Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Curse, Part 6: Countermeasure: Yoga and Meditation

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Eventually, I found that I'd blanded and blanched myself nearly to the Mr. Rogers point. I remember one evening standing around with a few square small town guys who were passing a joint. One began to offer it to me, but another said "Oh, this dude's not going to get high!" He went on to guess that I was an accounting professor at the local junior college (I wrote more about this phenomenon now you know the full background).

Yep! Correct! A chipper "hello" to you! I'm Morris Morrisblatt CPA, I eat mostly liverwurst sandwiches, I'm in bed by 8:30, and please spare me your evil weed cigarettes and your non-conformist ideas!

I'd made myself the least interesting person in the world (never was a fan of Dos Equis), yet it hadn't affected the Curse. I was, however, becoming near-certain that it wasn't a function of actual monstrousness on my part. Morris Morrisblat, eater of liverwurst, ain't no monster.

A couple random Curse observations:

1. I came to expect nearly everyone I passed to cough. Always the same short, dry, phony cough, releasing some of the tension. God, how I loathed that cough.

2. Also...clerks making change would nervously drop coins or lock up in frozen paralysis, as if I were hollering at them to HURRY THE FUCK UP!!!!!!, even when I had all the time in the world and wanted nothing more than to make them comfortable. I would studiously read aspirin bottles or rebutton my cuffs. I'd goofily wander a few feet away from the register to carefully survey the gum selection. I did not want to disturb people! I wanted to make things better, not leave a wake of stress and unease!

I decided that my own Chowhound management stress had somehow made itself contagious. I might not feel stressed in a given moment, but some animal mechanism could be ensnaring others in my unconscious tension. I had to admit that my energy was messed up. Maybe it was way worse than I'd realized.

I'd practiced yoga and meditation since childhood, but that had been cut loose when Chowhound became a frenzy. I didn't feel up for meditation, so I started with an epic 2 hour daily yoga asana practice - really grueling stuff, with lots of upside-down things, jumping-around things, etc. This extreme yoga practice took up nearly all my free time in the later Chowhound years. Eventually, feeling somewhat cleared-out, I switched to a two hour daily meditation practice.

Calendar pages flipping, calendar pages flipping, calendar pages flipping.....

Continue to part 7

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