Saturday, August 12, 2006

Mowing Meditation...

Lately, I have become more meditative. Some of my best meditations are done while mowing my yard. I found in teh past that mowing my yard causes me to think abotu tons of stuff, kind of like if I were laying in bed after a busy day, thoughts race in and out and makes me less tired. But lately, when I mow, I focus on one thing and ponder it for a long while...

Yesterday I pondered thankfulness. When I mow, I thank God for the yard, for the house, and for my physical ability to be able to push this mower, to walk outside without the aid of a wheelchair or nurse. I thought about walking and stuff and thought "If I were in a wheel chair, and didn't have the use of my legs, i would give anything to be able to run one mile everyday." Yet, do I do that now? No.

I then thought "Am I really thankful for something I have always had?" If you were to Africa (Mullins) and you saw a man living in a hut, and you offered him a fresh, clean water, as much as he wants, cold OR hot, any time, accessible from almost any room in his 'house' would he be thankful... heck yeah!

Offer tap water to me, and I may say thank you, but the level of thanks isn't the same. Am I really thankful for something I have already? That I have an over abundance of?

This made me think of fasting. Perhaps to truly appreciate food we must do without food. I thought about food fasting then my mind moved to other types of fasting. Perhaps to appreciate the clothes we wear we should take $20, go to the thrift store and salvation army, but enough clothes for a month with that money (Shoes, underwear, everything!) and only wear those clothes for a month. Then, after a month, we can truly tell God thank you for our closet full of clothes.

Or perhaps to truly thank God for our cars, we should walk to work, or ride a bike to work for a month.

To thank God for our homes we should live in a hotel for a few weeks, or in a tent.

Then I thought about jobs, and about Brew. Are we thankful for our jobs? I bet Brew would give anything for a bunch of "Bad days" at a job he felt secure at, but dont we complain about work? Brew, use this opportunity you have. God is giving you the chance to truly appreciate something that he is going to give you. When you get a job, look back on the worry, the emptiness, the fear you are feeling right now. You will get a job and youll be truly thankful for it.

Likewise, I have taken Chucks advice. Or learned a lesson from him. Sure school has only been in session for one day, but I have noticed that with everyone I deal with, I talk to, not about work, but just chat with. And it is actually enjoyable. Heck, one teacher told me my new facial hair design looked "Sexy", it would have made me felt better if she, too, were sexy, but that is okay, ill take the compliment.

Im learning that the people I work with are just that; people. Not first initial/last names.

Like Chuck said, my job and his is "immediate satisfaction" but there is little or no long term satisfaction. Solve 10 problems today, there will be 10 more tomorrow... but, oh well.

Just some J thoughts.


Yudelka said...

Whoah! I never knew mowing the lawn could be so spiritualizing.

I absolutely agree with you on thankfulness. It's a matter of the ever-condemned 'ifs.'
"IF only I were healthy..."
"IF only I had more time..."
"IF only my brain were a bit bigger..."
My fave;
"IF only I were rich..."

These are merely excuses for our shortcomings. It's really sad when we--Christians--speak/think this way, but sadly, we do it all the time.

Thankfulness--this is one aspect of my life in which I strive to perfect; in everything that I go through, I thank God that it's as good as it is, because I realize it can ALWAYS be worse...

...And then came Job.

Yudelka said...

Hey, who added that 'h' to my whoa?

kermitgrn said...

Yudelka, it was probably the same person who made two spelling mistakes in the first paragraph of the original post.

Speaking of mowing, I can never remember what I've thought about while mowing. Although I can't remember specifically everything I've pondered, it is like a release for me. I can run through random thoughts and come to decisions on a near subconscious level.

Jamison, I’m glad you’ve found peace with you job. It makes a big difference when it’s an interpersonal experience. I bet one day you’ll find yourself walking the hall and someone will wave happily to you who you’d thought would never give you the time of day. Hey, but if not, I can already tell your happier for the effort you’ve put into it.

Diana said...

That's really beautiful, Jamison.

I've found similar peace this summer with school. I have a bunch of teachers that are bitter old women who like to make things miserable for the rest of us. This semester, my last semester of classes ah thank you, I WILL NOT STRESS OUT. It's been my mantra for the past few weeks.

I'll tell you what J, we can be eachother's chill buddies. If I see a post/email about the stresses of work, I will remind you that your co-workers are only people and work is just a job. Likewise, if you see me stressing about school, I would like for you to remind me that a grade is just a grade and does not measure my capability. Deal? I love you man. You're my favorite adopted big brother. Don't tell the rest of the guys...... oh WAIT!

Jamison said...

Deal Di...
Alot of people look at me as being sadder now, but I think I have realized why...
I am more apathedic about htings, yes, I dont get worked up about things anymore, true.
But I think that when I was the overly excited, overly funny, over-the-top Jamison, I was also the Jamison that got down really fast, worried about alot of things, and got angry at stupid things.
I feel I have evened the field. I may "seem" sad, but I am not, just evened out now... i still laugh, still tell a good joke, and thins still upset me, but each on a lower scale. I find this to be a much easier way to live, and les stressful.

Brewster said...

I haven't mowed a yard in five years. I really need to settle down.

I've really become more even keeled as I've gotten older too. It's rare that I get really sad or super happy. That doesn't really seem like such a great thing to me, but when I stop a moment I realize I'm really very happy.

It's kind of like marriage. In the beginning everything was super exciting. big highs, big lows. Now It's not as exciting, but deeper some how.

tnmommieof2 said...

This is strange, but I find myself being more stressed out the older I get. I don't know why...but it
is curious. I worry about Isaac
starting school and all of the good things we have tried to instill in him over the past 5 years will be thrown out the window

I worry about my folks health. They are both in not-so-great shape
and without health insurance.

I worry about tons of stuff. Maybe
I just need to mow the lawn...

tnmommieof2 said...

oh and I'm sure if I saw your new facial hair I would think it sexy
as well Jamison....:)

Jamison said...

yes, you would like it Jules... it is up your alley... check the webshots pics if you must.

Abotu the stress thing you mentioned, I am actually finding myself having less of it. I worry abotu SO LITTLE now it is almost scary.

I worry so little that it almost seems like inside I am mean or something. I no longer worry about someone breaking in our house, I don't worry about me or lariss ahaving a car wreck, I don't worry about my parents health, etc...

Also, I am not afraid of death anymore. Don't go crazy here. I am not going to start taking up sky diving, nor driving without a seat belt, and suicidal thoughts are VERY far form my mind, but I really just am not going to let death have a grip on my enjoyment of life. Being injured and in pain and perhaps losing a limb I still will worry about, but in time perhaps I will get over that too...

So, since I have ALWYAS been a worrier about everything, i now feel almost guilty for not worrying about this stuff, but I will say, I feel alot better.

Everyone here with kids right now is saying in their heads "Wait till he has kids." Well, so be it. I don't have a right to say this "since I don't have kids" but I am going to anyway. I don't think having kids is a 'permission slip' to start worrying and start having fears that have no base. Maybe I will change when we have a kid. I really hope not though.

I did read a book that put my mind at peace. The "old Jamison" would have looked at this book, scoffed and laughed, and never read it. I would have said it is for "hippies" or "cosmic freaks". But it has alot of cool wisdom and advice in it. Ashame they are making a movie-in-select-cities about it I just learned, but it is still good.

If anyone is interested, ask me via email. It does require a BIT of an open mind...

mullinz8 said...

Jamison, first thing first, keep your facial hair away from my wife’s alleys…

I have found that my worry scale is a sliding one. The idea of Death, which use to weigh very heavily on my heart, actually not so much death but where I thought I might end up, is no longer something that occupies my mind. Funny what prayer and study can do isn’t it.

I don’t worry about my job, maybe I should considering my latest post, but I know that I can find work as soon as I apply myself. When I do, you can see the HHI project as the results.

I worry about my family from time to time because they are a dynamic amalgam of characters and personalities. I worry about Jules folks but she covered that. I get on to my boys a bit much sometimes not because I’m worried about them but rather because they need to understand where lines are drawn. I trust me and Jules, with a heavy God lead influence, to be the guideposts they need. As a footnote, once my sons know where the boundaries are they can learn how to adjust them for their own needs. They are going to do it someday no matter what I try and teach them. I should at least allow them the perspective between right and wrong.

This may seem like a lot but as I’ve mentioned I’m a bit of a fatalist and there is nothing that I can accomplish by allowing something to stress me out. I would rather face a problem head on and deal with it rather than fretting what I may or may not be in control of.

yudelka, nice to hear from you again.

Yudelka said...

Thanks Mullinz!

Jamison, I have three kids and never considered them a permission slip to the worry zone.

Worrying only means worldly fear, if you ask me.

Yes, there are situations when our minds go a little kooky, but we need to be careful not to become worry freaks.
I'm sure I'd worry if I had a loved one on a hospital bed, or if my hubby suddenly lost his job. That would be 'fear' of the unknown, still ungodly.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7 (King James Version)

Many passages in the Bible encourage us to refrain from this mind threatening emotion. And yes I do believe it's mind threatening; it causes people to behave eccentrically, which--with progress--can lead one's life to drastically change, which causes problems in our lives in general, which causes people to make decisions about us that they'd otherwise not make, which can make us miserable folks, which---okay, I'll stop!!! You get the point.

Give it to God! He can carry that burden.

mullinz8 said...

Amen sister!

tnmommieof2 said...

Well said yudelka. I only wish I could do this. I think I just need to pray about it more often,
but I have always been a worrier.

Part of me wants to blame my parents, well my mother, because she, if given ample opportunity,
would worry whether or not the sun
is going to rise in the morning.

My grandmother was one of the best
women I have ever known. She was a
strong christian woman whose study
and prayer life were equally strong
But thru out her entire life, she
was filled with worry. About anything. I do believe she went to
her grave worrying whether or not
she had been a good enough person..
been a faithful enough christian to get into heaven. I shudder to think that a woman as faithful as she was kept herself out of heaven
because she let worry corrupt her heart....I guess I'll just have to wait and see....

Jamison said...

Oh worry runs in the genese. My mom AND dad are both worry-warts. My dad will have a new ailment that he has been going to the doctor for each time I call him. He saw that I had lost 30 pounds (South Beach Diet) and freaked out begging me to go to the doctor. His blood preasure is high because he eats solty stuff and... worries about his high blood preasure. My mom is a "human" worrier, she worries more about safety and jazz like that.

I've been the same way my whole life, just now coming down from that. My brother hasnt worried about a thing in his life.

Jamison said...

why dont i just look over a comment before I post it? Riddled with typos...

Diana said...

BTW, everyone is invited to my graduation. It will be May 5, 2007.

I'm still trying to let it sink in that this will be my last semester of classes, and then I'll intern. And then I'll have to grow up!!!!

I'm trying to worry less. It's my new begining this month resolution. Charlie and I are a good balance. When he worries, I rationalize why he shouldn't, and vice versa.

Yudelka said...

Jamison, I don't know what "genese" are, but I don't have them, so that explains why I'm stress-free. LOL--just kidding!

Jules, My sister and a friend often ask, "How do you do it? How do you not worry?"
I look at them, gray head revealing all the wisdom God has so graciously imparted upon me, and the words that leave my mouth are unbearable to the unwise, "I don't know!"

I have been trying to put this into perspective. What does one do to avoid worry/stress/fear? I mean, it's easy for me, I've never been a worrier. But what about those who always have been?

I found a cute website to help with this:

Here are a few of my tips:

Pray & leave it at the altar (as they say): Keep it out of your mind after you've given it to the Lord. We all know how to replace unhappy thoughts--if you don't have any happy ones of your own, steal some.

Have faith: Do your part; your best, and believe with all your heart that God has it under control.

Be thankful: It can ALWAYS be worse, so be grateful for what you do get. You won't worry if you know in advance that you'll be thankful for whatever happens.


Brewster said...

To me the biggest part of not being a worrier, is realizing that worry doesn't accomplish anything.

My wife and I are good examples, she's a worrier, I'm not.

We are both unemployed. My wife worries about it constantly and spends large parts of her days frustrated and despressed about it. I spend my time not worrying but trying to do something about it.

I've probably put out more resumes in the last four days than she has in three months.

If you're worried about something think of what you can do to fix it instead of worrying.

That's a pretty shallow fix, I do think worry is something pretty deeply ingrained. I also like Yudelkas fixes. Trust God.

tnmommieof2 said...

Thank you for your uplifting comment yudelka. I will try some of those "tips" and see if they work. I need to be more optimistic
as well. I have always had the
mindset to expect the worse in every situation. My theory is that
if I am already expecting the worse
to happen, I won't be disappointed
when it does.

I realize that this is probably not a very healthy way to look at
the world. I have tried and tried
to think more positively, it just
doesn't come easy. When Matt left
for Africa, on my drive home all I could think about was his plane crashing, him getting sick, him getting into some kind of trouble.

I guess the old adage "let go and let God" is one I need to pay more
attention to.

Jamison said...

I have realized in my many tears of worrying that we die a thousand deaths before the thing we are worrying about actually happens.

I got to the point where I said "I thought up 100 scenerios of how this event could go bad, and here I am enjoying it..."

So I guess, from a Pavlovic perspective, I realized worrying was stupid...

bigsip said...

I think healthy concern is a good thing. Worrying and constantly dwelling on what might go wrong is debilitating.

I use prayer as a guideline. Jamison and I talked a little about this, but we as Christians don't tap in nearly enough to the power of meditation.

Prayer, study, singing, etc. can and should be meditative actions for us. They're things that can bring us peace and take away worry.

My tactic for destroying worry is and has always been to pray, breathe, and meditate.

We rarely consider that Christainity is, at its roots, an Eastern religion. Judaism also includes many meditative patterns for worship and life. Too many times we overlook that fact.