If you find yourself crawling through the desert on your hands and knees, scorched by the sun, parched, and with little to no sense of direction because your extreme dehydration has left you confused and disoriented — it’s important to ask yourself, “what sort of faulty thinking or negative inner monologue led me to this place?”

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Yes, you can think back to the plane crash–what little you may remember of it–but nobody wins when you play the blame game.  All you can do is change your own attitude about where you are right now– crawling on your hands and knees through the godforsaken desert, as we mentioned before– and contemplate the choices you made that led you to this place.  Because life is, after all, a series of choices.  And ultimately it’s the choices you make now that will enable you to– oh shit, a scorpion– crawl out of the desert (if you so choose!) and into a different sort of life– perhaps one that includes water and/or shade.

Let’s take that painful sense of thirst, for example. Consider the possibility that it’s not really water that you want– but rather a sense of calm and well-being that you could achieve by meditating more, like you always meant to do, but didn’t. Luckily for you, there’s not a whole lot to do in the desert by yourself, and so– don’t look at those vultures– you have plenty of time to contemplate the natural spaciousness of your mind, and the sense of unlimited freshness that comes when you– okay don’t eat the sand. You’re asleep right now.  Wake up.  Close your mouth.  What was I saying? Oh yeah. Something about meditation.  You should do more of that.

I don’t know if you have a journal, but if you do, now might be a good time to start writing in it.  If at all possible, it’s better to write by hand than on a keyboard, because the visceral connection you’ll have with the pen or pencil will unleash the wisdom stored in the very cells of your– no, that cactus is not going to get out of the way.  You have to go around it–the very cells of your body. If you don’t happen to have a journal, you might try saying the things out loud that you would have written in your journal if you had one.  If your mouth doesn’t work right now, you can just hum your intention.

Ultimately, it’s your attitude that will determine whether you make it to the other side of this desert, or whether you– rattlesnake– end up a pathetic rack of bleached bones the next desert-crawler passes on his or her way to salvation.  How embarrassing would that be, to have your skeleton passed by some other random desert castaway?  Don’t let it happen.

Ultimately what I’m saying here is that it’s all one big competition. So better get your head on straight and bring your A game because it’s time to go hard or go home, brother.

Lizard.

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