A New, Short Philosophy of Life

<Sept. 2008>

Every time I think I’ve just made some kind of spiritual or life “progress,” I wind up stepping in a great big pile of…doo-doo.

It’s just happened again. I can’t believe I keep doing this. What a slow learner!!

The details of my little escapade are not at all important. Suffice it to say that several people – myself chief among them – got seriously highjacked recently by a set of circumstances that proved to be over-the-top challenging way beyond anyone’s expectations – and behaved quite badly indeed.

It’s made me realize that one of my own recurring faults is that I set my expectations of myself impossibly high. I try really hard to be a “can do” person.

“I can handle that,” I say overconfidently, in the face of earthquakes and hurricanes (well, emotionally and metaphorically speaking) – and then, when I can’t – I land with a very nasty thud.

Ass right over teakettle.

So…..

The new rules I’m establishing for myself are pretty simple:

  • Expect the unexpected. Always, always, always…
  • Say “Whatever” endlessly. Frequent substitution of “It is what it is” also helps. Someone behaves appallingly. “Whatever.” I behave appallingly. “Whatever.” (Apologies, of course, are high on the list of life’s necessities…).
  • Lower expectations – of everyone (myself included), everything, every situation, every day.
  • Work really, really, really faithfully to remain firmly embedded in the present moment. This is a good deal more challenging than it first appears…but the rewards are certainly very, very gratifying indeed...

Janet