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Minimizing Wedding Planning Stress

The restless, agitated mind,
Hard to protect, hard to control.
The sage makes straight, 
As the fletcher the shaft of an arrow.

Like a fish out of water,
Thrown on dry ground,
This mind thrashes about, 
Trying to escape Mara's command.

The mind, hard to control,
Flighty, alighting where it wishes - 
One does well to tame. 
The disciplined mind brings happiness.
-Dhammapada 33-35

The stress of wedding planning and coordinating started to infiltrate my reverie. I found myself unable to enjoy my usual exploits of reading, cooking, playing videogames, etc. I think it is vital for anyone who has to plan their own wedding to note that scheduling time for fun is also important. Immersing oneself in a hobby is not the same as losing oneself in the endeavor and I know it seems non-sensical to remove the spontaneity of “fun”, but in the pursuit of maintaining sanity, it has to be done. Discipline and an organized mind really is the surest way to safeguard happiness.

Be careful when you tell your own story.

These stories we tell about ourselves– they’re almost like our infrastructure, like railroads or highways. We can build them almost any way we want to. But once they’re in place, this whole inner landscape grows up around them. So maybe the point here is that you should be careful about how you tell your story, or at least conscious of it. Because once you’ve told it, once you’ve built the highway, it’s just very hard to move it. Even if your story is about an angel who came out of nowhere and saved your life, even then, not even the angel herself can change it.

 

-Michael Lewis, http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/504/how-i-got-into-college?act=2#play

 

Michael Lewis really is a great non-fiction writer. I think this is one of the best segments on This American Life that I’ve heard in a while. It fascinates me how something from reality can be presented in such a poetic and poignant manner. I tend to read and to write fiction, but  drafting a story that has already happened takes away some of the burden of fabrication. Something to consider.

Why do you do what you do?

Develop the mind of equilibrium.

You will always be getting praise and blame,

but do not let either affect the poise of mind:

follow the calmness, the absence of pride.

-Sutta Nipata

There are two great motivators: fear and desire. They often push a person to accomplishment, but can also detract from their happiness. Using stress to keep oneself in check is one method, but not always the best. Face a task without consciousness of others’ or your own opinion of your reputation. Remove the ego, as they say, and the path may be slightly less arduous.

Struggle and Appreciate

I’ll leave you with two pieces of advice: Choose to struggle with something — we live in a culture of the quick and easy and it has made us impatient and lazy. When you commit to something that takes work and see it through to the end, it will develop you as much as you develop it. Second, invest in art — I am not just suggesting my art, but any art that you like. We are a society that looks at everything and beholds nothing. Good art is something to behold and will bring you a sense of peace and stillness in a world in constant motion.

 

-Jake Weidman, one of only 11 “Master Penman