Sorry for having not posted in some time, but life has been hectic as of late. To spare you most of the details I will just say that a number of problems have been compounding and it has taken my full attention to get everything back to a reasonable working routine.
At some point during the confusion and stress that has been happening lately I came to the conclusion (this morning) that the best way to combat increasing stress, unfair placement of responsibility or blame, and/or being ignored after asking for a raise is to eat an orange. The orange truly is the master of Zen fruit. It has been a while since I have had an orange, and I had forgotten how rewarding it can be if done properly. There is a ceremony to it, a ritual, which among other things, is entirely calming.
I took out my pocket knife, and cut a slit in the side, then peeled the entire orange by hand. Following that I broke off each piece and individually removed as much of that off-white stringy sticky stuff that hangs out on the orange. I ate each piece as soon as i had cleaned off as much as I could drawing out the experience. I was careful not to bruise the fruit, I was mindful of seeds and I was aware of the aroma that I was creating. It smelled amazing. Soon my hands were covered in zest and my keyboard had little dots of orange juice on them (I would later get a wet paper towel). Looking down at my hands I realized that eating anything is an experience enjoyed by all of the senses, not just that of taste. The smell, texture of the fruit; it was all worth recognition. Eating that orange took 15 mins, but I think it is perhaps the most fulfilling 15 mins I have had all morning.
Usually I just cut it open and start eating, and while this successfully gets vitamins and calories to my body it is also a horribly rushed experience. Usually I leave all those white bits on, giving me a drier more cotton-mouth-ey experience, by the end everything is messy and there is orange juice dripping down my hands. Worst of all usually I don’t take the time to identify what I am doing. I don’t really remember that I am in fact eating an orange, simply that I am eating… or perhaps I am watching TV and eating is just kind of tangentially involved.
Today I gave the fruit, and the task of eating the respect they were due. I let the experience of eating an orange encompass the entirety of my thoughts and dispositions. I let the recent distractions, negative emotions and problems reside outside that process of doing something so simple, something I too often take it for granted. And after the task of eating was complete I was ready to work, to get back into the swing of things and to continue fighting the good fight.
Now I am not saying I became one with the orange, nor am I saying I was enthralled while pondering the platonic form of ‘Orange’. All I am saying is by the end of the experience I was relaxed, I was full (as my stomach had time to actually process how much food and orange is), and I was happy.
So the next time life is handing you an endless supply of lemons, eat an orange.