10% Happier - Matt Whipple

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I recently read 10% Happier by Dan Harris [10-percent-happier]. I had originally purchased it for my wife since she has far more of the type of anxiety which I'd heard Dan Harris mention in relation to the book several years ago, but she also strongly suggested that I read it. It resonates with me, particularly with some of the challenges I'm facing at the moment.

Although I'm at the very first steps of exploring some of the ideas of meditation and mindfulness I feel as though I may have been far more mindful when I was younger. While I have no information as to how unique the feeling is: I used to fairly continuously have the feeling that my mind was detached from my body such that I was processing the experiences through a lens of rationality which is generally obscured by the ego (though this was quite likely a less healthy form of detachment). This book has made me remember that perspective and to realize that it has largely been washed away at some point in the torrent of concerns ceaselessly spouted by adulthood and parenthood. I've spent far too much time over the past ten'ish years wastefully preoccupied and often acting and reacting in ways that are fruitless: behavior which I resolve to adjust but feel as though progress is scarce if present. Based on the information in the book this implies a far too heavily engaged default mode network.

One of the themes of the book that I'm particularly interested in reconciling in my own life is around control. I've spent most of my life feeling as though my choices were very limited and that I was somewhat a passenger of circumstance (which may have been a contributing factor to my previous inclination towards detachment). I now feel as though I have seized a fair amount of agency but am likely ill-equipped to reconcile when seemingly tractable concerns resist or evade control. I rationally embrace concept such as wabi-sabi and acknowledge that "life is what happens to you while you're busing making other plans" (– John Lennon) and can aphoristically reduce this particular problem to the notion that you can choose your path but you can't choose where it leads, but my reactions when faced with unexpected and perceivedly unnecessary slippage are generally less than accommodating. Practicing mindfulful nonattachment feels as though it should allow me to keep focus where it may be valuable.


Author: mwhipple

Created: 2020-10-27 Tue 19:36