Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This Is Your Brain On Free-Fall.

Meters swum today: 1600 (and 140 miles for the year!!)
Playing on the iPod: Kellum's massage CD (thanks, Kel!)

I'm reading The Wise Heart by Jack Kornfield, ex-Thai forest monk, leader of the Spirit Rock Center in San Fran and all around cool guy. I'd make this my new Book O'the Decade but when I did that with Traffic I never did finish the darn thing and this one is too good to miss a word. In the chapter I just read, Kornfield relates how after he got to Thailand and started hanging around with the forest monks, he developed some numb patches on his arms and legs. Numbness can be a sign of, among other things, leprosy, and yes, folks, leprosy does lurk in the rain forests of Thailand. He got himself into a tizzy of concern about this until he realized that the numb patches kept moving around. Which meant it probably wasn't leprosy. All that worry wasted on nothin'.

Jack and I, we were cut from the same fold. I wonder if his folks are Scandinavian, too. I got an email yesterday from one of my boys (all my lawyers are my boys, no matter how old they are, and yes, some of them are women) that seemed to ask in a snarky manner why I hadn't done a particular thing. Distress set in at once. When was I supposed to have done that? Had I spaced on it? Had I just misplaced it somewhere? Geez, was I in trouble? Was this going to cause problems with what the lawyer was supposed to be doing? Would it jeopardize the case? Would it jeopardize my job? They wouldn't fire me over something like that, would they? Well, would they?

And so on. Given a chance to bolt down the vast hallway of anxiety I rarely say no. And this is with Zoloft. You shoulda seen me before the stuff. I finally wrote a note and stuck it in my Buddha Box (you twelve-steppers out there know that there's such a thing as a God box - well, mine does the same job, it just has a different being stuck to the front). Once you stick something in the Buddha Box you're supposed to quit worrying about it. Well, usually. I guess I worried about it less.

Anyway, I got to work this morning and there was an email from my boy - "No worries, the other attorney had it in his file." Great. All that worry wasted on nothin'. The gist of the chapter I was reading, which I somehow failed to absorb, is that you can't believe everything your brain tells you. It's your brain's job to come up with stories, ideas and worst case scenarios. I guess it wants you to be prepared for anything, but a lot of being prepared for anything means missing what's going on right now, this minute. Like The Raphaels on the iPod behind me, or the warm sweater on my shoulders, or the flickering lightbulb above me (I'm hard on light bulbs). Which just goes to show something or other. Maybe Jack explains it in the next chapter.

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