Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How to Keep a Zen Mind in Hell, or Christmas at Walmart

For a person with anxiety, few things are worse than Walmart during the Christmas season. Here's how to find your Zen self.

At the pharmacy
I dropped off my antidepressant-anxiety prescription at the Walmart pharmacy five minutes ago, and the grumpy woman I gave the script to said that they required an hour to fill it. What the hell?

“An hour,” I said.

“Yes, an hour."

Couldn’t she tell that I was on the brink of something ominous and awful? I needed those meds to prevent it.

On the bench
I sit down on this wire bench, directly in front of the pharmacists, to meditate upon the nature of my miserable life. Waiting is an inconvenience that my schedule could not tolerate. I have a blog to write after all.

Life can run you over with a blog, a prescription, a job

Reflection turns into self loathing as I consider the miracle of these pharmaceuticals, which make my existence tolerable. The science and technology that drives them has only become possible over the last few years. I connect with this thought, technology and science making my life better.

In the moment
And, I remember now that I have an iPad with LTE, a virtual office under my fingers as I write this post. This device is slicker than my computer of a few years ago,light, efficient, and usable. Technology and human being merge in this moment.

I resolve now to find joy in the in the present, but I see something in my peripheral vision. I turn around and see the 20' line that formed as I mortared words.

“Peace,” I tell myself. The moment is all. I stand in line.

As the anger dissipates, leaving me relaxed, a woman struts up and plants herself in the front - budging - as if we, the civil people, do not exist.

Losing the moment
Deep breath. I'll just finish writing my post. My arms are growing tired from holding this iPad, but I persist in the moment, writing.

Suddenly my face, like the screen turns blank. My battery is dead. Peace.

Ideas for the present

  • You can only find peace by grounding in the moment.

Thinking ahead and behind puts you in the past and future rather than the present, he only place for peace.

  • In each moment, you have choices to make that affect your happiness.

Choose careful if you want happiness. Regardless of the circumstances, you have the choice of how to react. Refuse to surrender your peace to Walmart.

  • Choosing happiness requires control and self-discipline.

The choices you make are difficult, and practice may be required to wrestle the control back from the grips of chaos.

  • Deep breathing, writing and self-talking help you to seize happiness in the moment.

In practicing, deep breathing takes control and calms you nervous system. Writing draws your mind into the present, and being conscious of your positive and negative thoughts alters your feelings. Choose the positive, while eschewing the negative.

  • You can control your present.

When you arrive at the point you can accomplish this, you will find you are more content, less stressed, more friendly, and less anxious. The feeling of happiness will reinforce your choices.

I am in this with you because I'm obviously not there yet. I shall avoid Walmart until I am stronger.

About the Writer

I am a former English professor, turned writer, but my secret passions include web design, social media, technology, Spanish, neuroscience, construction, landscaping, and bonsai on the side. I love to blog at, and I also write for BC Blog, Technorati, Blog Critics, and Social Media Today.
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5 comments on How to Keep a Zen Mind in Hell, or Christmas at Walmart

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By Ely North on December 17, 2012 at 07:35 pm

Great post. Great advice. I was at Walmart today. I nearly lost it when (after waiting for a while) I was finally next in line at the check-out, and the cashier walked away. She had to do a price check on some ugly slippers, which apparently requires her to disappear for several minutes. Just when I was on the verge of leaving my things behind, walking out the door, and cancelling Christmas, a nearby register opened up - saving my sanity.

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By melanie jean juneau on December 22, 2012 at 10:08 am

powerful words- my unhealrd self is tense and anxious and I have discovered all your suggestions to be true- nice to see them listed in one place!

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By ibrowat on May 26, 2015 at 10:32 pm

In every moment, you have to choose,2015topwatches the choice of how to react, take a deep breath to control and soothe your nervous system calm treatment.

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By Rose Martin on June 01, 2015 at 01:16 am

I still don't get the topic..!! what is the relation in between Zen mind in hell and christmas in walmart? Are you trying to mix up both the events of christmas and halloween? Well if that so, I may find a great assignment help for this new topic. Keep up the good writing spirits.

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By Richard Swayar on July 09, 2015 at 11:59 pm

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