then die.  The other cylinder has a sparkling interior surface where things only get better and better, the people imagine the impossible and make manifest for the better of all.

I am chocolate-milk stained, dripping and sticky, but ready to get cleaned up and find my way.  I thought I had free-fallen through the gap between but when I stopped screaming in fear I see that (a I did not die, (b the clean cylinder may be closer than it once appeared.  It took decades to get out of my own dirty cylinder, I can only imagine the effort and time it will take for all of us to make the switch.  But if I believe in miracles, which I do, then it could happen in an instant.

I was just reminded that mindfulness is the antidote to anger, addiction,  pretty much anything bad we do as distraction from our souls’ path and meditation is the syringe.

Meditation delivers.  Period.  It works. I know that.  When I meditate in a chunk of time on a pillow in the dark, I find I can use the mindfulness I was practicing earlier when confronted with people in their dirty cylinders, or dust bunnies under the couch or having to empty the dishwasher.  Mindfulness, when able to be deployed consistently, leads to a life of living meditation.

So grab a timer, a pillow or 5 like me and sit cross legged on your bed, the floor, a trampoline by the beach and start with 5 minutes.  Close your eyes, focus on the bridge of your nose and how it feels and breathe in and out through your nose.  It is the basic teaching of Buddah; the breathing through the nose while watching thoughts come and go, noticing, breathing, sitting…

Do this with me for the next 21 days.  Increase time as sitting tolerance increases.  Let me know how you are doing.

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