Recently I heard Mary Pipher being interviewed on CBC.
What stood out in my mind during the interview were her comments on insomnia, her problem being the same as mine, taking forever to fall asleep with a racing mind. She woke her husband one night to ask him what he had been thinking about as he drifted off, he stated pie, one of his favourite foods. He asked her what she was thinking about and she told him the holocaust! That says it all. I needed her book!
Once I started the book I felt that she was speaking to me, I just so got it.
She writes about being a worrier, that she longed for tranquility, that she rushed through life as though she was late for an appt, ruminates about the past and the future while skipping over the present moment. Me me me .She talks about being a seeker, Buddha who was a seeker and his teaching of ”Stop seeking. Be here now.”
Talks of her crisis, being quiet and polite and how only those closest to her would anything was wrong.
The middle of the book is mostly about her childhood difficulties, this is not my experience at all. I had a very happy childhood but do experienced similar anxieties.
From the book:
“For years I have been living under the tyranny of “shoulds” Most of my shoulds were my own choices, but I was living as it they were orders.”
“If we are lucky, occasionally we experience a sparkling moment when we break out of our trance of self and are fully present. Sometimes these lead to epiphanies, which present us with “”aha” moments of new understanding. Our thoughts may simply be isn't this wonderful? Or isn't life amazingly rich and complicated?”
Near the end Mary states that she is aware of having only a finite number of Thanksgivings, full moons, and spring flowers left. The realization makes her sad but also makes her notice. She now says she does not squander much time or let moments of beauty pass her by.
This is not a how to book but it certainly helps to reflect on what is important in life.