Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zen Master

I am the zen master.
I don't really have a choice in the matter, but since I am a big believer in cognitive therapy, I have to be.

Ok, hang with me... this one takes a little to get through...

For the uninitiated, it kinda goes like this...
You have some control over that little voice in your head and the way you allow yourself to think about things has a definite impact on your well being.

People call it perspective, or "the glass is half..." There are many ways of expressing it. But the end product is the same. If you walk around "reminding yourself" that "everything sucks!", then it will. If however, you do the opposite, it has the opposite effect.

My flight home from Christchurch today was diverted. We wound up getting bussed up from an other town because the Queenstown airport was snowed in. This is not unheard of, but having snow all the way to the valley floor is uncommon.

Now, I'm not going to tell you that having all kinds of fresh powder on the mountains doesn't hurt a bit. Knowing that I screwed myself up on the one bad day in an otherwise epic season is a bit stingy as well. However, dwelling on this is a very bad idea.

Once I start down that road, I get to make a scorecard of "how it could have been". This is not a mentally healthy process. This is the way of the half empty glass. Though it is a very tempting road, it clouds your vision of what you do have.

So I'm sitting in the bus, looking out the window when someone mentions the epic snow we're getting today. For a moment, pain. Then, I think... "no". "Look out the window you idiot." Before me is the amazing snow capped beauty of the Southern Alps. It is truly stunning. People travel half way around the world to see this. I'm in a bus full of them. And I live here!

I can choose to wallow in misery. Or I can appreciate what I do have and focus on how to enjoy it. It is a conscious decision and it does actually matter (that's the cognitive therapy bit if ya care).

My day instantly got brighter.
And not a surface brighter, I truly felt better.
Nothing had changed but the direction I allowed my thoughts to wander in. It's a deliberate mental action and it does work. It's not 100%, but it helps.

Ah, the stuff that goes through my head before I fall asleep ;)

1 comment:

pat rooney said...

BRAVO!!!! YOU ARE THE ZEN MASTER! We are so grateful for your messages and we went to church today to pray for your healing and upbeat emotional needs. Love, Dad & Mom