This is my favorite-favorite of all of Pema Chodron’s lectures. I haven’t listened to this one in a while, but it was really influential in my total lThis is my favorite-favorite of all of Pema Chodron’s lectures. I haven’t listened to this one in a while, but it was really influential in my total life overhaul last year.
My favorite part of this lecture is Pema Chodron’s description of the Buddhist idea of ego, which is so different, I think, from the western idea of ego, which is more like hubris. But, I do think that the two descriptions are different ways to get at the same thing. They both see ego as something that alienates us from other people.
The Buddhist idea of ego, like everything else in Buddhism, is a way to describe aversion and clinging and the chaos they cause in our lives. She describes it like this: ego is like if you’re in a room you love. The temperature is your perfect temperature, the food is your favorite. Your favorite music is playing and the walls are your favorite color.
But, you suddenly realize that you can hear sounds from outside and there is an uncomfortable breeze, and so you close the window. Then, you realize there’s a little air still coming in under your door, so you put a towel down. You can hear the neighbors through the wall, and so you brick up that wall, and pretty soon you are trapped in your perfect room.
Anything from the outside is threatening to your comfortable space, and you can’t tolerate anything coming into your space or being taken from it.
I’ll tell you about how I’ve seen this play out in my own life with the topic I’m so passionate about right now (as always) – sexism. I used to react when someone said something sexist by pulling into myself and seeking out people who I knew wouldn’t be sexist, jobs that would encourage me to show myself. I assumed I wasn’t welcome where sexism existed, and since I wasn’t welcome, I should go home.
For example, a supervisor said, “Women often have trouble promoting themselves in their resumes.” Even though I listened to his advice about my resume, I decided that this was evidence that so many lawyers just assume women are pushovers. Maybe we are pushovers, I thought. I also thought there are so many benefits to being humble and straightforward about skills and not bragging, but maybe the law and especially men in the law, can’t accept that.
Maybe I don’t belong in the law, I thought. Men in the law were the outside world, they claimed it, and my inclination was to withdraw into my comfortable house and let them have the outside.
But, that was a limitation I was putting on myself; it was not reality. In reality, I can go out into any situation and be safe in my own thinking. Who cares if this guy thinks women have trouble promoting themselves? I don’t have to think that, and him being wrong doesn’t hurt me. My thought that maybe I’m a pushover and don’t belong was super uncomfortable, but that was allll my choice.
I can open my door and step outside, and then I can step back into my comfortable spot when I want to. I can open the window, and then close it again when I’m tired of the outside smells. But, I can still be me no matter what feelings are out there. I can hear someone say that women have trouble with promotion, I can sit with the thought and let my supervisor think it, and I can still not choose to believe it.
This book is fantastic. I didn't even think my house was messy before this book. But, between my roommate and myself, we decided that we must have gotThis book is fantastic. I didn't even think my house was messy before this book. But, between my roommate and myself, we decided that we must have gotten rid of around 50 bags of stuff when we went through the book.
You probably know the basic premise by now, but I'll tell you anyway. Marie Kondo, codename KonMari, spent her entire life figuring out how to tidy. Eventually, she came upon the solution. You go through all of your stuff, hold it in your hands, and decide if it sparks joy. She tells you to go through your things by categories, also, rather than by room. It's so fun!
Here are my clothes:
Here's a bunch of my other crap:
Here's my closet after tidying:
The thing was that I had a bunch of stuff that I thought I needed on top of all the stuff I loved. So now, when I look around, all the stuff I love is there, and I actually didn't need that other stuff anyway.
One caveat is that her section on books is . . . troubling. I'm sorry to tell you that there is a whole part where she talks about mutilating her favorite books and pasting passages into folders to minimize how much space they take. Shudder. She no longer recommends that, thank god, but she does not go gently with the book section, so reader beware.
I think the most helpful part of this book is that going through the process trains you to find joy in your surroundings. I did it again today, and it was great, so I thought I would tell you all. I'm starting up my life coaching business, and I want to add some tidying to it. I'm going to try helping a law client with her tidying, to test out how it can fit into the work I already do. It's so great that I have to share!...more
I am so excited about this book! It is going to teach me how to do all kinds of things to fix my car! And it is telling me all of the tools I need toI am so excited about this book! It is going to teach me how to do all kinds of things to fix my car! And it is telling me all of the tools I need to fix it! Like, I need sockets and a reversible ratchet drive. And I need some spanners - I don't know what those are, but they sound VERY exciting. AND A HACKSAW. I already changed my front headlight, so, yeah, I’m ready for business.
This is a picture of the impressive work I did on my headlight:
This book is seriously cool. You should all get books like this for your cars. Also, this one is extra cool because it appears to be British. It wants me to decide whether my model is a petrol or diesel model, and it tells me how to fix my bonnet.
Bonnets aren’t just for babies anymore! But, I am not angry about bonnets like that girl. Because my bonnet is metallic, not floral. Makes all the difference.
Also it has pictures of all of my car’s wiring. Kind of like this:
But it’s cooler in this book because the book tells you what stuff means!
I am very excited about this book! I like putting things together and taking them apart. And ratchet drives! And bonnets! But not the floral ones – the awesome mechanical ones. Yay! Go get one of these books! They are a whole new world of fun possibilities....more