Wednesday, July 6, 2011


The Wednesday-night class I'm taking this summer at the MGH Benson-Henry Institute is called the "Relaxation Response Resilency Program."  As I've mentioned in the past, a main component has been learning to use meditation and patterned breathing techniques in coping with stress, anxiety, insomnia and general lack of focus.

So far, so beneficial. Stopping to breathe and relax when I'd rather tell someone to f#$% off has been surprisingly revelatory; after a couple of weeks of forcing myself to think about doing it, like any learned behavior it now comes almost naturally. Indecisive driver in front of me? No middle finger extension .... if I were new to Boston, I wouldn't know where to go either. Piano Man pushing me away after inviting me to his room?  Well, of course, he's just eccentric and he can't help that and he's still a nice guy and, truth be told, I know it was best for me not to stay long anway.  Twenty-year-old OKC'r misspelling dirty chat requests? Ha, ha, ha, ha ... good for him, reaching out to others in such bold fashion!

As our facilitator Peg likes to say, "appreciate the role of positive thoughts and beliefs in support of mind body healing." A negative thought can easily be turned around with a deep breath and some forced empathy.

This way of thinking came in handy over the weekend when, coming out to my car for a Target run, I discovered one of my Southie neighbors had nothing better to do but destroy my driver-side side mirror with what appears to be a couple swift kicks.

I seriously did stop, breathe deeply, take a photo, collect the shattered glass off the street, and didn't at all even think the word F#$*. Honest.

A couple-hundred dollars in unanticipated expenses thanks to some lowest-common-denominators of the human race? 

Well, they could have smashed a windshield or slashed the tires, which would have been markedly more expensive. And even lowest-common-denominators have mothers who love them.

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