I taught an early morning class one morning and felt so enlivened I went for a walk afterwards to a nearby cove. The light on the water was amazing and I felt at peace. A bit infatuated with my mood, I started on up the hill and strolled past the Balmain Bowling Club. Wondering around the back streets in Balmain used to be interesting re encountering really strange people but of late it’s a bit tamer, populated now with large, four wheel drive buggies pushed by sleep deprived mothers dragging small white dogs.
Not so today. My mood was shattered by an oddly dressed late middle aged woman yelling as she walked behind me. My delicate nerves in their false cocoon of ,”Of how good am I feeling,” illusion,” shaken.
She followed me up a hill, not really following me, just going the same way, she was yelling really odd almost obscene things, but they were interesting, “What have I done to you?” “Get that away from my mouth.” ”Where are you going with that?”
She was wearing a really bad outfit, a short coat with big red flowers on it and her hair in a short blond bob was neat and ordinary looking and a tourette-like torrent of words jerked fourth from her. This is a syndrome where the sufferer expresses odd tics, words and gestures and cannot stop them.
The experience led me to think about the inner dialogue we all experience but don’t verbally express. The dialogue, the argument you suddenly find yourself embroiled in but it’s all going on in your head. This is the stuff that forms our actions, creating mental pathways, keeps you awake at night, creating nervous patterns of behaviour and disturbing your serenity.
To this end I attempt to replace any inner dialogue with simple phrases like, “Neck be free.” “Knees float forward.” I focus on really simple things like keeping my nostrils relaxed as I walk. I attempt to view the world thought a constantly cleaned filter relatively unclogged by unquestioned beliefs and guided by attempts at gratitude for what is as it is. Our blond neighbour reminded me to clear my head and my heart of dark thoughts and old beliefs that will taint and grab at me as I move through my day. I can’t afford to see the world through a filter sullied by inner dialogues, rehashed arguments, prejudices, bias or preconceived judgements.
So my serene little toddle was interrupted by a reflection of my own inner turmoil. I walked back home taking in the new builds, the renovations, the changes in the neighbourhood, ducking prams and letting my senses see what is as it is. The sun was weakly shining and I was bemused, engrossed in the window I created. Instead of being annoyed by the blond talker I was grateful that something out of the norm had taken place and it became my little meditation. My next mission is to see how I’m reflected in and reflect upon the ordinary events around me.
I do love the strange and unusual yet it is the mundane patterns and daily rituals that drive society. Unusual events alter your course, alter your way of dealing with your world. One of my friends a long term meditator said to me, “ You know Maggi, when I recognise that I have a habit, I change it.” Wouldn’t it be grand if we could change within the framework of ordinary events, see the ordinary in a new way, shine light on the mundane and not necessarily have to wait for the unusual or bizarre to influence us to gratitude for what is as it is.