Your Happiness Has Shipped: My favorite mindfulness trick in the era of 2 Day Shipping

I bought a stupid thing and it’s shipping to my house.

I do not care about the thing that is shipping to me.

But I LOVE watching the tracking as it gets closer and closer to my doorstep.

It feels like something good is coming.

Even though all it will be is a trial kit of idk some razor and shaving cream from some company I’ve never heard of.

$13 value!

All I had to do was pay for $3 shipping.

So $10 free! Woo!

Look at all the money I saved!

But saving money isn’t the point. Anticipating something good coming my way is the point.

This is a high level skill.

Most people will not be able to replicate this without hurting themselves. So, probably don’t try this.

But.

It’s still pretty cool to hear about and something to plan for your future someday.

I love having things shipped to the house because I love the idea that out there right now are things I want in my life and they are making their way to me.

I like spending time in that feeling.

It’s the opposite of dread.

Like it is the polar opposite of dread.

Dread is when you don’t know what is heading toward your life, and so you use your imagination to conjure up the vague sensation that something terrible is hunting you down.

Dread is what was used to control you and get you to do your homework and go to bed on time because “You won’t like what happens if I have to tell you twice!!”

Humans use imagination as a tool to control one another.

And humans don’t stop controlling you through your imagination once you get older…

Anytime there is a sale…

Anytime there is an event with prizes that you can only get if you Log in NOW!!

Anytime someone says “ooh, will we really have time for that?”

Anytime those happen you are being manipulated through your imagination. Someone is pulling at your ability to conjure up a vague and scary future and it is easier to yield to the point of view of whomever is scaring the shit out of you.

So.

I love shipping something to my house because it connects me to all the other times I shipped something to the house, and it feels me with a vague sense of happy anticipation.

Part of why we are still so susceptible to dread is because our minds work associatively. When someone makes you scared about some vague and unwanted future, it brings up all the other feelings you’ve stored up while waiting for other vague and unwanted futures.

Now like I said, what I’m doing is a pretty high level technique, so don’t try this.

But what I finally can do now is have something shipped to the house and be very excited about all the times I’ve ever had something shipped to the house that I actually cared about.

I don’t even need to be excited about this thing. The process of shipping is now a positive association for me.

The reason I don’t recommend anybody try this out, is because anticipating something that has not yet gotten to you, is sooo close in proximity to yearning that I wouldn’t want anybody to read this and then get stuck thinking of all the times they spent yearning for something.

Yearning is when you spent countless hours waiting for something that you knew wasn’t likely to get to you.

Eager anticipation of something that is definitely in the mail and has left the warehouse and is out on a truck and you can see the little icon get closer and closer to your house– That is an entirely different experience than yearning.

I’ve spent plenty of my life in yearning.

Yearning sucks.

But being excited about something you have real cause to believe is on its way to your door? No matter how inconsequential the package? That’s not yearning. That connects me to anticipation. And anticipation helps me remember that there is plenty of good in the world that has not yet gotten to me, that hasn’t even left its metaphorical warehouse.

In a time period laden with an unending number of unwanted surprises, it is worth my while to hoard the memories of any instance of a surprise that was something I was happy about.

There was a show that released a few months ago called “Russian Doll.” Russian Doll was a show that nobody saw coming (nobody in my world at least) and it was delightful!

Whether you liked the show or not, whether you knew of the shows existence or not, it was something unexpected in my life that came out of the blue to make my life better.

When I am focusing on the opposite-of-dread. When I am focusing on anticipation. I am training my mind to remember that while yes there will be plenty of sudden misfortunes in my life, there are plenty of things I don’t know about which are going to lift my spirit and rebuild me.

I’m not sitting here in positive anticipation of my stupid shaving kit reaching my house. I’m intentionally using the rampant associative part of my mind to practice being happy in advance of all of the things which will come out of the blue and make me happy.

Things are going to come out of the blue and some will be good and some will be bad. But the time spent dreading has not made bad things stay away from me. I might as well practice the opposite of dread.

Yearning is easy to slip into. It is subtle at first, and you really have to know how to navigate what your feelings are indicating to you: whether you are heading toward stressing yourself out, tying yourself up in knots, or letting bad shit go and freeing up your mind so it can focus on shit that really matters. That’s a skill that I’m only barely proficient in, and it took me years of weekly therapy visits, hundreds of books on mindfulness, and countless hours of trying to use my mind on purpose, and instead failing and falling into some deeply dug pit of despair.

The mind is a wonderful tool but a terrible master.

The thoughts that torment us all, some of them can be muscled out by something as innocuous as being happy that something is shipping to the house.

But the early danger for anybody who is new to trying to use their mind on purpose (or anybody not yet through their mid-twenties when idk the frontal lobe kicks in I’m told and that’s the part of the brain that lets you be the one calling the shots in your own head) -the danger is trying to hunt down all of the dread thoughts and kill them dead.

When you first start observing your mind, the first thing you are likely to be confronted with is: your mind is likely a jerk filled with tons of really mean things to say about you, and really unpleasant, vague notions about what part of the sky will fall down tomorrow.

And most people go to war with their jerk-of-a-mind. This is a war that we always lose. And the loss always ends with us stuck in a worse place than when we began.

The most painful place to be is when you know specifically and sharply what you want to change, but you don’t know how to change it.

That’s why we say “Ignorance is bliss.”

What we mean is, you were less miserable before you saw the specifics of the torture chamber you are locked in.

There is no way to confront and annihilate shitty, insistent thoughts that some advertiser scared you with or some teacher controlled you with.

The only thing you can actually do is filibuster.

The deeper you get into your own personal development and study into mindfulness, the more you will see this concept popping up.

You cannot remove the really mean shitty programming you were brought up on.

All you can do is not resubscribe to it in the future, leaving more room for better, kinder-to-yourself programming that you put in on purpose.

BUT.

Most people will try to program huge leaps of faith in place of the shitty programming we were brought up on.

Most people go after the “I am a millionaire, all money comes to me” brand of mindfulness.

Most people seek out the “I am love and adored by all” brand of mindfulness.

Don’t get me wrong: I think the world will be better when we are all financially independent and when we are all supported and given courtesy and welcome by strangers we meet. I like the idea of a world where we work together to not be so miserable.

But it ain’t happening today.

Not today and not tomorrow.

Probably not this decade and certainly not this year.

Change happens incrementally.

Change happens but it costs a tremendous amount of patience and heaping surrenders of our vanity.

It’s not pretty, and it’ll be nothing to brag about.

Change is small.

You want to move mountains? It takes lifetimes.

So the advanced-as-hell trick I’m talking about is taking something unimportant like a package coming my way. Using that experience to really dwell on all of the things I’ve loved that have made their way to me, and all of the good things I have yet to even think up which already exist in the world.

This is the only way I know to make real, measurable progress toward having the mind that I want that will be filled with stuff I put there on purpose.

It’s very very light.

It’s very very fluff.

It’s not very big.

And if I didn’t sit down to write this article about it, I’d forget I’d even done it.

If you want to move mountains, it takes lifetimes.

Because the only steps you are allowed to take are minuscule steps in the right direction.

Uninteresting steps.

Steps that are not grand enough to write home about. It’s strange that I’m writing about it at all.

Because it’s so little compared to the mountain of rude treatment and indifferent treatment and manipulative treatment I received for decades prior.

But it’s enough.

Or at least, it has to be enough, because it’s all we can do.

Everything else just backfires. The mind is a terrible master. The rampant thoughts that have been able to take root therein… It’s a subtle practice: dethroning the tyrant within.

Tread carefully.

And bring as much help as you can get.

Don’t stop at this article. Get a therapist. Get a loved one. Get a buddy who cares about this stuff alongside you.

Read. Listen. Consume. Carefully.

Carefully deposit into your mind the things you want to grow and multiply.

Subtly unsubscribe from the habits of old and notice them not and forget them to the ages if you can.

Mountains can be moved. At least Minecraft Mountains can.

Block by block.

One piece of progress at a time.

The mind is not more substantial than a video game mountain.

It can be changed.

It can be moved.

We can get out from the mountain of insults we raise ourselves by.

It’s your mind.

What are you going to put there?

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