Going with the flow…

Sorry I’ve been lacking in blog posts lately. I’ve been busy and stressed out. Even though it’s summer, lately there have been a million things to do and all I want to do is run away and avoid them all. (Or sleep through them, which would be easier)
Speaking of living a glorious life of dodging responsibility, last night I watched “Easy Rider“, the film that kicked off Dennis Hopper (RIP) and Peter Fonda’s respective careers. (Jack Nicholson also appears in the film as a perma-drunk lawyer) The movie is about two bikers who travel across the American south to New Orleans so they can attend Mardi Gras. It’s a great film with a wonderful soundtrack and as I sat there watching it, I kept thinking how amazing it would be to travel across a country on a motor bike, free and eager for adventure. Well, that is, until the end, which made me realize that living the life of a crazy, hippy biker is probably not as romantic as it sounds. 😉
One thing that struck me though is Peter Fonda’s character, Wyatt. Wyatt is cool, even-tempered and easygoing. He never complains or puts up a fuss. In other words, he seemed to me, to be an ideal travel companion. Before even seeing this film, I have lately been trying to adopt these characteristics. He is positive and goes with the flow, whereas I tend to be overly sensitive, controlling, uptight and complain loudly when stuff happens. He suffers quite a fair amount of verbal abuse and discrimination throughout his travels, but he ignores it and moves on, whereas I hold on to grudges that have been going strong for years. To be fair, Wyatt is probably a bit too easygoing at times and definitely indulges too much in drugs and alcohol,  but adopting a less extreme (and more sober) version of his mentality would probably do me a load of good, health-wise and make my summer much more enjoyable.
So here’s my current experiment: No longer whine or complain about stuff I can’t control, forget past grudges and become more flexible and be more open for new adventures. As well not to take other people and/or myself so damn seriously and expect constant perfection.
Have you been trying to improve yourself in your attitude lately? Have you any luck?

6 thoughts on “Going with the flow…

  1. writerdood

    Improve myself?
    Hmm… yeah, I’ve been trying to lose a few pounds.
    Seriously, and not drink as much too. That’s sort of become a nightly thing instead of just a weekend thing, which has been somewhat problematic for my cholesterol levels. And, at the same time as I’m doing this, I”m trying to maintain my patience and lower my stress levels.

    Yeah… I’d say that’s attitudinal control.

  2. Pauline Post author

    Writerdood-Lose pounds, drink less, be more patient and lower stress, all sounds great and probably stuff that most of us should do as well!

  3. meanie

    yes. i’m not happy at work, but acting miserable isn’t going to help things so I’m trying my hardest to remain positive, make the day go by faster. i don’t think you can change anything for the better by whining!

  4. Fame Throwa

    Ah, you seem to be moving toward a state of mindfulness. Bravo!

    I’m big on mindfulness, and if you knew me better, you’d probably find that strange. I’m a hard-core scientist who doesn’t believe in much. I’m not creative or artsy or laid back or easy going.

    I took a course on mindfulness a few years ago to try to get my anxiety under control, and it totally changed my life! Not in a new religion kind of way, but in a science way. The science of psychology.

    There are a few ideas about mindfulness:

    1. Living in the moment. You learn this technique by training in meditation. I always thought meditation was about reflection, but it’s actually about trying to teach your mind not to think about anything, which is DAMN hard. The idea is that if you only think when you need to think, your brain doesn’t get so tired. It’s brilliant, but again, hard to stop the mind from racing. But, as I said, this is actually a science, and there’s a method to learning how to do this trick (stay in the moment) that requires practice like any sport would require practice.

    2. The 7 Attributes. In my course, we were asked to be aware of one of the seven attributes everyday. Here they are:

    Acceptance (e.g., accepting what you cannot change)

    Letting Go (e.g., forget the past, it can’t be changed)

    Non-Judging (e.g., not forming an opinion, especially a negative one, about a thing or person; just accept it)


    Non-Striving (e.g., staying in the moment, not thinking about the next thing you have to do)

    Beginner’s Mind (e.g., approaching everything you do as if it were the first time)

    Trust (e.g., in yourself especially but also in other people)

    Sometimes Compassion is also mentioned as an attribute, but it’s meant to be present in all 7 attributes.

    I know, I know… it sounds like mumbo-jumbo, but I assure you it’s not!

    If you’re interested in knowing more (or changing your life!), you can take a course through Ottawa Mindfulness: http://ottawamindfulness.ca/Programs/English/tabid/208/Default.aspx

    (Unfortunately the founder, Melodie Benger, is taking a year off. She’s awesome.)

    I can honestly say that learning about and practicing mindfulness is the best thing I’ve ever done. Sometimes I think taking that course was more important than taking my university degree!

    I feel like I’m finally living my life and not missing it because of all the crap that was getting in the way of seeing what was happening in the moment.

    Okay, enough rambling about mindfulness. 🙂

  5. XUP

    You know what finally mellowed me out after years of being a lot like you? Having a kid. It taught me so much patience, letting go, being less controlling, flexibility, enjoying the moment instead of stressing about stuff that might not happen. Of course being a parent brings a whole bunch of other issues with it, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it purely as a self-improvement move. One thing I need to work on is being more sociable. I love spending time by myself and really have to make an effort to go out and do things.

  6. Pauline Post author

    Meanie-Definitely not. Although, I must say it is harder not to submit to whining when you’re tired. But I am trying to restrain myself from it, regardless of how many hours I slept the night before.:)
    Fame Throwa-Those courses sound great! Normally I’m a bit skeptical of those sorts of things, but if you say it helped you, then it might be worth looking into, once she comes back. (I’ll have to look for one that free or low cost, because one of the past courses cost $425! Yikes!)
    XUP-Being sociable can be difficult at times, it requires patience and energy, which at the end of the day or week, can be hard to summon. If I had a kid, I hope that it would mellow me out. I REALLY don’t want to be a basketcase mother!

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