I’ve hit the wall. That wall where you just can’t do anything. Do you know that wall? Everything is supreme effort. It’s my body’s way of saying I need a break. I haven’t had any leisure time, downtime, or any time at all to just do nothing in 19, 20, I’m not even sure, how many days. I realize there are people in the world who never have any leisure time at all, ever, due to unfortunate circumstances, but that doesn’t make me feel better because, frankly, we’re not really meant to live like that. Even animals frolic sometimes. Consequently, in an effort to calm my mind, body and spirit, I attempted to relax for a while. I can’t. I can’t shut my brain up. I can’t stop thinking about everything I have to do today, how time is slipping away and how lazy I’m being. That made me think about this e-mail I wrote to my father-in-law almost three years ago. It pretty much sums-up my thoughts today.
My Utter Failure
By Jenny, Grade 31 (grade 34 now) (Still in the School of Hard Knocks, and
I am a failure at my attempts to “calm the mind and spirit”. I have
this 10 minute relaxation exercise that promises to do just that. I
lay down on my mat and this nice woman’s soothing voice comes on
telling me to “sink into the floor, relax all the muscles in your body
and free your mind of all thought.” That’s where they get me.
Immediately, my mind turns into the opening office scene of “9 to 5”,
where the camera pans back to reveal a flurry of bodies, ringing
telephones and non-stop chatter. This morning, for instance, it went
something like this:
“Okay, relax, ease your mind – let go of all your thoughts. Boy, it’s
weird how you can see weird colors and shapes with your eyes closed.
It’s sort of trippy and strange. You’re supposed to be relaxing, so
shut up. Oh, somebody’s mowing their grass. That’s not very
peaceful. Hey, that’s weird – the drone of the motor sounds sort of
like the “Ommm” yoga chant. Maybe I can chant with it – that might
help – no one’s here to see or hear me. They won’t ever know I’m
weird. Okay – ommmmmmmmmmmmmmm… – crap, the mower just ran over a
stick and the pitch changed – ommmiiiiiiiiimmmmuuuuuuummmmmm – okay,
it’s back – ommmmmmmmmmmmmm… I wonder why Katie Holmes married Tom
Cruise? Does she really love him, or was that a career move, or what?
What the hell happened to him? He was hot in Top Gun and now he’s
this weird, creepy, troll of a man. Yuck. What the hell are you
doing? Why are you thinking about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? You
don’t even give a rat’s ass about them. You’re supposed to be
relaxing! Wait! – do you suppose it’s possible that, in my heightened
state of conscious awareness I’ve picked-up on a psychic distress
call that Katie Holmes put out because she is in trouble, and I’ve
just picked up on it? Maybe that’s why I started thinking about her.
Oh my god – I hope you’re okay Katie- wait!!!! WTF? Shut the hell up
and free your mind of thought and relax, for Pete’s sake! Oh, I’d better get
some meat out of the freezer for dinner…”
And so it went for the whole ten minutes, until the nice lady’s voice
interrupted the tirade to tell me that it was over and didn’t I feel
so much more “mentally and spiritually calmer”? Well, it is true that
I feel a little more relaxed, if only for the fact that I was in a
prone position for ten minutes. Now, one might argue that it was
daytime, or I’m new at this “freeing the mind” thing, or it was noisy.
But, the sad truth is I’ve tried it at all different times of the day
and night, have been doing this for a while now and have never, once,
managed to completely clear my mind of thought. If there are people
in this world that can do that, I’d like to know how, because I
suspect they’re void of thought to begin with, or are plain
out-and-out lying. Or, it’s just me.