Wk5, Day7: Mindfulness of Utility Bills
After five full weeks of practicing meditation two hours daily, subtle changes are making their way into my life. For instance, an unusual series of events began Monday related to my utility services. The most recent being a sudden $1300 charge on my bill and an inaccurate letter from the company attempting to justify it. My responses have surprised me.
There is one set of responses very interested in tracking the information, putting together the puzzle pieces, and resolving this issue. With it comes an emotional tone of curiosity (“I wonder how something like this could have happened?”) and interest (“What will be a good way to address this?”).
There is another set of responses very angry at this error, fearful about the large amount suddenly appearing on the bill, and determined to make the utility company ‘pay’ for this affront. With this latter set of responses, the mind makes itself busy churning away the series of events, ratcheting up a sense of righteousness and other unpleasant emotional reactions.
I initially watched these two sets of responses happen over the course of the week. It was nice to have the alternative of curiosity and interest arise organically, rather than intentionally inviting them as has been the case in the past. I credit that to regular mindfulness practice. It was also nice to recognize how much more space there was to choose my actions, based on which set of responses I wanted to continue engaging. That comes from this meditation practice as well.
Today, I turned the meditation into a more formal off-the-cushion practice. Each time the mind began to churn about injustice, I let it know I was not going to feed that part of the story. I reassured myself that I’ve already been conscientious with my paper trail and am taking appropriate steps. Further rumination serves no purpose.
Mindfulness in this daily form has so much to offer. And I believe this is made possible from the extension of daily practice I’m undertaking this twelve weeks. I’m very grateful.