As I get older, I revert more and more to my Hippie-California-organic-slow-food-camping-no makeup-Type B personality roots. It started when I decided to do yoga in 2006 (the studio was across the hall from my office). Then I took a pottery class. It has continued to expand and deepen into a more and different types of yoga and a personal fitness regimen (including middle distance running), crafts, including needlepoint and now knitting, baking and making jam. All of these are supposed to be ways to relieve stress, feel productive, stop staring at the computer, and become more centered. It sort of works.
But I have also started collected little bits of easily digestible spiritual and philosophical wisdom that help me to stay positive and motivated, despite my intensely trying circumstances. These give me strength and make me feel like I have some amount of wisdom. Here are my three absolute favorites:
Don’t quit before the Miracle.
This is a saying that comes from AA. I’m not in recovery, but I find this helpful. You have to hold on and not despair in the face of a challenge, because the miracle is on its way. It also reminds me of the Grateful Dead concerts my mom and dad took me to when I was a kid. These beautiful Hippie girls and weird hackey-sack playing, dreadlocks-having white guys would wander around the grounds outside the Shoreline amphitheater, looking for a free ticket, saying “I need a Miracle.”
“Act as if ye have faith and faith shall be given to you. Put it another way, fake it ’til you make it.”
This is a quote from the West Wing, which is supposed to be a Bible passage, but I think it’s a Bible paraphrase.
And finally, this story that I heard in yoga (sorry, it’s like church with stretching):
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I wish I could get a tattoo of two wolves without transforming instantaneously into a total hipster-freakshow-icky-something. I think the term is Lady Douchebag.