Columnist for Thursday, 5/3 - jims

Reflections on the Self

Just over a week ago, I was away in an area that I had only heard about. It was a vacation that turned out to be among the best I have had. In one short week, I had attained a state of calm and relazation that has been very difficult to find in my day to day life. I was at Esalen, a retreat south of Carmel on the Big Sur coast. That week, I was disconnected from the outside world -- no cell phone, no internet connection, and the only news from the outside was about the weather.

Amazingly, my return to the real world makes it seem like forever since I was soaking in a tub at Esalen or sleeping under the redwoods of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. It was a week of stress that lead to a noticable lack of patience and questions from friends. Exactly why, I can not pin point, but there was an underlying urge of wanting to wreak large amounts of chaos and destruction. At least it seemed so, at the time.

Bolt Thrower, Pantera, and similar music seem to have a calming effect at times like this. It really is an interesting study to turn inward and try and find the roots of such moods and thoughts. A close friend, yesterday, inquired as to what exactly set me off and I could not give a complete answer. Our daily lives do indeed have a number of little things that may build up. It is difficult to belive, maybe admit, that anger and frustration can well up from these sources.

In hopes of mitigating future occurences of this nature, it is my intention to embark on an experiment, or rather a regimen, of balance. My intention over the next several weeks is to introduce a level of discipline to force myself to exercise regularly, spend time away from work, and take care of projects that have been piling up.

From previous experience, I have no doubt that the exercise will be a calming factor. Being outside does that, the coast and the redwoods provide a time for clearing the mind. I also intend to practice regularly, both yoga and kung fu. Yoga will provide a morning warm up, an hour or two of exploring the limits of the body while clearing the mind. To be out in nature, I will take advantage of the mountain roads and trails by foot and bike.

Thinking about it, my intentions seem similar in some ways to those of Cindy and her aesthetic month. It seems interesting that as I am getting older I feel that it is important to discover more about myself. Harlock, taken aback by the six pack of Coke and donuts for breakfast that I mentioned last week, did observe that we seem to treating ourselves better with each apssing year. I guess it is true, if nothing else it certainly is a fascinating trip.

Previous day's column (Harlock)