So, these meditations I’ve gotten mixed up with recently are called “The Creativity Series” and “The Heart Series.” They have a little bit to do with visualization. “At last,” I think, “we’ve gotten to the visualization part!” Visualizing is pretty much the main thing I thought meditation was going to be about when I first started doing it. Apparently not! I have simply been breathing for about half a year so far and I definitely will have to repeat that half a year because I’m almost positive I’ve been doing it wrong.
So far both “The Creativity Series” and “The Heart Series” start the same way. You visualize light emanating from your heart-center and filling up your entire body, and then you think about the specific qualities of that light. Like: bright. Warm. Still. At ease. And then you sort of build on the contemplation of those qualities until you are able to consider what is possible when you are in such a frame of mind. In “The Creativity Series” there is also some talk of problem solving – for example, you might visualize a problem as a feather that you then allow to drift down into your light-filled space where it is supposed to dissolve. Poof! In “The Heart Series” it’s not entirely clear to me what we’re supposed to be doing yet, but personally I’ve been working on trying to stuff my light-filled space with the quality of kindness by visualizing people I like being happy.
Maybe I’m getting too far ahead of myself, but I am convinced that some of my recent excellent ideas have come about because I’ve been able to crack my mind open even just a little by doing “The Creativity Series.” Unfortunately, this new creativity has mostly been manifesting itself as mania.
My very favorite people in my family (my brother, my brother’s wife, and a handful of cousins who do not suck) lead a team of about 30 people on a 150-mile bike ride as a charity fundraiser every year. Clearly, this is awesome. Clearly, they are awesome. And last year they were sponsored by a brewery. More. Awesome. Still. My brother, in fact, thought this was so cool that he still shakes his head in disbelief when he looks at the pictures taken during the event. He looks like a man looking at a “world’s largest” something when he gets like this. That’s just what my family does when we feel fortunate. We shake our heads in disbelief. We all look really angry and disappointed at this moment, but you should not be misled. What we are really feeling is incredibly lucky. Also, ridiculously guilty.
This year the person at the cool brewery who had the hook-up was long gone so there was just no chance a sponsorship was going to happen like it had the previous year. But then, when all seemed lost, it was discovered that some of my other favorite people (my wedding planner and her husband) were themselves planning to open a micro-brewery and tap room, at the exact same time the charity bike ride was scheduled to take place. Obviously I had to bring these forces together. Let’s be honest. The Venn diagram of people who ride bikes and people who like beer is a circle.
So my brewery-owner-friend was like, “Goddamn, Lindsay Lorraine, that’s a ridonkulous idea, but we don’t have dollar one when it comes to marketing scratch.” And THAT is when I became hyper.
I got on the phone and started calling anyone I could think of and I was like, “WE ARE GOING TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.” But it did not work out for me like it does for women who write books about themselves. No one would give me any money. And I couldn’t stand it that $1,500 – the amount of money it would take to make the jerseys – was going to prevent my brother from being so happy and my brewery friend from getting some serious marketing done. So I was like: “I WILL PAY FOR THESE JERSEYS.” Imagine: brewery-friend’s logo on the shirts. Sister-in-law’s team wearing the shirts. I won’t even be there. But I am going to be a motherfucking hero. MANIA.
A friend who has just finished her PhD and then started a new job at a large management consulting firm in New York came to visit me recently. She had just broken up with her boyfriend and her new job was making her miserable. Usually she is such a sunshine! But this time she was a walking sad face. My husband and I have another friend who is super hot and super eligible and super single. And I became hyper and wrote a middle-of-the-night email inviting said friend to brunch the next morning. Hot eligible single guy friend wrote the best confused email ever. It was, like, 10:50 a.m. and he was like: “I just got your email. Should I still come? Can I still come if I’m not interested in your friend? Because I am not.” My grand plans are not working out. MANIA.
I was listening to stellastarr*, my number one favorite band, on my iPod on my way to work. In my head I am choreographing Zumba numbers. And I think, “I can be famous. I am the best dancer in the world and NO ONE is using cool enough music in Zumba. I will videotape myself doing my awesome dances to this awesome music and put it online and I will be FAMOUS because EVERYONE WILL LOVE ME!” I have not yet started this project.
Here’s the message: there is no way to know whether one’s recent bout of giant, excellent ideas is coming about from meditating. Then again, there’s no way to know that it’s not. Maybe I will start accomplishing amazing things and all I need to do is work on the next part: actually making the big ideas happen. So far I think I have primarily accomplished annoying my friends and family. But then I stick their faces in my light-filled place and visualize how happy they will be when I 1) get those jerseys to happen 2) set up my sad friend with my hot friend and 3) become a famous online Zumba instructor. Oh, yeah, plus I’m also going to start getting hypnotized to lose weight. Poof!