So, this whole losing attachments and not stressing about those darn "shoulds" is awesome. As I mentioned last week, our holiday celebrations were much less stressful this year because something in me let go of how the holidays "should be" and enjoyed how they actually were in the moment. And now we have had a massive b-day party for both boys and that was also more awesome without expectations. Brief explanation - E's b-day in 1/3 and M's b-day is 1/9, and we often give them a shared party. Yesterday we had almost 30 kids between the ages of 5 and 9 in our house. There was a magician, there was cake and balloons, there were treat bags. There was just a bit of chaos. I don't do well with chaos and yet it was okay.
I had dreams of setting up a table so the children could make crafts (wizard hats and magic wands) but never got organized enough for it. I was so lucky that my friend Alyshia decided to come to the party with her daughter and then helped with corralling kids. The party was so much easier because of her. The children really enjoyed the magician, Christopher - much laughing aloud.
Normally, the fact that things did not quite happen as I imaged they would leaves me in a ornery lump. This time when I had little swells of guilty "I didn't plan things well enough" and "it was too loud" feelings they disolved almost before I could attach thoughts to them. And when thoughts did attach, I was able to understand that they wer just thoughts, not reality.
A big part of this release is due to thinking about Byron Katie's inquiry process. I love the way she approaches the "shoulds." You know, like, "It should have gone this way," "I should have done/said/thought/been xyz," "S/he should have blah, blah, blah." Katie often responds (as part of the "is it true" part of the 4 questions), "Oh really? What's the truth of it? What happened?" So, for example, "I should be patient" is not true because I am not patient. If it were true that I should be patient then I would be patient. And I'm not. So there. ;)
Another thing I noticed at the party was how certain kids were very honest about it being too loud for their comfort and asking very directly to go to a quieter place in the house. I love that! Part of my recent self-realization is that I don't deal well with loudness or multiple streams of information. If more than one person talks to me at once I can't hear them and usually I get nervous because I don't understand what is being said. But when I really acknowledge that I cannot comprehend multiple streams of info, then I let go of the expectation that I should be able to do so, and the stressy-ness of the situation decreases. I can then simply say, "I can't hear you when you talk at the same time. If you want me to hear you, please figure out a way not to talk simultaneously." Ta-da! Magic.