The following article requires a brief preface: I am not a Buddhist. Nor do I practice yoga — though one day I aspire to, my few efforts have only yield an embarrassing episode of public flatulence, the trauma of which will take years to overcome. I mention this only to avoid alienating those who are anticipating another new age mantra.
Worry not, for this is no mantra. And I have no philosophy. But, I do see a sign from above… it’s a billboard advertising a truck. More than a truck though, a lifestyle. This is a slogan, the product it’s selling, a little thing called peace of mind. A way to carry on when shit hits the fan.
We’ve all had those days. The ones where nothing goes right, everything seemingly out of your hands. You go home, vent to your significant other, rant to your friends, chew the ear off the bartender you keep overtipping to make up for the play by play you’re unable to stop giving, and at the end of it all you hear that tired phrase echoed by each voice — “just roll with it…”
You want to lay into them, get flippant, accuse them of disregarding your feelings with an old cliche. You want to protest, demand validation for your emotions — but, you can’t.
It’s said the simplest advice always rings most true. Maybe you could argue against it, but that would take a lot of time and effort and it would all be so… pointless to dwell on.
Most of the time, there’s no rhyme or reason, circumstances beyond your control produce shitty results that seem to effect you and you alone. The city, your coworkers, the barista who used whole milk instead of soy, but you didn’t notice until you were at the office because you had to wait for it to cool off, and —why was it so hot today anyway? Curveball after curveball is tossed your way, and you’re striking out every time. You want to throw in the towel, curse the times, that are changing for the worst, the people, who are getting more careless, or more uptight, or that there’s just all together too many of. Your mind goes on that negative merry-go-round, replaying the events prior over and over again, picturing how things should have gone, how you would have stood up for yourself, how you could come out on top, and how you wouldn’t be feeling the way you are now… Some people beat themselves up over stuff like that… others pick up their fists and swing them at the world — “that’ll show ‘em!”… but, it doesn’t. And they know it. We all know it. But, we let the noise in our lives drown it out.
Plans get messed up. Things don’t go as expected. There’s a probability equation out there for the number of days in a given year your routine is going to be thrown out of flux. You could prepare for it, take stock in that fact that you’re allotted x-amount of throw away days in a given year.
Or you could embrace the unexpected, and just roll with it.
*The following is from a prospective series on everyday mindfulness and relaxation.