Tag Archives: Mindfulness

“Will Power Hour”

Will Power Hour

Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

~Mahatma Gandhi

The Foda’s Take: Gandhi, man! A gift to the world that just keeps on giving. For example, today he taught me a new word. Indomitable: Impossible to subdue or defeat. Which may have prompted a moment where I went to brush my hair and yelled at the baby-fine locks at my temples: “You cowlicks are indomitable!” But I digress.

Good morrow, fine people! Today we shall dissect… <drum roll, please>…..

Will power. Not to be, ahem, conceited or anything, but I’ve got it. I’ve had to have it. As anyone with a chronic illness knows, you have to commit yourself one hundred percent to doing everything within your power to get well, no matter how unpleasant. Like drinking activated charcoal. (Which– for those of you who don’t know– tastes, I’d imagine, very similar to bantha fodder.)

So with such a plethora of finely honed will power at my disposal, you can imagine how frustrated I can get when– like yesterday– my brain is set on GO-GO-GO but my body is lying prone on the couch, stubbornly refusing to move its “feels-like-they-weigh-ten-thousand-pounds” limbs. Which naturally spurred me into a state of “AAARRRGGGGGG!!!!” all Charlie Brown fumbling-the-football style.

But then today I woke up. (Yes, I’m being both literal and figurative.) Because as I shuffled to make my morning breakfast, body already feeling like the tin man rusted over, it suddenly dawned on me. Why have I only ever correlated will power with my physical accomplishments? Why not use my abundance of will to empower my brain? And why did that thought bring dread to my very soul?

Which is when “Legally Blonde” Elle Woods popped into my brain and quipped: “What, like it’s hard?” Um… YEAH.

Oh, yes. I’m talking about MINDFULNESS, people. That old nugget.

So this week I’ve decided to incorporate a practice my mother– referred to in this galaxy as Professor Momgonagall— calls “power hour.” It’s something she does once a week with the sole purpose of accomplishing all those annoying “I don’t wanna do it but I have to” kind of tasks. Like the annual cleaning of their basement, where my parents graciously store items for us that won’t fit in our tiny place. (This is significant, because in addition to being allergic to pollen, dander, and dust, my mother is also deathly allergic to clutter. And yet she routinely consents to storing my larger seasonal goods. Which this year prompted the making of an adorable video wherein she displayed my things all Vanna White style to see what I’d like to keep.)

Only the mind can’t just be trained once a week. It needs daily attention. (Needy noggin!) So instead of one power hour per week, I’m going to try logging 10 power minutes per day. Then 15. Then 20. My theory is that with time, I will eventually be able to live mindfully throughout the day.

You see, all the will power in the world is not going to get me better faster. I’m already doing everything I can to heal my physical form. But the mind… that I can work on. So here goes. Power up, people!

Activating Cranial Thrusters,

The Foda

Episode VII: The Ewok Under the Bed

Episode VII

The Ewok Under the Bed

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “Don’t spend a lot of time imagining the worst-case scenario. It rarely goes down as you imagine it will, and if by some fluke it does, you will have lived it twice.”

– Michael J. Fox

 The Foda’s take: “Fear, powerful though it may be, is just a feeling- it’s not a fact.”

– The Foda, circa 2013

(Just in case you wanted to quote me. Admit it. You totally want to.)

 Greetings, friends! Come in, step quietly, make sure the door doesn’t slam behind you…there. That’s better. Why so quiet? Oh, sure, I’ll tell you. After all, you’re in here with me, too.

There’s a monster under my bed. I don’t know what he looks like- I’ve never actually seen him. But I’m sure he’s terrifying. How do I know? Because I’m terrified of him! And I assume that the level of my fear must be equally proportional to the level of his scariness. Wouldn’t you agree? Oh. OH. I see how it is. You think I’m being foolish. You think I should crawl down from the safety of my little ball on my little bed and have a LOOK? Are you MAD?

Sigh. Okay, I’ll look. But first let me tell you how I know he’s going to be a blood-thirsty monster. First of all, bad things happen to me. I’m young, supposedly in the prime of life, and I’ve been unable to just stand up and walk out my front door without worrying how far I’ll make it in years. And I used to be a marathon runner. And now I set the timer to try and make it 5 minutes. So wouldn’t it make sense that more bad things are going to happen? Aren’t I just being realistic and preparing myself for it? You don’t think so? You still think I should look? Okay. FINE. But if I’m mangled and bleeding on the floor, promise- < ugh the floor is cold! >  you’ll tell my family-  < oooh this is soooo stupid >  that I lo—.

Oh.

It’s an Ewok.

Would you look at that.

Just because you’re scared something bad will happen, or will continue to happen, doesn’t mean that it will. Fear is not proof of fact, it’s living in the past, or the future- basically focusing your energy on any moment but right now. And it’s really easy to be scared of horrible events in your past, and horrible things that could happen in your future. And, mind you, I say all this with the utmost humility, because I do this ALL THE TIME. And it needs to stop. So if you, like me, find yourself scared of the unseen monsters under your bed- join me in adding this mantra to your life whenever you find yourself curled up under the covers, unsure of what to do-

Be in this moment. 

One moment at a time. 

I promise, it feels so good to let go. Because you deserve to be happy. And happiness, like fear, is not just a feeling- it can also be a choice. It just may not always FEEL like one.

Yub, yub,

<Ewok speak>

The Foda