Friday, November 21, 2008

Healthy Handling 11/21/08

The art of resting the mind and the power of dismissing from it all care and worry is probably one of the secrets of energy in our great men.

Captain J. A. Hadfield

If you want to be a worrier there a great many things to worry about If you don't have enough write me, I'll send you a list.

Indeed, worrying, fretting, fearing are some of the most energy wasting things the poor human can do who is afflicted by them. To be sure there is a time to worry. But as Tom Ainsley, the horseplayer, says "The time to worry is before you place the bet, not after." Worrying about things over which you have no control is a foolish activity.

Things can go wrong. So what? Worry won't prevent them from happening. But, "the thing I greatly feared has come upon me." We can manufacture trouble for ourselves by fretting and fearing, because if and when it does occur we won't be in the right frame of mind to deal with it.

My mother was a prime worrier. If my brother wasn't home when he was expected, she would immediately start pacing the floor and saying that she knew something terrible must have happened to him. When he finally did arrive, maybe 15 minutes later she would start scolding him for making her worry. If one pointed out to her that she made herself worry, she wouldn't understand it.

If he was going to be very late he would always call, and when the phone rang she would pick it up with a feeling of dread.

Watching her suffer so much from this malady, I tried to grow up as a non-worrier. I don't pass myself off as a "great" man but I can certainly understand what Capt. Hadfield is talking about. It isn't what happens, it's how you deal with it that matters. And you have to be in a calm, restful frame of mind to deal.

As an actor I learned, thanks to my teacher, to be relaxed on the stage. I was at home there. One evening trouble occurred during a performance. There were two similar scenes in the play, one in the first act and one in the second. And, you guessed it, we accidentally skipped into the wrong act. One by one panic began to appear on the faces of the other actors as they gradually realized it. I saw and heard what was happening and was able to make up a short speech that returned us to the proper cue to resume the right scene. It wasn't a brilliant, purple prose speech but it did the job.

There's an event the jazz pianist Herbie Hancock tells about Miles Davis. They were playing a set together and Hancock accidentally played a chord which had nothing to do with the piece or the key they were in. Davis calmly played notes around it that brought it into the piece.

The restful mind is the best.

DB - Vagabond Journeys


Linda's World said...

Great entry, once again. My parent's were devout Christians and my mom frequently quoted this verse when I would be worrying about something I had no control over~"Look at the birds in the sky. They don't plant or harvest or gather food into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You are more valuable than they are, aren't you?" Matthew 6:26 I have tried over the years to keep my life as worry free as possible. But being human, once in awhile I find myself fretting too. Linda in Washington state

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

How true, it is all about how we deal with adversity the truly defines the people we are :o)

Big Mark 243 said...

Yes, you find out about people by how they deal with the tough times, the tough situations.

Beth said...

I can really relate to this entry, because being a worrywart runs in my family. I struggle with this, and do my best to tell myself, "Beth...this hasn't happened, and chances are good that it won't happen. Stop wasting your energy and stop fretting." It usually works pretty well, but I do have to give myself a good talking-to every so often.

Hugs, Beth

Leigh said...

In the loosest of terms, I could be classified as a worrier. I sit and "plan" what my alternative solutions to situation are-over and over. What if I do X, or what if I do Y.
Crazy, I know!
:) Leigh