I like talking to strangers. Restaurant servers, homeless people, the Starbucks Barista, the Dutch Bro guy who compares sunrise shots with me, the checkout clerk. I find out the most interesting things.
Take today, for example. I’m in Target hunting for 100% cotton yoga pants. Do you know how hard those are to find right now? Everybody wants to contribute 5% spandex. I really want to trade that 5% spandex in for 5% cotton making it 100% cotton. I don’t get why it’s so hard. Anyway, there I am, checking out with my 95% cotton yoga pants and the checkout clerk and I start chatting.
Me: I don’t get why it’s so hard to find 100% yoga pants in this town. They say it allegedly wicks, but I’m pretty sure that’s code for makes you sweat.
Her: Hunh? That’s weird. Well, think of it this way: they’ll help you lose weight, right?
Me: Well I think that depends more on what I eat and drink more than anything. That’s been my experience.
Her: You know, my sister was in prison.
Me (puzzled by the seeming divergence): Hunh? How’d that go? (I mean, what do you say?)
Her: Do you know what they did in there to lose weight?
Her: They wore big green trash bags under their jumpsuits.
Me: ??? Wow. You mean the nasty food wasn’t sufficient?
Her: 100% carbs.
Me: So is your sister out now and did she keep the weight off?
Her: For about a minute.
Change is hard. We know sometimes it’s the best thing, it’s what we need to do to grow, but we will leave our claw marks in the thing which we know we need to change from nevertheless. With Passover just around the bend, we’re reminded to ask ourselves, “What keeps us in bondage and not the kind starring Dakota Johnson?”
I listened to an interesting sermon on this Sunday morning by David Robinson at the Center for Spiritual Living in Redding. Here’s the homework he passed on to his listeners to help them get in touch with what binds them and subsequently release it:
1. Notice where you’re feeling bondage – easier said, because 80% of folks live on autopilot. (I refer you to the checkout clerk who stares at your cloth bag and says, “Paper or plastic?”, that is unless you live in a progressive, no-bag kind of town and then this example is irrelevant–maybe.)
Nevertheless, you can do it. Meditate and ask, “Truthfully, where am I in bondage?” (Damn you, 50 shades. Will I ever be able to use that again without an association?)
2. Listen to the voice within to guide you – Trust the journey, knowing that you are loved and supported along the way.
3. Be ruthless with stinkin’ thinkin’ – Watch every thought for you make it friend or foe by your choice of how much attention you give it.
4. Develop consciousness of the promised land (your good) and garner the feeling of what that feels like – This is key. Imagine the feeling you want in the future in the present. Right now. Pretend time isn’t linear.
I liked this. In this way we can pass over from one consciousness to the next, or at least make movement in that direction. Spring clean our mental house. Emma Curtis Hopkins tells us if you want to change a situation, love where you are right now. Either the people around you will change or you will be lifted out without having to go kicking or screaming.
Hmmmmm. I don’t know. Sounds better than wearing a garbage bag.