Monthly Archives: February 2014

Mother Nature the Overachiever

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So Bubi, the jewish grandmother, invites Mother Nature over for coffee, to chat, you know, about the recent goings on.  This is their conversation.

Bubi: Come, sit, have some coffee. Let’s get you some cake, right? It’s nice, I made it yesterday. So dunk it in the coffee if it’s dry.

Mother Nature: Thanks Bubi, that’s very kind, but I’m awfully busy. I need to focus on snow this winter, and I’m just not getting it right. Last winter everyone complained that there wasn’t enough snow, and they didn’t get their snow days and on and on. I need to step it up.

Bubi: This is what I need to speak to you about, this snow. Again with the snow. And the ice. And now this freezing rain baloney. What is that? Freezing rain. It’s either rain or its not.

Mother Nature: Well, I was trying for more snow, but I got distracted a bit. I need to get those snow days in. I need…

Bubi: You need to slow down. You’ve made it snow. And Snow and snow. You know what happens when it snows this much? People go crazy. People drive into trees like that nice student yesterday. Drove right over a small tree. Missed the bigger one by a few inches. Those two women, the one in the minivan and the sensible boots and the arty one with the ponytail like a cheerleader, so upset. The ponytail could barely call 911, She called 9111. She’s nervous enough, you know.

Mother Nature: But everyone was Ok. I mean, it was the ice that was left over. If I had gotten the snow right, it would have just been snow. That wouldn’t have happened. I need to try harder, get it right.

Bubi: But honey, you’ve made it snow. 8 inches here, 14.8 inches there, and now last night, another few inches then this freezing rain nonsense. Just stop. It’s enough snow. There have been enough snow days. You’ve done winter. Everyone is impressed. It’s enough.

Mother Nature: But they haven’t seen the sun rise on the sparkling snow enough. They haven’t crunched through the snow in that sound that makes them feel like little kids again.

Bubi: What’s enough? When is it going to be enough snow for everyone? It’s like you’ve chosen the pickiest person to make happy. They won’t be happy, I know them. My cousin Manny, he’s never happy. Stop trying to make Manny happy and ignoring everything else. Drink your coffee and relax for a minute. Let the snow melt. It’s done. Let it be done. Let the goal of more snow than last year be done. Stop working for everyone else and just do this your way. You’re in charge after all. Enough with the achieving for other people.

Mother Nature: Well, I do have to get planning on Spring.

 

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What I Mean When I Say Attachment to Achieving

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This blog is about motivation and about an attachment to achieving, and I mean attachment in the buddhist/yoga sense of the word. For buddhists, Attachment is the origin, the root of suffering; hence it is the cause of suffering. The idea is “Grasping at things can only yield one of two results: Either the thing you are grasping at disappears, or you yourself disappear. It is only a matter of which occurs first.” Goenka.  So attachment to achieving would be a craving, a holding on tightly and grasping for achievement until either you or the achievement disappears. You can see that there can be too much of this.  There can be a sense that you’ve lost your self in your trophies and awards.  The things that make you, well, you, disappear. Time with the dog, being present when your kids tell you that same knock-knock joke for the 14th time, it can disappear when all you’re focused on is getting to the next thing.

That’s what I mean by being attached to achieving, and that’s what I mean by being an achievement junkie.  When you bypass all the life stuff to “succeed”.  There is a great Pema Chodron quote about being too busy for life that Andrea Miller discusses in her Editorial (linked below).

“In the dream, she was in the country, perhaps at a monastery, and everyone there was busily preparing for the arrival of Khandro Rinpoche, one of today’s preeminent women Vajrayana teachers.

“Ani Pema,” Khandro Rinpoche said when she finally arrived. “Did you see the sunrise this morning?”

“No, Rinpoche, I didn’t. I was too busy.”

Khandro Rinpoche laughed and laughed. “Too busy to live life?” she asked.

Since having this dream, Pema Chödrön says that whenever she finds herself getting all caught up and habitually, compulsively doing something, she thinks, “Too busy to live life? Too busy to be there for the sun coming up or to notice anything?””

For more on this, read the great article Buddha’s Daughters on Shambhala Sun.

This is the goal. To not be attached to success and its little markers and goal posts so much that I miss actually living my life.  Paying attention enough to notice when my boyfriend is being truly goofy so as to make me smile. That moment of goofy is life, it’s the good life in fact.