Sunday, November 16, 2014

Just Keep Writing: On Not Pondering Others


I feel like I'm getting a bit of a reprieve with the newest tenet. You see, I completely blanked on what I was supposed to be doing last week. But not to worry! This week's is a slightly different perspective on the same idea:
Don't ponder others.
And because I tend towards the same kind of humor that amused me when I was twelve years old, my first thought was, "Ponder? I hardly even know her." Cue the rimshot.

Once I got beyond the dumb joke (that nonetheless made me chuckle), I moved onto my typical research., as is true more often than not, really didn't help much. Their alternate translation, "Don't dwell on others' problems," added a little bit to what I already knew. But their explanatory piece actually confused me:
"Don't pick up what isn't yours."
Then I, of course, turned to Tricycle, and was immediately rewarded with "This slogan is very similar to the last, in that it points to how easy, entertaining, and totally distracting it can be to muse about what is wrong with everybody else." Lief's piece goes on to talk about how people are prone to calling attention to the faults of others and playing up our own strengths. She also discusses how we shouldn't compare our paths with others'. We shouldn't feel bad if we're behind, or triumphant if we're ahead of the people in our lives. We should look at our own progress as a thing of itself.

That last got me thinking about the thing I'm writing as part of National Novel Writing Month (usually abbreviated NaNoWriMo). If you're unaware, participating in NaNoWriMo means you have pledged to write 50,000 new words of fiction within the thirty days of November. That works out to about 1,667 per day. As of this moment, my word total is 20,234. I should have 26,666 by the end of the day, and I know that's not going to happen. But somehow I've managed not to feel too bad about being behind. I've also managed not to feel too gloaty about others who are even more behind than I am. I work on it every day - some days I only write a few hundred words, other days I've topped 2k. Even though NaNoWriMo is a race, it's a race against myself and a deadline. Really, the point is that I keep writing, and that I have fun. That's exactly what I'm doing.

I'm going to try to extend that feeling of non-judgement to other spheres of my life this week by following Judy Lief's parting advice in her piece about this teaching:
"As you go about your day, with the people you encounter, pay attention to what comes up in your mind. Pay particular attention to the qualities of comparison mind and faultfinding mind. What is the difference between simply seeing a flaw and dwelling on it or using it to prop yourself up?"
So that's what I'll be doing. Until next time, namaste and all that. 

No comments:

Post a Comment