Kurt and I went to our first film of the 2010 Seattle International Film Festival last night. A new Hong Kong Jackie Chan movie called Little Big Soldier. Throughout the movie, Jackie’s character greets “good news” and “bad news” alike with the thought, “how marvelous.” Once, after he’s lost the enemy general he’d been hoping to turn in for a hefty reward, he says, “How marvelous. He’s gone. Maybe next time I’ll catch a king.”
Last week, one of my friends from our Waldorf Parent-Tot program, upon finding out I’m a coach, said, “oh, that makes so much sense! When you talk, you make things sound so do-able, so positive.” How marvelous. Thanks, Aisha! And it’s true: it’s so easy for me to see the possibility, the positive in others’ situations. That’s part of the power of my presence: things feel more marvelous, more worthy-of-marveling-over, when I’m around.
O, that things worked so well inside my own head! Granted, much of the time, through years of meditation and prayer and habitual non-judgment of circumstances, I have learned not to completely twig out over a lot of things that others around me might get plugged in by. But still, I got nutty right before the movie. My sister was late to take care of Cooper. Our nanny deleted an e-mail and needed it re-sent right then. The blog post I was trying to write coming out all wrong. Then, I was grumpy with Kurt.
What was wrong that justified being snarly with my beloved? Nothing. I’d just gotten plugged in and let my thoughts about all those circumstances send me into a non-marvelous place. Kurt’s feedback was enough to help me laugh a little and get back to connection with myself and with him, and then the Jackie Chan movie helped a ton.
But the juxtaposition of Aisha’s comment, my little sh*tfit, and the Little Big Soldier’s “marvelous” philosophy felt like a great reminder to me: let us endeavor to embrace first and get grumpy later. Disappointment, regret, loss, and frustration are, for the most part, wasted energy. Few things we’ve lost in this lifetime were worth the grief we put into them.
The Dalai Lama says of the Chinese (I’m paraphrasing, here): They’ve got my country, but I’m not going to also give them my mind. He doesn’t cultivate resentment; it’s not a requisite follow-on from loss or even oppression. The result: he’s truly free. May we be, also. May we not ensnare ourselves in manufactured suffering over large and small snafus. Let’s greet them instead with curiosity and wonder: “That’s marvelous.”