Steve Bivans

Author, Coach, Urban Viking

Tag: zen (page 1 of 2)

Beating Anxiety: Overthinking Whirlpools of Piss

My good friend, Meredith Arthur, better known as The Beautiful Voyager, asked me awhile ago to put together a one stop shop on my articles that have to do with overthinking, beating anxiety, and what I call my Waring Blenders of Dog Shit n Crackers, and the Whirlpools of Piss.

Only a few months ago, I had no idea that I was an ‘overthinker,’ apparently a sub-category of people who suffer from anxiety or stress that causes physical symptoms. But thanks to Meredith, and her insightful articles and audio waves on Anchor, I have come to the realization that I am indeed and over-fuckin-thinker.anxiety overthinking

I’ve been writing about my struggle for a couple of years or so now, and since she thinks it might be helpful to put all of those articles in one place, I’m going to do that now.

I may come back and add new ones as I write them, or as I stumble upon old ones that I think have some relevance to the topic.

I will start with my longest series of articles: The Tick Tock series, which began as an examination of my brain-spinning mind. It has always been a natural thing for me to poke fun at my own inanities and idiosyncrasies, and this series does that in spades. So, if you’re easily offended by those who make fun of something of which you suffer, don’t read this shit; it will only piss you off, and stress you out further.

Also, if the word FUCK makes you want to cross yourself and cower in a corner, you might not want to read my stuff. If, however, you were born in a Naval family, or on a dock somewhere and you still maintain some semblance of a sense of humor, forge ahead with abandon. I did. [All of these are also in audio format, so you can listen while you drive, work, or shower]

The Tick Tock Series: Beating Anxiety, Overthinking, Tick Tocking, & Blenders of Dog Shit n Crackers, and Swimming Out of Whirlpools of Piss

  1. Tick Tock, Not Enough Time on the Clock: On the wonders of my overthinking brain: an intro if you will.
  2. Bye Bye Coercion, Hello Mr. Dao: Letting the Seeds of Shireness Grow. And so we dive into Eastern philosophy in search of a cure.
  3. Past n Future, Rats n Roaches. Where I look at the roots of brain-spin and overthinking, in the slippery world of time. This one gets pretty fuckin’ deep.
  4. Slow Down Dog Shit n Crackers! A breakthrough! Thanks to some Zen masters, I managed to at least slow down my overthinking and brainspin.
  5. Seeking Zen for the Unbendy, and the Dao of Dishes. One of my best articles, where I explain what meditation is really about, how it helps with overthinking, and how it’s not about the fuckin’ lotus position or staring at candles while assuming the form of a pretzel.
  6. Darth Vader & the Return of the Balrog Blender. RELAPSE! Damn it, the spin returns, and does it ever! But this time, I STOPPED IT! Another one of my best articles.
  7. Bud-nippin & Dog Shit, Sans Crackers, Sans Blender. How an actual pile of dog shit led to a major, mental and spiritual breakthrough! I stopped the spin before it began! I had to pat myself on the butt for this one.
  8. 215 Yds with a Lady & an Antique Putter: Golf is Life, pt 4. While this is also part of another series I have about the Zen philosophy behind the sport of golf, it’s also about one of my Whirlpools of Piss that happened a long time ago, and how I didn’t stop it, or nip it; I just had to ride it out. Pretty funny story though.
  9. Shining Lights in a Sea of Overthinking. This was a short article about Meredith’s Beautiful Voyager website, and her Lighthouse Map.
  10. Second Breakfast #3: Meredith Arthur, Overcoming Overthinking. This was my hour and 20 minute video chat with Meredith on all things Anxiety, Overthinking, Brain-spinny, Whirlpooley, and some great discussion on how Fear is at the root of it all. If you haven’t watched it, you definitely should!

And that’s IT! For now anyway. Do come back, if you finish all of these, because I probably forgot some others that might be related.

See y’all next time!

 

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

How to Get Rich, Lose Weight, & Be Happy: Life is Golf, pt 5

Gotcha!

I know you clicked on that title!

How do I know? Well, you’re reading, or listening to this, ain’tcha?

Don’t worry, I’m actually gonna give you the secret to all three of those things, and it’s pretty fuckin’ simple. Not EASY, but definitely simple.

In fact, I think it’s the simplicity that keeps people from seeing it, or believing it. You probably aren’t going to believe me either, but here it goes.

Want to know how to get rich, skinny, & happy?

You have to fall in love with where you are right now.

I said it, but let me rephrase it:

Love where you are, and where you are will change.

Don’t believe me, do you? I didn’t think so.

Most people–and I’ve always been one of them, but am beginning to understand it–think that if you are happy with where you are–poor, in a sucky relationship, stuck in a shitty job–that you’ll become complacent and never improve your situation, or it will get worse.

But I’m not arguing for complacency: not at all.

Pick a Real Targethow to get rich

I’m gonna relate this to golf, since I’ve done it already, and it’s a kick ass analogy.

In golf–as I argued in What’s Your Target: Life is Golf–if you pick a negative target, like “Don’t hit it in the lake,” it will invariably end up knocking the shit out of some luckless fish, because the subconscious doesn’t really hear the negation in the command; it just hears “lake.”

So, I argued that the only way to remain out of the lake, is to pick the positive target, a precise place where you want the ball to actually land: preferably in the fairway, or on the green.

This is just common sense; it requires no mystical, religio, mumbo jumbo to understand it. It’s perfectly logical, and most of us really know this to be true, down deep, if we take the time to think about it. Most of us, of course, don’t take that time. Instead we wander around telling ourselves what we don’t want, and getting precisely what we don’t want.

Forget the Target, and Swing!

Now I’m going to contradict myself, seemingly.

Once you’ve picked that target, somewhere out there on the fairway, or the amount of money you want to have, or the weight you want to weigh, or skinny jeans you want to fit into, or the relationship you want to have, or perfect work situation, or the biggest boob job, whatever, then put that thought aside.

Yes, I said to not focus on what you want, after you’ve articulated it.

Why?

Because there’s another strange thing about the subconscious that will really fuck you up, if you don’t understand how it works.

If you’re hyper-focused on what you want, are you really focused on that, or is your focus really on not having it? Until just recently, I had never considered this subtle trip up. Luckily, I was listening to a video by Esther Hicks the other day, and she explained this SNAFU situation, and the solution to it.

Let’s think about it in two ways. If you want to make X amount of money per year, or month, and you’re daily focused on that amount, what you’re most likely thinking about is that fact that you don’t have it already, right?

“When the fuck am I going to have that money?” is what really runs through my brain anyway. And so what I’m really focused on is a negative situation: not having money. But in order to hit a target, as in golf, you have to pick a positive target!

How do we get around this Catch 22?

If we can’t focus on what we don’t want–poverty–but at the same time we can’t focus on what we do want–riches–because to focus on it, is really to focus on the lack of it–what the hell do we DO?

The trick, as in golf, is to focus on the NOW.

We’re back to land of Zen and Dao, again, my friend. If you want your ball to land in the fairway, you can’t be thinking too much about the fairway when you’re swinging the club, or you’re not in the moment; you’re in the future, or your mind is anyway. And that means that your mind is struggling with an outcome that hasn’t happened, while trying to manifest that outcome in the present. Not a good combination.

The only way to get around this, I think, is to pick the target, line up your body over the ball, and then bring your focus back to the present: on the ball, and the feeling of the swing itself.

In life, this translates into picking a goal, then letting it go while you focus on what you’re going, RIGHT NOW: every single moment of every day, or at least as many moments as you can manage. The more you stay in the now, the present, the more likely you will reach your goal.

If you’re spending most of your time staring at your paltry bank account, worrying about how the bills will be paid, or dripping beads of sweat on your bathroom scale, gazing anxiously at the number, feeling like a beached whale, then you aren’t giving full attention to the very things that will allow money to flow into your life or the fat to disappear: the things you’re working on, the exercise you could be doing, and the great relationships you already have.

The only way to get what you want, is to be open to it, to focus on what matters, and nothing matters, EXCEPT the present. The past is over; the future never exists. [For more on that, see Past n Future, Rats n Roaches: the Nature of Reality.]

The secret to success, to reaching any goal, is to set the goal and then release it.

Then go back to what you were doing, and learn to love where you are. That doesn’t mean you have to love being broke. But if you were truly destitute, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. Times might be very tough; trust me, I know how tough they can be. But find the positive things around you, and focus on those. This is simply practicing Gratitude for what you have, and where you are. [See my article on Gratitude]

You are where you are.

You can be no other place, right now. You might as well learn to love it. In fact, if you don’t, you’ll still be there, tomorrow, and next year. The only way to get positive results, is to have a positive mind, focused on the NOW, the task at HAND.

Good luck, and let me know how it works for ya!

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

What’s Your Target?: Life is Golf, pt 2

[The following is a continuation of a very old article I wrote about 4 years ago, entitled, Life is Golf: the Penalty Shot. After four years, I reckon it was time to pick up the clubs again, and swing away.]

I suck at golf.

I love the game, however. I’ve been playing it, on and off–mostly off the last few years–since I was about 10 years old, which is about a year or two after the Scots invented it in the 17th Century.

I’m not a particularly good golfer, as the score is kept anyway. When I play, I average in the 90s. The best games I ever shot were in the 80s, the best being 82, I think. I posted that score when I was in my late 30s, after returning to the game from a long hiatus.

But that wasn’t so much an improvement over what I was capable of shooting when I was 16 years old, when I shot an 86 one summer day in the mountains of North Carolina.

The big difference between those two scores, other than the 4 strokes on the card, was in my attitude towards the game, and the games.

Back in 1982, when I posted the 86, I was a serious golfer. I was rabidly competitive. I remember starting that game off with a couple of pars, and then putting my game face on. I was hyper focused. Serious. I didn’t enjoy a single moment of that fuckin’ game, until the end, when I could look at the card and see the 86 and know that I had beaten my dad, and my brother Dave.

Fast forward to the 82 I shot in my 30s, and the entire picture was different. I was with good friends, on our home course in Greenville, N.C., drinking beer, talking shit, laughing, enjoying the day in the sunshine, and hitting a little ball around a course that I knew all so well.

I had given up any and all attachment to the score. Instead, I focused on enjoying each shot for what it was: a chance to make a great shot.

What was the difference?

Zen philosophy, specifically one book, Zen Golf, by __________

If you play golf, and you haven’t read this book, GO GET IT NOW! Download it, pick it up at the bookstore, whatever. Just fuckin’ read it. It changed my game forever.

Not only did it change the way I approached golf, but life itself.

As I mentioned in a very early article I wrote, way back when I began this blogging journey, Life is Golf: the Penalty Shot, golf is a microcosm of life itself. Every shot is like every decision you make in life; you only have control over the shot you’re making, right now. Not the one you just hit into the lake; it’s already at the bottom. Not the shot you smacked into the jungle; it’s resting under an alligator. The only shot you can make, in this moment, is the one right before you, now.

There is no past; there is no future: only right now. Take aim, and swing the fuckin’ club.

Life is Golf: What’s Your Target?golf-1249127_640

Now, there’s a rule in Zen golf, that states that the last thought that enters your mind before the club hits the ball on the downswing, is the target.

This is an absolute truth. Remember it. And don’t think for one second that this is just about golf.

If you begin your pre-shot ritual, standing behind the ball at the tee, or in the fairway–or if you’re more like me, in the forest–and you’re thinking, “Don’t hit it into the lake,” then you approach your ball, set your feet, take your practice swing, the whole time repeating where you don’t want the ball to go (into the lake), then as you take your back swing, pause at the top where the club wraps around your backside, then start downwards, repeating your mantra, “Don’t hit it into the lake,” guess where the ball is going to end up?

Right. In. The. Fuckin. Lake. Pretty much every time.

It’s like magic, and it is magic. You had a thought, you kept that thought in the mind, and you manifested exactly what you intended; your ball ended up in the lake.

“But I said, NOT in the lake!” you say.

Yes, that’s true. But the problem is, that the mind disregards everything in that statement, except that last word. The subconscious mind, which is really what’s in charge of our actions, doesn’t regard negative words. It skips over them and picks out the one word in there that is a destination: LAKE, and acts upon it, as if it were a positive command.

This is Law of Attraction stuff (the mind manifests what it focuses upon).

If your focus is on the lake, then the lake is the target. If your focus is on what you don’t want, you will get what you don’t want. You will get precisely what you focus upon. Every time.

What’s the solution? How do you keep your ball out of the lake?

PICK A REAL TARGET!

What do you want? Don’t tell yourself what you don’t want. Instead, focus on what you DO WANT.

How difficult is that? Pretty damned, actually, but it remains the truth, nonetheless.

If you don’t want your ball to go into the lake, forget about the lake; put it out of your mind altogether. Instead, pick a target, a precise target, where you want the ball to ACTUALLY land.

Look out over the fairway, beyond that lake (that isn’t there, remember), and pick a spot where you’d love for your ball to end up, then pick a spot short of that, that you think will allow the ball to roll to the intended destination. Remember, balls roll when they land, so if you want the ball to end up in the hole, don’t pick the hole as the landing spot.

Be Specific

Choose the tiniest target you can see and keep it in your mind. Maybe there’s a leaf lying on the fairway, or a small bare patch in the grass. Choose something definite. Don’t say, “land on the fairway;” that’s entirely too vague. Be precise. Vagueness is pathetic anyway. Be bold, choose a real target!

Then, keep that target in your mind through the entire routine of the shot, and all the way through the swing and post swing. Focus your mind on that spot, and tell yourself,

“I’m gonna nail that spot!”

This is a difficult thing to master, but crucial if you want to play golf well.

Your mind is gonna want to wander all through the process, but nowhere in that process is it more difficult to focus on the target, than just as you begin the downswing.

That moment of truth, right before you swing into the ball, is where most of us really fuck it up. It’s like fumbling on the one yard line in the championship, or stumbling at the finish line.

I’d tell you not to stumble, but that will only assure that you will. And you’re gonna do it anyway. Not every time, but a lot. And that’s okay.

It’s not the stumble that matters; it’s that you know what you did wrong, now. Before, you were hitting boxes of balls into a watery grave, and had no clue why. Now you know why. You were telling yourself to do it, and it happened.

Now you just have to tell yourself what to do, but make it positive. Choose a positive target, not a negative one. The mind doesn’t know the difference. It doesn’t fuckin’ care. It will go precisely where your focus tells it to go.

Will that be the lake? Or will it be a hole in one?

Remember, Golf is Life, and Life is Golf.

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

Bud-nippin’ and Dog Shit, Sans Crackers, Sans Blender: pt VII of the Tick Tock Series

You know what’s really awesome?

A pile of dog shit on your home office floor, at 4 in the morning.

You know what’s even better than that?

Several streams of dog piss on the side. That’s what.

That’s what I woke up to this morning when I walked into my office downstairs with the intention of meditating before writing something brief, probably about nothing at all.

What was my first reaction?

The norm: “What the fuck??!!” and a few other choice questions and incantations.

It’s at this point, usually, where the whirlpool of piss begins to spin, the clock tocks and ticks, and I can hear the whine of the Waring Blender warming up. And next into the mix comes the dog shit and crackers.

But not today. Not this morning.

This morning I accomplished something Earth-shattering: I did some bud-nippin’.bud-nippin

Yep, that’s what I said. I nipped that bastard right in the old BarneyFifeBud. Snipped it off before it even got to the ‘chop’ setting. I yanked the chord right out of the fuckin’ wall and walked away.

So all I ended up with was Piss & Dog Shit, but NO BLENDER, no WHIRLPOOL.

That’s right. I kicked the whirlpool’s ASS! This time anyway.

Steve- 1

Blender- 0

How did I do it?

I rewrote the story.

I could have continued down the whatthefuck path, let the blender take over, and in moments I’d have been in the middle of a tragic story of epic proportions, where piles of dog shit were around every fuckin’ corner, and waves of piss–of the dog variety–wash over houses, farms, and fields, like a monster tsunami, something of an Atlantis variety.

My entire morning could have been washed away in a canine, urine, feces cacophony, a Wagnerian, Shakespearean tragedy where everyone dies from poison swords, daggers in the night, and are carried away by Valkeries to the sounds of the fat lady in the brass bra, wailing like a banshee in the blackening doom.

But that’s not what happened.

I rewrote the story, and here’s how it went.

You know, Steve. Bubble couldn’t help it. She’s old. And she tried to get you up around 2:30 to take her out, not by barking or whoofing–like she does with Duke and is so annoying–but simply by clicking and clacking around the bedroom for about 30 minutes, hoping you would get the message without bothering you too much. But you didn’t. So now, you’re cleaning up the result.

Then I said, “You know what? This floor needed to be mopped anyway. Now it’s clean!” And then I washed out the mop, took out the garbage filled with nasty paper towels, and went into the living room to meditate.

While meditating, a flash came to me that I had just thwarted the Waring Blender of Dog Shit and Crackers, the Whirlpool of Piss, simply by rewriting the story around it, and BAM! The idea for this article presented itself, and here it is.

Bubble

Bubble

Thank you Bubble, for that pile of shit and those streams of piss on my office floor this morning. Without them I would not have had the opportunity to practice some bud-nippin’ and to kick the Whirlpool’s ass. And, I wouldn’t have had this short, but cute article about how I managed to do it.

So, the next time you run into some shit, just think to yourself, “Hey, this is an OPPORTUNITY, not just a pile of shit.” Think of it as a soft and stinky standing stone, pointing the way down the river of pee to the land of Zen and Dao.

Now Read: 215 Yds with a Lady & an Antique Putter

 

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

#3 Meredith Arthur: Overcoming Overthinking as a Beautiful Voyager

Do you suffer from anxiety, stress, or overthinking?

Do you ever feel like you have to know all the answers? That you must compare yourself to your friends, family, neighbors? Are you worried about the future?

If so, then you don’t want to miss this week’s episode of Second Breakfast. My guest this time, is another friend of mine from Anchor: Meredith Arthur, the founder of the Beautiful Voyager blog and website.

overthinking

Meredith Arthur

Meredith suffers from Overthinking, and has spent the last year–since her diagnosis–exploring what that means, how to manage it, and function with a brain that spins too much. Does that sound familiar, hobbits? Yeah, I’m an overthinker, too, apparently.

Join Meredith and me for a journey into the sea of overthinking, where we’ll find monsters, dragons, lizard and monkey brains, explore the origins of stress, anxiety, overthinking, consumerist capitalism, advertising, psychology, and kick back on the sandy banks of the Dao and Zen, discuss the merits of ‘going with the flow,’ lighthouses and maps, and of course, talk about our favorite breakfasts.

You can find Meredith at the Beautiful Voyager blog, where you can add your name to her wonderful Lighthouse Map of Overthinkers, join her Slack discussion group, and read engaging content about topics relating to the spinning mind.

Take some time, sit down with us, and as always, let me know what you think!

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

Seeking Zen for the Unbendy & The Dao of Dishes: Part V of the Tick Tock Series

Day 8 of the Year Long Blog

[If you want to listen to this article, click below]

Meditation has always been a challenge for me.

Okay, I suck at it. This is mostly because I’m very unbendy, meaning that I don’t bend, at all. I’m like an I-beam with legs, walkin’ through life. Or like Treebeard from the Lord of the Rings, who slept standing up. That’s me; I’m fuckin’ I-beam-Treebeard.

Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but only just. I’ve never really been able to sit in the traditional lotus position, like you see the big, fat buddhas do.

Hell no! Not Steve Bivans. I don’t think I could do that shit even when I was 2 years old! I’m pretty sure I never sucked on my toes, for instance, which is pretty fuckin’ disgusting anyway, and not a childhood memory I really want to dredge up, even if it happened, especially if it did. If you’ve ever seen my toes, you’d know why.

And that brings me to another question, “How do those old fat guys get into that position to begin with?” I mean, I’m fat, and old! Maybe it’s just my genetic makeup, I reckon. Doomed by DNA to a life of Unbendy-ness.

No, I don’t bend. But I’m still seeking Zen for the Unbendy.

zen for the unbendy, dao of dishes

Want this shirt? Go to T-shirts: Bivansian Badassery!

And I think I’ve found it!

Not that I’m all enlightened, and Zen. I’m no fuckin’ Zen Master, that’s for sure. Is there such a thing as a Zen NOVICE? Like the yellow belt in Karate Kid? Maybe that’s what I am: a yellow belt, Zen Novice. Wax on, Wax the fuck off. No, I’m not the master, not yet anyway, but I have found the path to the sound of one hand clapping, I hope.

As you may know, if you’ve been reading along on this series of Tick Tocking, I’ve struggled with meditation for many years. I know I should do it, but I really suck at it, or sucked, I should say. Now, I’m beginning to ‘get it’ if that’s possible.

Enter Alan Watts and Eckhart Tolle.

I talked a bit, last time, about Watts and his use of Daoism and Zen to interpret Western science, religion and philosophy, and how that helped to slow down my Waring blender of dog shit n crackers. Now it’s more like cat shit n crumbs, or maybe even rat shit n rice. How’s THAT for some alliteration to put in yer coffee?

Watts also helped to demystify meditation for me, as well. He often mentions in his lectures, which you can find on YouTube, that people would come to him to ask him ‘how to meditate.’

He would promptly ask them,

“Why do you want to meditate?”

“Because I want to attain enlightenment!”

“Who is this ‘I’ that you speak of?”

And you can guess where THAT went.

Watts often said that he would never tell a student or follower how to meditate, because they’d go off and start a ‘school’ of that particular form of meditation and call it the Watts method, or something absurd like that. He was fond of quoting another Zen master who said something to the effect, that “If you can’t meditate while standing on a busy, city street corner, then you don’t understand meditation.”
This resonated with me, somewhat, but it was while listening to Eckhart Tolle, one day, that I realized exactly what this meant.

Mini Meditations and the Master of Dao: Mr. Now, Eckhart Tolle.

Eckart Tolle employs meditation all the time, and like Watts, has no problem with the traditional styles of meditation: i.e., human pretzel, kama sutra, spine-snapping, lotus position stuff. You know, Zen for the Bendy.

But Tolle’s philosophy is that you can and should turn everything into a meditation, or at least, be able to meditate on anything, or on any action at any time, what he calls, mini meditations. It was Tolle’s explanation of meditation that has resonated the most with me, because it isn’t about not thinking or eliminating thought or staring at a fucking candle flame for 20 minutes in a position unfit for the human anatomy.

It’s simply about being present in the moment, not letting the mind wander to the Past, or into the Future. Meditation is simply about being in The Now. Experiencing the present moment. That’s it.

How fuckin’ simple is that?

Dirty Hands, Soapy Water: the Path to Zen?

Tolle’s favorite example of mini meditation is washing your hands. Feel the water and the soap. Focus on that moment, even for just a few seconds. And then do this as often as possible during the day, in as many other actions as you can.

Focus on your feet as you walk around the block, on the feel of your toothbrush, the sounds of the house, without labeling them. Listen to those sounds as if they were a symphony, music.

This is the coolest way to meditate, ever! Because you don’t have to sit still. You don’t have to stare at a fuckin’ candle! And you don’t have to wrap your legs behind your ears and throw out your fuckin’ spine and spend millions of dollars at the chiropractor to straighten that shit out later!

The Dao of Dishes

dao of dishes

Steve Bivans, Zen Novice

One of my favorite, Tolle-esque, mini meditations, is what I call the Dao of Dishes.

This one is simple. I turn on my mega boom, bluetooth speaker in the kitchen, bring up Spotify on the computer, find my ‘China: Land of the Dao’ mix—a collection of Chinese traditional folk music—and push the play button.

Then I do the fuckin’ dishes.

Now, trust me, I really don’t like to do the dishes, but now I’ve turned it into a meditation! The music is very calming and brings my attention, my cat-shit-n-crumbs brain into the present moment. I then get into this really cool flow of doing the dishes.

I focus on the feel of the water, of my hand holding the plate, or my steps from the dishwasher to the pot rack. But instead of calculating my every, future move—like I used to do when I was tick tocking all the time—I’m just enjoying the motion, in the present. I don’t even have to think very much. It’s very Dao-y, very flowy, like a river moving through a valley. There’s no coercion, no resistance.

It’s fuckin Zen for the Unbendy; it’s the Dao of Dishes man. Dig it.
So, next time you’re thinking you can’t meditate: think again! Or better yet, stop thinking, stop wrapping your ankles around your head, and do the Dao of Dishes. Try some mini meditations. If it works for Steve Bivans, it will work for anyone.

Read Pt VI, Darth Vader & the Return of the Balrog Blender

 

 

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Sellers, Vikings, War and the Fall of the Carolingians,The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE

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