Monday, July 6, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...

Here come the clouds again, I think Ottawa is competing for some ‘Weirdest Weather’ competition the residents of the city aren’t aware of. Oh well I’m sure sunshine on a day in the office would only make me pout.

I was up early to see my osteopath this morning and he made it really obvious to me how connected everything in our bodies can be. He had one thumb on my jaw inside my mouth (that’s my karma coming back to me for putting off the dentist visits) and his other hand on my occipital bone and as he was moving skull stuff around my right foot just kept falling, falling, falling down. He spent the entire hour moving bones in my head and now my hip bones feel like jelly and he never even touched them. It makes me wonder how people can ever think that any action they take won’t affect other people, or how people can think they have a perfectly controlled scientific study. I mean there are so many variables and we don’t live in a vacuum. Just our breath can affect so many things around us in too miniscule a way to understand fully.

But then it’s easy to mentally put yourself on center stage in your mind and think that as the primary character in the play the only effects of actions that matter are the ones that affect you.
And then on the flip side we can’t consider all the consequences of any action we take mentally because it’s just too much for our brains to consider and coordinate at one time.

For this reason I’ve settled on a middle ground (how Buddhist). In the yoga fashion I will try to make my choices to cause as little harm as possible (ahimsa) but also recognize that when bad things happen to people it’s not always a bad thing.

One of my favorite illustrations of this was when I worked at the Woman’s Breast Health Centre and we spent the whole day telling women they had breast cancer and then counseling them, which could be a bit dreary (obviously). But what was neat was what you saw when the women came in for a follow-up 6 months later. It didn’t matter whether they still had the cancer or not: Their lives were visibly and often drastically changed. Women who always wanted to start a new career had made the changes to move in that direction, women who wanted to spend more time with their kids did so and cherished it, so many alterations and benefits of one piece of bad news.

So I recognize that bad circumstances are not something to wish on people but if my choices unexpectedly bring about negative occurrences I’m choosing to drop the guilt. Who knows what changes that may bring?