My friend, Gwendolyn, is dabbling in some kind of new-age, hocus-pocus type religion. Or maybe it’s Hinduism or Buddhism. I can’t remember, and I don’t pretend to know. Honestly, if it’s not based on a book wherein Jesus’ words are written in red – it is alien hooey to me.
Don’t get me wrong. I find some of these religions quite appealing. Gosh, who wouldn’t want to believe that if you stretch properly and hum the right words – you can live until you are 120 and be so “spiritually enlightened” you smile during your IRS audit.
I’m certainly not opposed to trying out some hooey such as that.
Let’s see. Over the years, I’ve had my colors read. I’ve tuned-up my chi (and I’ll tell you, this process hurt a bit.) I wore a mojo for awhile – but it never got to workin’. Mama Pat once whipped me up a voodoo doll. It didn’t work either – at least Rival Soccer Mom, who is my sworn enemy, did not lose her hair or teeth. She did put on a bit of weight, but I don’t think this was my magic as much as the left over Lil’ Debbie’s offered as the post-game snack.
And finally, I had an alignment performed on my chakras. I don’t think it “took” – because, according to the chakra mechanic, if these were properly aligned God was supposed to come sit on my forehead or something, which never happened. Therefore, I must assume Chakra mechanics are a lot like Toyota Mechanics. Half of them are crooked: the other half are clueless – and all of them charge an arm and leg for things not covered under the warranty. And being nottwentysomethingish means nothing I have is covered by a warranty and replacement parts are impossible to find.
Nevertheless, last week when Gwen claimed her new religion could free me from destructive emotional patterns and behaviors by remapping my samskaric pathways, I thought `sure, why not’. Of course, I don’t know what samskaric pathways are or where they might be located – but after verifying this remapping did not require exercise, getting a tattoo or going to Wal-Mart…. I was willing to give it a whirl.
According to Gwen, first I needed to decide what behaviors I wished to change or improve. “Was the behavior related to drinking?” She wanted to know.
Well… um, personally, I don’t think I need to improve my drinking. I’ve been practicing for years and have actually gotten quite good at it. So, no.
My problem, as I told Gwen, is my tendency to engage in destructive… perhaps destructive isn’t the right word… Impulsive behaviors.
While I realize spontaneity (in moderation) can be a healthy defiance of routine, I FREQUENTLY find myself in the middle of a mess, asking: “What am I doing here? What was I thinking? I am SO getting therapy when this over!” Occasionally, during these moments of reflection, I am on an airplane or strapped into some type of harness preparing to jump, bounce, jerk, flip or fly. All in all, I think this is not a good thing. I explained to Gwen, according to the researchers @ University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., it could be a sign my prefrontal cortical area is not functioning properly.
But a prefrontal cortical area sounds expensive to repair. Gwen’s hooey, on the other hand, is free.
So, I’d decided I wanted to be less impulsive. Next, Gwen suggested that I identify what triggers this unwanted behavior. Once I can recognize those triggers, I can combat the urge to repeat patterns by using mental repetition and forecasting – both of which would give me focus and concentration.
Simplified: I should envision the desired outcome and develop a positive mantra. This Mantra should reinforce behaviors that will help achieve the desired outcome. I, then, repeat this Mantra over and over while listening to Yanni. Of course, Gwen says Yanni is optional. This is good – because I believe shooting my stereo with a .22 would probably be considered a setback.
Anyway, over the weekend, we finally had an opportunity to try this mantra stuff out. Here was the trigger. Here was the mantra:
I will not go to Nashville Monday to throw `maters at Mike Huckabee. I will not go to Nashville Monday to throw `maters at Mike Huckabee. I will not go to Nashville Monday to throw `maters at Mike Huckabee.
(Sigh) I don’t think it’s working. And apparently if you get lost in your samskaric pathways, you can’t stop at a BP to ask for directions. Furthermore, I have since been informed if I screw up my pathways: I could be reincarnated as one of the Spears sisters for punishment.
I don’t want to take that risk.
So, for now, I’ll stick with being Baptist where we don’t need a road map, things are fairly cut and dried, and most tend to believe, if you throw maters at a former preacher, you could probably go to Hell.