I appointed Monday as the day to work on my self-esteem, or as I said in my original entry, "meditation, self-affirmation, learning to love myself." Obviously, that's a very broad topic (particularly as stated), but I took on two activities that will move me closer to that goal.
First of these activities was to start doing morning pages again. Those of you who have read Julia Cameron's books, most notably The Artist's Way, know that she considers the morning pages to be one of her basic tools. In fact, you can get a .pdf of the basic tools chapter from her website. I have never gotten into the whole Artist's Way thing, but have attempted morning pages on several occasions and found them helpful as far as getting my mind working in the right direction most of the day. I have promised myself that I am going to do the morning pages every day. To remind me to do so, I have put a Post-It with "MORNING PAGES!" on it on my computer monitor in my office, and put it over the screen every night when I shut down, to remind me to do my morning pages before turning on the computer. I figure that I can do the artist's date, the second of her basic tools, on Wednesdays, when it's my day to look for things to do that don't involve the computer.
The second thing was to watch What The (Bleep) Do We Know?. I've owned it for close to a month now, I've been under doctor's orders to watch it for almost three months, but have never gotten around to it. When I did finally try to watch it a few weeks ago, I discovered that our DVD/VCR combo had bitten the dust. Fortunately, I had a $20 coupon from Best Buy, and a 12% off coupon good for this weekend, so I bought a new one for $125. We use the thing all the time, particularly during the television season, so it gets a lot of use.
If you haven't seen the movie, a lot of what I talk about now isn't going to make much sense. Rather than go into a detailed review (which I don't believe I could do right now), I'm going to recommend it, with the understanding that it is a very dense movie, by which I mean that there is a lot of detail and a lot of somewhat heavy technical talk from experts in psychology, quantum physics, and even a mystic or two. Effectively, the movie compares the workings of the brain and the mind to quantum physics, and shows the power of our thoughts and how they can define us, and their effect on body chemistry.
I was very moved by it. I can see first that it's a movie that needs to be watched over and over in order to get all of the heavy details out of it, but there were a couple of things that really caught my attention. First was the part about the photographs of water molecules, and how they changed shape when people meditated or blessed it. At the end of the section, a man walks up to Marlee Matlin (who played the heroine of the movie) and says "If our thoughts can do that to water, imagine what they can do to ourselves." A second thing was the notion that our brain has over 40 million thoughts at any given time, but we're only ever aware of about 2000. The remaining thoughts are the realm of possibilities.
The thing that stood out the most, however, was the sequence in which Marlee, who is sent to photograph a wedding, manages to get drunk and have a better time than most of the guests. She wakes up in her apartment, half naked, with a terrible hangover, and finds an envelope under the door. She opens it and sees pictures of herself from the wedding, and starts feeling guilty and bad about herself: she sees herself in the mirror and her hips are enormous. She goes into the bathroom and looks at herself in the mirror, and sees scenes of all of her failures as she looks at herself. She starts screaming at herself, "I hate you!", etc. When she's finished, she sees the water dripping from the faucet, and remembers the pictures of the water molecules and what the man told her earlier in the film. She starts to laugh and make happy noises, and when her roommate comes in to borrow some toothpaste, she finds Marlee drawing hearts on herself with a blue makeup crayon. It's like she was saying "I'm beautiful, I'm lovable, I'm happy," like she discovered the secret to feeling good about herself. (Of course, maybe the thought of Marlee Matlin drawing hearts on herself with a makeup crayon feeds a certain....never mind.)
Anyway, as I said, the movie was quite moving, educational, and fun to watch. I will enjoy watching it again and again, which I am certain to do because it's going to take a few watchings before I fully comprehend it.
OK, so the first Monday has come and gone. On to Tuesday, "Decrapulation Day". Today I plan on cleaning up a number of work projects which I've been avoiding all this time.