06232017Headline:

How to Get That Peaceful Easy Feeling

(Hint: Harmony comes from within.)

A spider bit my butt! Source.

A spider bit my butt! Source.

My laptop needs a new battery. My to-go cup is leaking and mocha dripped on me. My hair looks nasty 12 hours after I wash it. I used my hair dryer in a power strip and tripped the basement circuit, and had to stumble around and find a flashlight, and went outside to flip the circuit back, but I forgot I was wearing my just-purchased-that-day black high heels, and when I walked on the gravel behind the house the rocks gouged the leather. One of my roommates is weird but sexy, and so I’m all confused. I have a spider bite on my butt and it hurts when I sit or when my underwear elastic hits it. I think the spider bit me on the one day in the past hundred I wore a thong. I don’t like to think of a spider down under on Thong Day. I literally said this: “It stays light out so late these days, you can’t tell when it’s getting dark.” My bedroom is in the basement and I sleep with my head near the furnace, and I could get carbon monoxide poisoning any time. Maybe I have mild carbon monoxide poisoning now. How would I know? My new blog template is confusing. My red lipstick wore off, but only in the middle, not around the outer rims of my lips, and so now my options are a) reapply my lipstick, b) remove it all with some vitamin E oil, or c) put up with chapped-looking clown lips. My drinking water isn’t currently filtered.

 

Some people think there are two kinds of situations:

  • Stress-worthy ones
  • Peaceful-easy-feeling ones

 

But in reality, there are two kinds of people:

  • Stressed out ones
  • Peaceful-easy-feeling ones

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Most of us fall somewhere on a sliding scale between Stressed and Peaceful-Easy.

Despite my laundry list of sad things, I’m feeling pretty peaceful and easy as I write this. I don’t pay too much attention to all that stuff. Why? Because there’s always going to be something to get upset about. I promise. It’s not worth it.

I could take any one of those problems, and turn it into a conflict. I could make it a conflict within myself and torment myself over it, or I could make it a conflict with someone else. One of my roommates, perhaps. Or the coffee house people for having hard chairs that make my butt spider bite hurt. Or the guy who took the last soft coffee house chair.

But then, you see, it wouldn’t be those things causing conflict.

It would be ME.

When you have roommates (or co-workers, or a spouse, or a family . . .), harmonious living is important. It is as highly valued as being able to clean (or flush) a toilet. It also makes you happier, which is a good thing.

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People like potty trained housemates. Source.

Demands. Expectations. Entitlement. — These are all things that can cause us to take stuff too seriously.

That said, it’s important to be clear with yourself about what conditions you need to be a good roommate. Our housemate. Or yurtmate. You get the idea.

I need my own space–physically and mentally–and lots of alone time. I need to know my family and friends are healthy and safe. I need good health. I need a healthy bank account. I need to make sure I write.

What do you need? Maybe you need to nurture a relationship. Maybe you need a clean living space. Maybe you need to work in the garden and make things grow, or everything feels out of whack and you turn into Godzilla.

Now, let’s be clear–I’m not talking about getting what I want, or even what I deserve. I’m not talking about being heard or understood, or getting time off, or being sexually satisfied. Maybe for some people, those things are big pieces without which harmonious living is not possible. I’m not saying they’re not important. But if I don’t have those things, I can still remain generally optimistic and harmonious. I will work toward those things–toward what I want–but I can still be peaceful and easy as I do so.

For me, the pieces that must be in place to feel pretty good, are pretty few. But they are big and they are important. If I don’t have those big important pieces in place, everything feels unbalanced, and I don’t live harmoniously so well.

I think a lot of people don’t know what their big important pieces are.

And that’s a problem. Because if we don’t know what our big pieces are and get them in place, all the little pieces start to feel like the big ones. This “misidentification” happens on a deep, emotional level we’re not conscious of. Emotionally, or maybe subconsciously, we know something is not right. We know we don’t have what we need. And in trying to fix it, we find things that aren’t right everywhere.

Then we freak out when someone forgets to flush the toilet, or when we run out of salt. We get wrapped up in what we “deserve,” or in how things “should be.” It becomes our roommate’s/spouse’s/kid’s/the cat’s/that guy in front of us in the coffee line’s/the world’s fault that we’re not getting what we deserve. Because on an emotional level, we’ve mistaken the situation for one of the “big pieces.”

What big pieces do you need to have in place for harmonious living? Do you actually have them in place? Or do you interpret the little things as big ones?

***

L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites.


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