Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Another lesson in mind control and detachment....

"When the mind is the master, you live in a hell. When you are the master of your mind, you live in the land of the Buddhas." -Bodhidharma

I have been given plenty of opportunities over the past few weeks to practice detachment from things and controlling my mind. On Monday, I had a bit of an accident. As I was putting dishes away at home a large cabinet ripped loose from the wall and fell on top of me and shattered all of my fine china.

My mother is a real estate agent and she sold a mansion once when I was younger. It was an incredible place and I was happy to sit in the kitchen and keep her company while she did an open house. While she was showing potential buyers around, I looked in awe at the beautiful dishes in the "butler pantry." They were hand painted with flowers in my favorite colors of pink and green. I remember thinking how lovely they were and imagining them being used at fancy dinner parties. Several years later, I was working as a case manager and an elderly client of mine walked into my office with a box full of dishes she was throwing away. She showed them to me and asked if I wanted any. Sitting there on the pile were two of these beautiful pink and green flowered dishes and she let me have them. That was how I got my first pieces; for the next 20 years I collected the "Franciscan Ware, dessert rose pattern" dishes a little at a time. My mom would find pieces here and there in antique shops and send them to me and I would mix in some new pieces as I could afford them.

My collection had grown even bigger than the one I originally saw in that mansion and now it all laid smashed over my head and on my floor. I laid across the floor in the broken glass, looking at the small pool of blood next to my hand and at that moment knew, I have nothing. For as much as I thought I had been detached, I hadn't been, but now I was. I have nothing, I own nothing, and I control nothing and although I was in physical pain, it was a very freeing feeling. Bleeding and crying, my girls helped me up and got me an ice pack for my foot that had been smashed by the cabinet when it fell. I cleaned up my hand and called Thad who was in California on business. Then I called my Mom to let her know what happened. Besides my Franciscan Ware, the cabinet was home to all of my crystal stemware that my mother gave me. She had collected these hand blown glasses one at a time when we lived in Germany in the 70's and they were extremely expensive. My mom was bummed but she was more concerned that I was OK and she said "well now I have an excuse to hit the antique stores to build up your collection again!"

The girls helped me clean up the giant mess and we all talked about how accidents happen and that is part of life. I for one am very grateful that the kids had not been standing nearby when this happened! I suffered a broken toe, a very sore foot and a cut on my hand but otherwise, fine! It could have been much worse. As much as it sucked to lose all of my collection, I lost much more than that... I lost my attachments and that was a blessing. I controlled my mind by letting go of the pain that can only come from attachment to things and I helped my kids see the lesson in the incident. They were very grateful that I was OK and they all expressed the "life is short so live it to the fullest" sentiments. We had some very nice reflections afterwards and it felt good to help my kids see the lesson rather than focus on the drama.

So today, practice being in control of your mind, try not to make attachments to things, or outcomes and Live Inspired Now!

Heather Paris
Inspired Life Coach | Author | Speaker 

PS: I am pretty sure I will be scheduling a workshop soon about controlling the mind and ways to detach so please continue to check back often! :)

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