Oh fuck Zen, it's overrated!

That is the new title of my book. The one I haven't written yet because I am a procrastinator and can't focus on projects very well. Yes another one of those people who has the mythical "ADHD" (among the other DSM diagnoses). 

Apparently, when I was just a wee one and not sleeping, my brilliant pediatrician told my Mom she could either put me on meds, or give me Coca Cola. She opted for the Coke. NO, it didn't work. It only made me more hyper and probably a little anxious. And by little I mean crawl out of your skin anxious. Conveniently my Dr. and dentist shared a building, what luck because I was back and forth quite a bit. My mouth is full of so much mercury if I stand in the correct position on a clear day I can tap into Nasa's phone system.

Anyway I digress. Where was I?

My latest venture is into the world of Mindfulness. Yes, the therapy "discovered" by Jon Kabat-Zinn (what kinda man hyphenates? I mean seriously!) while working at the hospital in my hometown of Worcester, Mass.

So anyway, I was assigned with the task of buying a workbook that, in 8 weeks, "would help me become more aware of the seven signs of driven-doing and cultivate the precious human potential for mindfulness we all possess," "learn to recognize my thought patterns for what they really are -- just thought patterns -- and then graceful[ly] disengage from them..." and "learn to recognize ruminative worry and driven -- doing as they arise...and see THEM for what THEY really are!"

What they really are is fucking annoying, so yes, I told my therapist I was all in and I went an bought that workbook. Said workbook came with a handy-dandy cd of guided meditations. Oh, minor disclaimer "Mindfulness will not eliminate all of life's pain and stresses, but it can help us respond to them in a way that is kinder and more compassionate to ourselves and to those around us." (Remember that last part!)

Today I decided I would work on the first exercise before I see my therapist this afternoon. I had already read most of the first chapter and used my highlighter like a good little student of mental freedom. 

First exercise: Mindfully Eating a Raisin (okay, seriously?) 

Well since we didn't have organic raisins, because hubby went against my request to protect the very lives of our family from deadly pesticides, I broke out the month old, organic dried apricot, date, plum medley a friend gave me (don't ask). Now, I honestly can't tell the difference between the three, they all look like shriveled up bulls balls to me, so I took two at random, ready to work my mindfulness.

I popped the cd into the player in the kitchen and sat down at the table facing the bird feeders, lit a non-toxic candle, and waited to hear the calming voice of a true master of mindfulness. As I waited I fondled the sticky testicular-like nodules waiting...waiting...waiting.... Hmmm, I get up and press play and it blinks and I press play again, hear the sound of it spinning and sit down, again. Waiting...waiting...waiting.... I give several more attempts seeing if it was the volume or the setting. Then I decided to take it into my sons room where there's another player. I hopscotch around the Lego littered floor and get to the player. Pop the cd into the machine and sit on his bed ready to go. 

Palming, now uncomfortabley moist and warm mini sacks, I close my eyes and wait for it...and wait...and wait...and wait. I hear the spinning (...or is that my mind?) I get up, trying to stay Zen, I open the cover, close it again and check the settings and volume. Press play and jump onto the bed. NOTHING. Okay, deep, cleansing breaths. I take the cd out of the player with my sticky fingers and grab the other player from downstairs. 

This time I bring my show to the couch, it's a cold raw day and we don't put the heat on in June. I set the player up next to me, blanket tucked around me, legs in yogic position, balls in hand; shrinking by the second, maybe they will be raisins after all! I press the button and "Whheeeeeeeegggggggggggggggggeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggrggggguunnngggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..." 
My neighbor across the street decides he needs to rototill. I nod my head and try to get in the moment, meanwhile the cd has not said a fucking thing to me yet. 

I come to the conclusion that this is a test by the authors to see if I can get through this without stressing out, staying mindful, basically proving their point at the very beginning, that you really do need this workbook! I check the settings and the fucking volume and I close my eyes trying to block out the construction work across the street. I press play, I wonder how long would they have me sit before they said "Are you still there? "How're you doing? "Are you ruminating?" Then I smell something. I open my eyes and look to the left, my dog is sitting next to me, stark straight, staring at me with his cat-shit breath. I reposition myself and the dog settles down facing away from me and I press the buttons again. 

It never spoke to me, not a fucking word. 

Either these guys are genius, or I got a faulty cd. I chuck my bull-ball raisins into my mouth and head straight for the coffee. I plop down at the computer and look up the word ruminate. Here is the definition I found: 

ru·mi·nate verb \ˈrü-mə-ˌnāt\
: to think carefully and deeply about something
of an animal : to bring up and chew again what has already been chewed and swallowed

I sit and ruminate on the definition. Then I type in "does ruminate originate from Rumi the philosopher?" It brings up "assfiles" and I decide to call it quits!

I tongue a tooth that has some of my leftover prop on it and think, according to the definition this was a total set up to ruminate. Not only did I think carefully about how much I hate the guys that wrote this book and planted an empty cd in the back, but I hate my neighbor and his stupid rototiller and his perfect yard and Legos and cold June days and cat-shit breath and eating shriveled bulls balls.

...but I love coffee.



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