Book Moment: Getting things right versus the experience

So, it’s almost midnight and again I find myself in that world between the real world and dreamland, dozing off while trying to read my new read when I come across this scene that wakes me up. I go from minutes away from dreamland and now I’m . . . not wide-awake per se, but it has my brain in overdrive.

He chews his slice halfway through before saying, “Maybe the point is to just sit and be still and not fight it so much.” At my blank look, he says, “Don’t try to be good at it.”

I shut the binder. “What’s the point of doing something if you’re not trying to get good at it?”

He gives me a funny look. “To just experience it.”

They Possibility of Now by Kim Culberton

It struck a chord with me. Getting it right or experiencing it? And I understand the point of the quote is “getting good at it” but I thinking getting it right can apply to this too. I think there are exceptions to everything but it feels like the standard focuses more on the first. Getting it right. It reminds me of a conversation I recently had. We were talking about shame and what a powerful emotion it is. It was mentioned that it often comes from wanting to fit in or to be “normal” or to not make any waves, so to speak. We want to be accepted so we develop behaviors accordingly. I had it confused with guilt. However, it was clarified the difference that guilt is when we have injured someone else while shame is how we feel about ourselves.

And what do guilt and shame have to do with getting it right and experience? — you might ask. 

Excellent question. No idea, except that need, perhaps that want, to get it right. From this perspective, getting it right means doing what everyone else is doing. Getting it right means acceptance. In this case, you’re overlooking experience.  

And I think this scene struck a chord with me because the main character was trying to meditate, which she sucked at because she couldn’t quiet her mind. The how-to articles on meditation didn’t tell her how she could quiet her mind so she insists that it missed a step. I can relate. I have the darndest time trying to quiet my mind all. the. time. And that includes meditation because I’ve tried that. I couldn’t help but laugh reading this part because that’s exactly what I would think. Not out loud or even be aware that I’m thinking it. I would (coughs have) googled “meditation” and “clear your mind” and even “mindfulness” because I’ve recently been told that I have a hard time staying in the present (which didn’t exactly come as a surprise to me but it was nice to have confirmation that I am, indeed, “checking out” from time to time).

This was a reality check for me. That maybe the point of meditation or quieting your mind doesn’t mean void of thought. Maybe the point is to experience it. To let your body go with it. Work your way to a quiet mind, you know? And I think I heard somewhere (oh! I remember. It was at a workshop for work. On mindfulness, now that I think about it) that that’s exactly right. That mindfulness doesn’t necessarily mean “no thoughts” but an awareness of what’s going on in the here and now. 

Needless to say, I’m enjoying this book and I’m looking forward to finishing it. 

W-o-o-sha. W-o-o-sha. 

#JustSayin