The other day my buddy Joe and I walked down the street bemoaning all the tragedies that are happening in the world. And yes, we grumbled about the oppressive heat.
“It’s never been this hot!” “Yeah, and it’s never lasted this long…”
Suddenly, a sprinkle of water hit us. We looked up out of our grumbledness to see the neighbor kid and his dog Cuie blissfully jumping in the fire hydrant spray. Now that’s the life!
Charlie and Cuie, so un-stressed, so innocent. Shot me back to words of the Dalai Lama in The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living:
Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, the very purpose of our life is happiness, the very motion of our life is towards happiness.
Simple. Nothing like running through a sprinkler to give yourself a dose of happiness in this heat.
In the spirit of dog and kid frolicking, this blog is simple. Just two of my favorite quotes and two OASIS in the Overwhelm Sanity Tips.
"If you can't make love, make lunch." -- from my volleyball buddy Roger Uihlein.
From my teacher Thich Nhat Hanh: "Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile."
The two OASIS Sanity Tips:
1. Be a Kid -- Sprinkle and Stretch
Look at that photo of Charlie and Cuie.
Take a few seconds to remember a time when you were a kid and you dashed through a sprinkler. Get the feel of it -- the cool air, the freedom of running and getting thoroughly drenched -- no worry about clothes or hair... Soak that coolness into your cells.
Now you're ready to take action. Stand up. Get your “rewire-your-brain” remote in your hand:
Change your channel: shift from seated-blog-reader to Charlie-and-Cuie full-body stretch.
Enjoy the incredible ability of your body to extend north. Then south… east… west…
Shake yourself out. Wave your fingers. Wag your tail.
As Bobby McFerrin says, “Don’t worry. Be happy!”
2. Replay + Recharge:
Set your computer, your iPhone, whatever, to ring one hour from now.
When it rings, wherever you are, STOP what you are doing and ease into a deep exhale.
Now, with a fresh inhale, replay your sprinkler-water-full-body stretch.
Stretch in all four directions -- toss out anything you want to get rid of -- feel how much lighter your body and mind are --
Now you have room to invite in anything you want to come in. Breathe. Drink it in.
Do these simple OASIS 60-second Strategies a couple of times a day, and you will begin to notice a shift in your being -- especially on sticky hot days when the world is a mess and nothing seems to go right for you personally.
You'll begin to experience more compassion for yourself, and for those around you.
The Dalai Lama reminds us:
Happiness is not a fixed characteristic, a biological set point that will never change. Instead, the brain is plastic, and our quota of happiness can be enhanced through mental training
You can change your channel. You can train your brain to move away from gripe and grumble to appreciating the big picture of your life right this minute.
What's your choice: bake -- or shake?
You can shift from Eeek! to ease, from grumble to grin, in an instant. Give it a play now.