Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Serenity Experiment Part 2

Serenity is probably close to the most important thing for me in my current situation. It is easy for me to become distressed about how slow my progress is and confused about where my life is going. To address this I decided to do a serenity experiment to see what would work best to increase my serenity on a daily basis. For the first three months of the year I tried going to meetings every day or almost every day for awhile. It was a good experiment in that I got some very good help. I'm not sure about the serenity though. It became a chore to try to do it when I was feeling physically overwhelmed, and that just didn't seem like a good way to try to reach the goal. After awhile, I embarked on another experiment in serenity - I am working on developing a quick, smooth, morning and evening routine that encompasses all the things I want to get done but that seem to have eluded me all my life. Since I am an amazingly undisciplined person, this experiment might just be the most challenging of my life (joke, but not really.) So, I read some stuff on self-discipline and came away with one very useful idea to hang on to - pick out one thing that is so easy you cannot fail and practice doing that until it's a habit. Then pick out another easy thing.......Of course, with all the things on my list, I'm going to be over 100 years old before this experiment is over. However, the idea behind this is that it's like weight lifting. You start small and do more as you get stronger. Apparently, there's a self discipline muscle. So...I started with making my bed which I have never done consistently in my life and I now have about three months of a consistently made bed. My most recent thing is getting dressed right after I make my bed, do my morning prayer and meditation and eat breakfast. This is a work in progress, but I have several days when at least I achieved an approximation. Is it helping me be serene? Well, it is in a way. I can't kick myself as much because I am doing something about my situation and paving the way for more. I am distracted from obsessing about the future. By improving my self-discipline I am preparing myself from whatever the future holds. If serenity is an emotion, it's not working, but if being kind of excited and happy about my progress in an area that has been a trouble to me forever has anything to do with it, I'm serene!

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