Mar 15

Life Lessons – with Playdough and the Dalai Lama

I have learned so many lessons in parenting while playing playdough with my son.  The ones I’m discussing here are acceptance and detachment.

As you may know, I make all our playdough at the house.  I take pride in making vibrant colors; reds, blues, yellows, greens.  And it fills me with rainbows and butterfly dreams when I hand over that glob to Noble to begin making his creations.  And then the little bastard starts mixing my wonderful colors!  My awesome red gets smushed in with my sunshine yellow and the result is a swirly mess, with new bits of orange leaking through.  What the hell?! And then he takes that new mess of an orange, and starts smashing it into the damn blue!!  What is he thinking?!

I hold my tongue, but I still try and encourage him to keep the colors separate.  He doesn’t get it.  It’s playdough, he thinks, it’s for smashing and smushing.  Shut the hell up, dad, I’m workin’ here!  He’s right.

I now see the light.  I have gone in and discussed this situation with my inner child. I’ve aligned my chakras, and meditated on my playdough stress levels.  The answer?  I’m a new man.  I understand now that it doesn’t matter what you do, playdough is destined to become a purply, brownish green.  Always.  If it is to remain fun, it must become “browpurpreen”.  That is the natural evolution of playdough, and it must be accepted.

My lesson to become detached from my emotional attachment to the playdough, comes from the Dalai Lama himself:

Once there is attachment there is also the potential for anger and hatred to arise. Attachment goes hand in hand with anger and hatred. For example, if one’s compassion toward someone is tinged with attachment, it can easily turn into its emotional opposite due to the slightest incident. Then instead of wishing that person to be happy, you might wish that person to be miserable.

For me, I was attached to the color of the playdough, and so when I saw Noble warping the colors, I became angry and anxious.  A term I like to refer to as, a “tool”, or a “douche bag”.  But thanks to the Dalai Lama, my inner child, and the alignment of 4 of my 7 chakras, playdough is fun again…and browpurpreen.

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