I have been recently rediscovering myself through mindfulness, and so I decided to take my mindfulness state of mind down to the Bay.
When I reach the Bay, I notice how serene the water is: not a ripple, the clear water allowing my vision to reach the bay floor. My eyes move from one stone to the other; I follow a slow fish and then a plastic bag! My calm state, I observe, is disturbed by this, and anger enters my sphere – those bloody tossers, why are we still producing plastic bags? I bring myself back by letting that negative thought dissipate in its own time, helped along by the wisdom of the Buddhist Joseph Goldstein: “Hatred never ceases by hatred; it only ceases by love”.
My feelings are coming and going like the sportsters that run past me – I can’t help but stare at a slim, young and pretty one, clad in lycra and sipping on a coffee, and feel a pang of jealousy. I stay with the emotion for a moment and then smile at her, trying to communicate my happiness for her amazing body. I understand that I’m not experiencing bliss because I’m focusing on what I don’t have, but then I look down at my own lycra activewear and I do feel a fleeting moment of bliss. An idea enters my mind that we are all in uniform – I try not to cling to it and, oh no, another piece of wisdom from activist Rita Mae Brown: “the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself”
Bringing myself back to observing my thoughts, I feel the sun on my bare arms, wind in my hair, and look down at my hairy scarred legs and give permission for myself to be imperfect. Just at this moment, a cyclist shouts at me to “get out of the way you stupid…” — Before reacting, I remind myself that there is little I can do to control the situation or to hide from the humiliation; I only need to get through this part and this will pass.
I take a deep breath, gather my strength, and shout back in my most compassionate voice: “You’re in the wrong lane, you fuckwit!”