TEACHING THIS OLD DOG NEW TRICKS IS WHAT I LOVE TO DO THESE DAYS


Psychic, and physical tricks. First, Psychic: which does come first,
because this is the Power Center, the dynamo, the Master and Mistress, Captain
and Captainess of our lives. A specific example: as my mother ages she becomes,
according to the truism, more and more like a child, irrational and prone to
fits. Earlier, it would disturb me  (she
has been a bit like this all her life) , I would react, let it upset me beyond
my capacities, get angry and disturbed. Two days ago I dealt with her, went to
her a thousand times when she called, was present: I got tired, yes, but I did
not get emotionally tangled. This is what I think the Gurus mean by detachment.
It is not something I have achieved, but a gift after a lifetime of striving
for the state. And I am not fool enough to think this state of detachment
permanent. But the trick to learning this new trick has to do with letting your
emotions be: sorrow and grieve, be disappointed and despair when these emotions
return to us on the lathe of time, feel them fully, but not get attached to
them.
A
few practical, physical examples of new tricks: they all require (A) a
willingness to first notice something is not working, and (B) recognizing and acknowledging
a need, and then taking steps to remedy it – or rather, when you do the first
two, a space opens up in which the universe goes to work for you. It is not
your will but the universe’s that provides the remedy. To think you alone can
remedy something is pride.
So,
the examples: I have had a habit of reaching for the phone each morning upon
waking to check emails and messages. Well, that gets old very soon but being in
the habit you keep doing it anyway. After doing the usual round this morning I
realized I do it (in addition to other egotistical needs  — has so and so contacted me yet?) to stay in
bed longer, and that I like to play in bed for a while before getting up and
starting my day. I decided to get to know my new Iphone better by going to each
button, though my motive was to find how I could record my voice on it when I
sing. And was thrilled to find it, though I still don’t know how to record. The
first door has opened and it is a beginning. It led me to a second door: you’ve
got an Ipad, stupid, that has TablaPro, an application with Indian raags and
tempos on it! You can use the thing for other purposes than playing backgammon
obsessively! When I finally got out of bed I saw my face in the mirror and
turned away, as I always do. Having lost around 14 pounds lately (intended) I
now weigh around 110 (I’m short: I used to be five almost two and now I am
almost five – the shriveling has been in progress for a while), my face looks
small, pinched, but what I dislike most is my disheveled frizzy white hair (in
this humidity) all over the place making me look like quite the crone. I have done
this turning away from the mirror trick for decades till this morning when I
said, I will pin it down with my berets. Voila! What a tiny little thing, and I
now have another little detail to cheer myself up in the mornings. I’m still a
crone but a lovely one (Yes, I think I’m lovely. Shouldn’t you also think this
lovely thought?)
But
what pleased me most yesterday was my failed attempt at taking a nap and my
inability to do anything else led me to another door. As I lay in bed and
obsessed about what to do when I didn’t want to do anything and didn’t want to
not do anything, either, I told myself that I would get out of bed and put away
things in the cluttered room for just fifteen minutes (since it needs to be
done before Payson gets here for the launch tomorrow; I don’t know how he puts
up with me – not too well on occasions, but I thank him for it publically) and
before I knew it, I had worked on it for an hour and felt I had accomplished something
huge! I loved it so much that I have set aside another task to do when I am in
these straits again (organize some financial, practical papers).

All
in all, a great few days: I feel great about myself and my ability to take care
of my psychic, emotional and physical needs. It gets more and more important to learn to do this as
we age.

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