Thursday, February 23, 2017

How To Be Invincible

3 Minute Read

You don’t have to turn this into something. It doesn’t have to upset you.
-Marcus Aurelius

90 days of meditation doesn't make me an expert. But I can say with confidence that I am experiencing undeniable benefits, and the above quote from Rich Homie Marcus sums it up nicely.

Meditation, often known as strength training for the mind, has been an impulse-control bench press session for your boy these past three months. 

Here’s what I mean:

All my fellow bros out there understand that muscles are strengthened by lifting, holding, and repetition. Meditation works the same way (minus protein shakes). By focusing on our breath and getting a feel for our senses, we’re able to find center and to exist in the present moment. Without fail, our minds will wander off and get distracted, and that’s the whole point (at least it is for me). We notice this and gently gain control of our impulse, return our attention to the breath and back to the present moment. This happens repeatedly over the course of a ten minute sesh and--Whoomp there it is--you have mental reps over the course of a period of time, and a road to invincibility!

Symptoms of Invincibility

Anyone who knows me well is aware of the blind fury I’m capable of going into when a car alarm interrupts an otherwise peaceful Sunday afternoon. Impulse takes over, my mood sours, and I venomously rant about the ineffective irritant. Often continuing well after the noise has ceased.

Meditation practice has helped me to realize that the car alarm itself doesn’t directly make me insane with rage. I had been choosing that response. Nowadays, the car alarm serves as a reminder of an important lesson I’ve picked up recently: We don’t control the world around us, but we do control our response to that world and how we choose to interpret life's events. We don’t control the existence of outrageous political blogs, but we do decide whether or not we will acknowledge them. We don't decide if the iPhone screen cracks or if she doesn't text back, but we do decide if those things matter.

In The 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene writes, “Contempt is the prerogative of the king. Where his eyes turn, what he decides to see is reality. What he ignores and turns his back on is dead.”
In other words, we choose to let things bother us. Just as easily, we can choose to not notice them and to consider them unworthy of our attention.

So do your worst, actual and metaphoric car alarms...

U can't touch me.

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