I’m a stable genius too

Beauty is said to be in the eyes of the beholder. Why shouldn’t this apply to intelligence too, especially in this time of alternative facts? So here we go: As of today yours truly proclaims herself a stable genius. It’s time for the #GeToo – movement.

We – stable geniuses – have all the fun. Every morning we wake up, take a look in the mirror and see ourselves. The best sight ever. Not only do we see a genius, we behold beauty too. Why wouldn’t we? That’s what we want to see.

Being a genius is frustrating sometimes, but you can alleviate the pain with some healthy disdain. Donald Trump likes to put down countries and ethnic groups, I concentrate on s…hole presidents.

They are actually quite plentiful in the world, and they do unacceptable things so often that you never run out of material.

Sometimes it’s too easy. Where is the challenge? Especially when everybody else is out there mocking them too.

Which is why I won’t discuss presidential issues any further than to say that no country deserves a s…hole president. Not even one that has managed to actually elect one into office. Most of the s…holes grab their office by less democratic means, after all.

No, I am done with s…holes. If someone would just take them all back to wherever they came from and leave the Haitians in peace.

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On a more personal note; I am slowly clawing my way back from death’s door. Any stable doctor might not agree with my diagnosis, but what do they know.

I had a tooth crisis. It came with ache and pain. It resulted in a foray into American dental care. Before the crisis resolved itself, I had googled myself to death’s doorstep. There are so many things that can wrong with a simple tooth extraction.

I lived through the hellish pain of those who had developed something called a “dry socket”. I sympathised with those who had side effects from antibiotics. Antibiotics are as lethal as machine guns, I was told. They can easily stray off target and hit helpful bacteria in addition to bad ones.

The news went from bad to worse. It was more than even a stable genius could take. Which is probably why so many felt the need to open up about their particular problems in depth on the Internet; irrespective of whether their posts had anything to do with the ongoing discussion.

Finally I found those who almost died, or knew of someone who had died, after a tooth extraction. It was time to put my life in order, to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, it seemed.

Needless to say, death has yet to catch up with me, despite my worst fears. But this episode made me understand Donald Trump’s tweeting better. If you are a compulsory TV watcher and most channels go on and on about your mental health, it has to create some doubt and fear in your mind. However stable a genius you are. It’s human nature. What can you do? Well, you can always tweet to alleviate your frustration and fears – or you can blog.

My brief meeting with the American healthcare system was, unsurprisingly, expensive. It has struck me before and it did it again: America is a country devoid of generalists. There is a niche expert for everything. This is true for dentistry too. There is the hygienist, the dentist, the endodontist and the oral surgeon, just to name a few. They all want a piece of you. It gets more and more expensive when you move up the line. Which is why they have you sign off on the cost of your treatment beforehand, or pay in advance.

There I was, hurting to the point of crying, waiting for my procedure to begin while those in charge preferred to make contact with my credit card rather than with me. I suddenly understood why Finland was such a great country. Our healthcare system still focuses on healthcare instead of credit cards and insurances.

Given that both the president and my tooth were acting up at the same time, I was severely stressed. So I looked for a remedy. A Finnish business magazine suggested that I should read Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “Arriving At Your Own Door” when stress sets in. The subtitle, “108 Lessons in Mindfulness”, says it all. It’s a “mindfulness for dummies” book.

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I pictured my mind free of everyday stress, my thoughts moving gently like the grass swaying in the wind, as I practiced mindfulness. Sadly this was not to be. Instead the book made me seriously doubt my stable geniusness. Yes, yes, I know geniusness is not a word, but if the shoe fits…  My stress levels increased instead of decreasing after encountering the following pearls of wisdom:

“We take care of the future best by taking care of the present now”

“Meditation is a way of being, not a technique. Meditation is not about trying to get anywhere else. It is about allowing yourself to be exactly where you are and as you are, and the world to be exactly as it is in this moment, as well”

“….Just by sitting down and being still, you can change yourself and the world. In fact, just by sitting down and being still, in a small but not insignificant way, you already have”

There I was, mindfully sitting down and being still, while the Hawaiians prepared for a nuclear attack (false alarm), and Donald Trump tweeted about himself and the media rather than the concerns of the Hawaiians. It was hard, but I was on a mission to change the world.

Then it struck me: How exactly am I changing the world? There was no mention of this in my mindfulness primer. It did promise that the world would shift because the world is none other than us. But there was no guarantee that it wouldn’t shift to the alt right while I was busy dwelling in openhearted awareness.

This was a risk I wasn’t prepared to take. It’s back to basic yoga for me. One hour of concentrating on your body and your breathing definitely helps you clear your mind and face a new day. It will have to be enough.

On a more serious note, the editor of this little booklet did not do Jon Kabat-Zinn any favours. The man has written many books on mindfulness. Maybe some of them make more sense. But he should have had the sense to stop the publishing of this booklet, which reads like a compilation of flowery platitudes.

One of my favourite management writers, Peter Drucker, sometimes advocated ways of doing in such a simple and straightforward manner that they almost read like platitudes. It seemed too obvious that things should be done as he suggested – and still few managed to act accordingly.

This was not the case with my mindfulness primer. It was anything but simple, straightforward, or obviously true. My partner in life glanced through a few pages and declared that he was doomed to a life of mindlessness. I actually read the whole booklet, but decided to follow my golden rule – when in doubt, leave out.

So here I am, back from death’s door and a moment of mindfulness, happily blogging away again. My blogs may be nothing but colourful dumpsters full of everyday thoughts with some tags attached, but if my mindfulness primer is to be believed, we are sitting atop of a unique moment in history, a major tipping point.

If each thought counts, I prefer to tip the scale away from bigotry and avarice whenever I can.

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