This is essentially a guest post from Dorrie Koller
. Let me set the stage about this email from Dorrie, so you know what she’s referencing when she says below: we all know what has taken place since last summer.
Since last summer, Dorrie’s mother who’d lived with her more than a decade died, her husband Don whom she’d been with since she was 19 died, and her dog companion Sparky died.
Dorrie has been an inspiration to those who know her, for how she’s navigated through wrenching days and nights, in the final years nursing both her mother and her husband as they fell apart, one from old age, the other from brain cancer.
Remember the piggy bank happiness calculator I was doing? A quarter is feeling Really Good, a dime is feeling Good, a nickel is feeling Somewhat Good, and a penny is feeling Bad.
Well the bank was completely full – I’m thinking it has been filling since probably last summer and we all know what has taken place since last summer.
It is important to remember that this is simply a means of recording what was – it is not a system designed to change how one feels, or berate someone to feel something that isn’t there. In fact, the very act of depositing a coin verifies and validates the feelings at the time.
Drum roll………………..dink!! clink!!
77% of the time I was feeling Really Good (quarters)
34% of the time I was feeling Good (dimes)
25% of the time I was feeling Somewhat Good (nickels)
22% of the time I was feeling Bad (pennies)
Bear in mind, sometimes you are soooo happy, you don’t think to run to the bank and deposit a coin. And, likewise, on really horrible days, you wouldn’t do that either. So these are those days that the moment is relaxed, you are doing the dishes and cleaning up the counter and there, sits some coins. Which ones do you want to put in the bank?
I feel this is a really good way of determining my basic outlook on life because it is not calculated. It is when my mind is not necessarily in high gear, and it is a quick, gut impulse to select the coin and make the deposit. . . . It is a learning tool that shows me where I am functioning. Then I can perhaps turn to whatever means might help me to change towards a more positive outlook.
May God save the Queen!! (my latest mantra :))
Let me jump in here. Though Dorrie doesn’t say it explicitly, I can only suggest she is referring to herself since I’ve never known Dorrie to hold any special affection for royalty. And she is The Queen!
To me Dorrie’s genius was to become aware, and through this awareness, heal.
Dorrie was suddenly orphaned in the world in a way that few of us have to deal with in the U.S. Her adult kids and siblings lived elsewhere. Friends can only go so far. Her entire household had passed away within months of each other, and she was suddenly alone on a five-acre plot of land that had held recently held four.
Though she doesn’t go into detail here, when she originally spoke to me about this coin depositing method it had the spark of Buddhist mindfulness to it (she is not a Buddhist, nor did she practice meditation to my knowledge — she intuitively came up with this on her own). As she says it wasn’t to beat up on herself, it was an awareness technique that allowed her to observe — and not freak — about where she was.
To observe and record was the intention, in the simplest fashion.
Here’s a . . . can’t think of another way to say it . . . happy ending for you. You have to admire her ebullience in the way she plans to speak this into existence
I think I’m getting a dog! We have our home visit next week some time. I’m going to name her Happy! (Because I want to get happy, be happy, and have happiness in my life! Just saying the word over and over out loud – as you do, addressing your dog – don’t you think that will have an enormous affect on attitude around here? !)
Anyway, tomorrow I’m off to bury Mom with Dad and see all kinds of family.
Long live the Queen–
PS: a note — even the purple text for this post comes courtesy of the Queen. When I copied her email it somehow spread her text color throughout the whole article, as if decreed.
PSST: a later note from Dorrie about her figures above: “They don’t add up to 100%. Oops that is the artist in me!”