Okay so when I last left you bitches I was discussing meditation and how learning to bring your crazy mind wanderings back to the present during meditation will help you catch your snap in real life when your first instinct is kick the asshole in line in front of you in the nuts for taking too long to order his triple half-caf macchiato. I start every day with stretching and meditation so that I can manage to make it through the day without slashing someone’s tires.
What I didn’t tell y’all is that I follow up quiet meditation with a morning mantra. There are tons of mantras people use during meditation and other stressful times in their lives. And I’m not saying that millennia worth of Buddhists are wrong or anything, but that oh mani padme shit just wasn’t working for me. I need a mantra that would address the areas that I struggle with. And that’s how I came up with the “the five P’s.” Y’all ready for some mad wisdom to be dropped on your heads? This shit will blow your minds.
Be Patient. Be Polite. Be Positive. Be Powerful. Be Present. Goddammit.
So every morning, I think about my day ahead and think about where my own personal challenges lie. If I’m going to mall on fucking Christmas Eve, for example, I think about how parking and crowds and dumbasses will inevitably give me a major butt hive and so I adapt my mantra accordingly. If I’ve got a hectic work day and I know I’m going to be dealing with some asshole at the office, then I think about how I will use this mantra to keep me calm. So I change it a bit every day, but fundamentally, I focus on those five things.
So my morning mantra looks something like this:
“Today I will be fucking PATIENT. I will be the most patient motherfucker on this planet. I will remember that people are stupid, I can’t control that, and there’s no sense getting bunged up about shit I can’t control. And really, there’s no sense getting bunged up about shit that doesn’t even matter either. Who cares that some asshole just cut me off and I’m gonna make it to the store five seconds later as a result? People don’t necessarily do things the way I would or as efficiently as I would, and I need to fucking remember that, especially when my wife is taking an hour to make me a tuna sandwich. I need to remember that I’m no more entitled to be at the front of the line or first at the light than anyone else. I need to remember to breath, smile, and relax. Today I will be patient.
“Today I will be POLITE. I will practice lovingkindness and common courtesy toward friends and strangers alike. I will look for ways to do something nice for a stranger or for a friend or for The Wife. I will try and put myself in other people’s shoes when they’re assing out and remember that I don’t know their fucking story–maybe they just watched their dog be put down and that’s why they’re losing their shit. I will remember that I am part of a community and I will work to become part of that community and to make connections with people. I will do unto others, motherfucker. I will reach out to my friends and my wife and let them know what they mean to me. Today I will be polite.
“Today I will be POSITIVE. I will be the most Pollyanna positive bitch on this planet. I will remember to be thankful for all of my blessings and not bitch about all the things I don’t have or think I need. I won’t yuck any other motherfucker’s yum. When I catch myself being judgmental, I will think of something positive to follow up. When I catch myself whining about first-world problems, I will think of something for which I am grateful. I will not add anymore negative bullshit to an already depressing world. We don’t need that shit. Today I will be positive.
“Today I will be POWERFUL. I will realize that I am always living in choice. My life is not necessarily the stories I spin in my head. I do not have to play the victim or behave in ways that are martyrish. I always have the choice to step the fuck back and think about how I will react to any situation. Today I will recognize that I’m always in choice and that I have control over my actions. Today I will also remember that I’m a total badass who can accomplish any good-godamned thing I want. Today I will be powerful.
“Today I will be PRESENT. Today I will stop and take time to notice the beauty all around me. Today I will take breaks and just sit quietly. Today I will not multitask. I will not sit on my fucking devices when I’m supposed to be spending time with my wife or with friends or even watching TV. Today I will practice focused meditation and treat every task as though it’s the most important task in the motherfucking world and as though it’s not important at all. Today I will not spend time worrying about the past or fret about what may or may not come to pass. Today I will watch the world unfold around me and remember the sweetness of life. I will remember that each moment is a passing memory. Today I will be present.
“Today I will be patient, polite, positive, powerful, and present. Today I will nurture my body, mind, and soul. Today I will be a good wife, a good friend, a good employee, a good daughter, and good fucking person. Today I will be fearless; I will accomplish everything I set out to do.
“Today I will walk through life with an open mind, open eyes, and an open heart. An open mind so I won’t be judgmental, which puts distance between me and others. Open eyes so I will see the world around me. An open heart so I can practice compassion and empathy.
“Today I am grateful that it’s stopped raining, for that kickass chili I made last night, that Mitt Romney isn’t president, that my cat is soft, that I am lucky to have the means to choose healthy food, that I have a roof over my head, that I’m not hungover, that we cleaned the gutters, that my feet don’t hurt, that my mom is awesome, that my wife loves me in spite of myself, that we remembered to put out the trash last night, that there’s a new episode of Breaking Bad tonight. And, as always, I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, the people I’ve met, the things I’ve seen, the life I’ve experienced, the things I’ve done. But mostly I’m grateful for all of the fucking love around me.”
And that’s it. All of it–the stretching, the meditating, the mantra-ing–can take as little as 20 minutes. I do it first thing in the morning, and goddammit if that shit doesn’t make a difference in how I move through the rest of my day. Even my wife notices when I haven’t meditated that day. If she sees a vein pulsing or my eye twitching as we poke along behind someone out for a Sunday drive, she’ll say “You didn’t meditate this morning, did you?” It’s that obvious. I’m telling y’all, this shit works.
For me, those five areas are just the things I personally struggle with. I have problems with anger and impatience and entitlement and worrying about shit that may not even happen. Those are mystruggles. You might have different ones. You know best the things that make you an asshole and make you behave in ways that are counter-productive to what you want to accomplish. Come up with your own mantra.
Or use mine. I won’t be offended. I know my shit is the same garden variety shit a ton of Americans struggle with. It’ll keep you sane, bitches. I promise. Just try it.