January 6, 2014 – Today it starts…
The holidays are over, the relatives have headed home, the kids are going back to school (well, not till tomorrow…) and this is the day I set to put my plan in to place officially.
I started last night. I sat down to read “Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watt. An acquaintance of mine who knows of my struggles with anxiety, and also suffers from anxiety himself, suggested I look up some YouTube videos by Watts. When I started watching his videos I was impressed with what he was saying. I started looking in to Watts more and found that he had authored many books. Somewhere along the way I found “Wisdom of Insecurity”. The reviews were so good that I decided to read it.
I was a little surprised to read that the Forward was written by Deepak Chopra. I have really enjoyed Chopra’s teachings over the years. I find his descriptions of the human body to be fascinating. The book was written in 1951 so my book must be a more recent edition.
As I read, I’m finding that this book is quite advanced, but easily understood. I’m not sure if I am able to fully grasp what he’s telling me. I’ve already decided that I’m going to go back and read it again in December as my last book of the year. Until then, however, I’m learning A LOT. Watts has a background in many different religions and philosophies such as Episcopal, Zen and other Asian philosophies. The main point, so far, is that most people are always planning for a future that they’re not living in without ever noticing the present. When the future that we’re planning for becomes the present, we hardly notice it because we’re still planning for the future. And we never learn to appreciate what is happening now because we are hopeful that tomorrow will be better.
I know that most of my anxiety is from worrying about my future and dwelling too much on the past. I tried blocking out everything but the present yesterday and felt an incredible sense of peace and calm. I was quite happy yesterday unless I started to let past or future thoughts creep back in. It is something that will definitely take practice.
Another very profound statement Watts made was of a river flowing. If you try to capture that running water in a bucket you will only stop it for you cannot contain running water in a bucket, you have to let it go. In my life I try so hard to make other people happy. The reality is that I cannot control other people’s feelings. I have to let go of that battle and let them be happy on their own.
I often irritate my wife by trying too hard to make her happy. If she isn’t smiling all the time, I rush around asking her if she wants this or can I do that. I get irritated myself that I cannot do anything to lift her mood. What I’m doing is making the matter worse! When I focus on letting go and being happy myself the whole situation changes. It’s incredible. It just happened yesterday. When I let go and stopped trying to micro manage the situation, the situation got so much better! We had such a great night from that point on.
I also started running this morning. I won’t be writing a whole lot about my physical fitness life on this blog. I write another blog where I’ll write more about that. Minimalist Workout is the name of that blog. I will, however, say that running isn’t real easy for me but I tried not to fight my tired legs and lungs. Instead, I decided to focus on my music and the beautiful sunshine and warm weather we’re having in Central Florida. I live in a beautiful city and just watched people as they went about their daily lives. I can’t say that it was anything less than wonderful. Afterward, I took a cold shower and sat down to write.
I have a lot to learn. There is a long way to go. I’m a work in progress but I’m definitely in progress. A friend told me last week that if I improve 1% per week that I’ll have improved 52% in a year. A year is not a long time and my life will definitely be changed for the better. Thank you for reading, friends. Have a beautiful day.