I just finished up a guided meditation. Gil Fronsdal. It was a stretch, but I’m glad I did.
I feel very fat. I sat there feeling my love handles against the back of my shirt like gentle guilt. Then Gil told us to start relaxing parts of our body… the belly came up. I relaxed it. Holy shit! I was holding it in, like, 12 inches or something.
So I have all this fatness control under the surface of my mind, like some kernel task. I’m constantly sucking in, elongating my torso, trying to look buff-er and in-control-er.
“The key to your happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don’t. If you keep saying your slippers aren’t yours, then you’ll die searching, you’ll die bitter, always feeling you were promised more. Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny.”
Today my wife and I have been married for exactly 5 years. We’ve both changed a lot over that time. From 23 year old idealists to exhausted and hopeful parents of a baby human called Aiden… which was the result of me totally getting it on with Mellisa (BOOM! Score!).
Our marriage has survived these changes and we – seemingly barely, seemingly gloriously, like a 3 legged show pony – live to tell the tales, both good and bad.
I wanted to commemorate this occasion with a short list of tips for marriage, one for each year we’ve survived. This list isn’t going to change your life overnight, but if you follow through these just may save your marriage over the long-haul. So, let’s get started being awesome at marriage:
It really doesn’t matter who you are, Sarah Silverman is pretty funny.
And, although her memoir The Bedwetter started out kinda slow, it’s getting good because she’s talking about how she started developing her act, her voice. This is the part I love to learn about.
Here’s the setup: At this point in her life, Sarah was just starting out – young, eager, hopeful, chumming about with other comedians working on their acts in NY (people like Luis C.K., Ray Romano, John Stewart). One sentence jumped off the page at me: (more…)
Often times, when you’re in the middle of some experience or situation, you don’t know how to speak truthfully about what’s going on. You’re just in the middle of the situation, and won’t have any wisdom or insight to the what’s, why’s, and how’s until you come through the other side.
Experiences Are Atmospheres
I think some experiences are like being in a kind of environment or landscape… a space with weather and terrain.
The Enneagram tells you what you’re like by helping you understand your personality type. I’ve said before I think this book is unbelievably awesome.
One of the reasons I love it is because it can help you understand if you’re operating in the healthy, average, or unhealthy level of your personality type. Then it gives you some ideas about how to move towards being more healthy.
Well, my friends, I just found out that I’m definitely operating in the “Average” level. Here’s a paragraph that pretty succinctly sums up some shit i’m feeling.
Viktor Frankl wrote Man’s Search For Meaning, an incredible book. Simply incredible (more on the book below). Here is a video of Frankl speaking at a conference in Toronto in 1972. It’s simple and humble, but when he made his point it was a paradigm shift for me.
Man’s Search For Meaning
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud. The book begins with a lengthy, austere, and deeply moving personal essay about Frankl’s imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live. The second part of the book, called “Logotherapy in a Nutshell,”describes the psychotherapeutic method that Frankl pioneered as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps. Freud believed that sexual instincts and urges were the driving force of humanity’s life; Frankl, by contrast, believes that man’s deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. Frankl’s logotherapy, therefore, is much more compatible with Western religions than Freudian psychotherapy. This is a fascinating, sophisticated, and very human book. At times, Frankl’s personal and professional discourses merge into a style of tremendous power. “Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is,”Frankl writes. “After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”
I used to be a bit of a personal development nut. Through my late teens and twenties I spent an ungodly amount of time in coffee shops reading through spiritual classics, self help books, Kahlil Gibran, and The Inquirer. I also spent an even ungodlier amount of time writing in a journal… good ol’ paper and pen and writing till the answer came out.
I don’t know what I had up my butt, but I felt a good deal like the universe was some swirling mess of possibilities and I wanted to figure out what bits of it which concerned me. My dad told me at the time life doesn’t work like that, that you have to just dive into the workforce, get wet and figure things out as you go. I believe him now, but at the time there was too much magic in all the dreaming. (more…)