December 8th, 2011
24 Comments

Choid

in Uncategorized
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I often feel like something is wrong, as if I’m missing out, or simply missing the point. Like an ever-present prompt, reminding me that the other shoe looms close by, hanging from a slim string. I’m advised constantly by my meddling mind that things are not quite right…and yet, the answer to solving my persistent problem remains just out of reach, something I can’t quite put my finger on.

For some time now, I’ve been determined to find that intangible remedy that promises “peace of mind”. Yet instead, I’ve become a self-help junkie, hopping from workshop to healer, having past-life regressions, rebirths, my aura cleared, chakras balanced, charts read, cards pulled, colon cleansed…and in case you’re wondering, I’m seeing a shrink.

Years of my life have been spent collecting ideas and constructing elaborate observations. Yet often, I’ve used these discoveries to see myself as broken by focusing on what’s wrong with me.

According to my Vedic astrologer, I’m in a “Saturn cycle”. Apparently Saturn is the planet that brings shit to the fan of one’s life, amplifying internal/external difficulty. Woo hoo! Yet, the “gift” from this cosmic chiropractor is the potential to “find oneself”.

Not long ago, two of my dearest friends, Lynn Zavaro, a spiritual teacher, and Sarah Taylor, a meditation coach, suggested I try a Buddhist “mindfulness” practice. For months, I sat still every morning before sunrise, focusing on a single object at the tip of my nose, while repeatedly counting to 10.

Well… Instead of cultivating calmness, I could barely get to number 2 without the voice of doom interrupting louder than ever. My mind was full alright, flooded with fears, to-do lists, disappearing dreams, debilitating defects, unrequited longings…and a stream of worries — from impeding terrorist attacks, to that overdue earthquake, shrinking global resources, and the inevitable World War over said remaining resources about which my intelligent friend John Chung keeps talking about.

Feeling frustrated, I decided to up my mind game after Sarah and Lynn invited me to attend a 4-day silent retreat on Mount Baldy.

On the final day of the retreat, 30 participants were packed in a cold zendo, sitting atop our stiff zabutons, guided through a meditation that explored the “true nature of mind”, by visualizing a descent into the depths of our brains. We were asked to observe closely whatever appeared during the mediation, since afterwards we’d have an opportunity to share what occurred.

 

Meditation Zendo

The only time allotted to speak at the workshop was during the daily dharma talks, brief discussions following hours of meditation that commenced at the wicked hour of 6am.

 

Following the meditation, practitioners reported a profound silence they’d never experienced. Others felt “appreciative joy”, describing an “expansive blissful luminosity”. Sarah said, “I felt as if I was cradled by compassion itself. The universe was smiling upon me with such love and tenderness, and I realized I am not separate from this loving tenderness. It is woven into the very fabric of my being.”

After everyone’s revelations were revealed, I raised my hand shoulder height:

“A’hem…well…uhm…I kinda saw…a little…a robot of sorts…I mean, he looked more like ET, but he acted and talked like a robot. He was translucent brown with reddish light inside, like in the scene when ET finds his heart. Wait, was ET looking for his heart? No, he wanted to bring peace to the planet, right?”

(No answer, so I continued)

“Anyway, this robot kept asking the same question, over and over: ‘What’s wrong? Where’s the problem?’ He wouldn’t shut up! He just kept repeating himself, as he looked around like a startled cat, quickly this way and that. Occasionally he added: ‘I’ll FIX it!’ I don’t think he means harm. He seems to want to help. Maybe he’s lonely. I think I’m going to call him Choid.”

A few silent nods and a muffled chuckle later, we broke for lunch. As I sat alone in silence, with a bowl of veggie chili, my newfound friend, Choid, continued his chatter:

“You know, next time you should keep your mouth shut. You sound like an idiot. You’re like the person in dance class with no rhythm. Have you noticed you suck at this meditation crap?”

As Choid pointed repeatedly to the waste of time and money I just spent, I began to ponder the problem I have with this little extraterrestrial dude sitting in the center of my cerebral tissue pointing out problems. Couldn’t I better use an inner advocate for the Bright Side?

Come to think of it, this jerk has been sabotaging would-be happiness most of my life! My once fancy-free imagination has been hijacked and turned into a torture chamber of negativity thanks to Mr. Choid! If this jackass is whom I’m meant to “find” during my Saturn cycle, I’m more screwed than I thought!

As my obsessing mind began to quiet, I started to realize I was making a problem from my problem. Sure, I got an issue with this little handyman fucker who finds and fix-ates on flaws. Or…if Choid is the mechanism that finds fault, could he be finding a problem with himself?

I then remembered a French friend of mine once saying, “Why du yew Amerghicans want tu git reed ov problems? I leeve for my problems.”

Obviously a part of me digs having problems, or I wouldn’t manufacture so many. Maybe I should move to Paris and unite with my melancholic and troubled tribe…?

When I talked to Sarah about my predicament, she gave me an unexpected high-five and said, “Congratulations, you encountered the ego, which is one of the reasons we meditate! Sure, we do it to know our true nature, but also to see what’s in the way.”

Lynn then chimed in and shared a mantra that’s become of my favorite: So what, who cares, big deal, why not?  Try saying it next time you’re convinced you have a problem on your hands.

So what if meditation isn’t my particular gateway to nirvana? Everyone’s path of inspiration is different. I, like some seeking souls, enjoy exploring the psycho-spiritual realms, but sometimes I’d rather organize my closet.

Who cares if I’m no expert at meditation? It’s more than undermining to assume I should be good at everything I try. God knows (and so does Choid), I’m not good at many things, yet I’m exceptionally skilled at recognizing the glass half-empty.

Big deal if Choid keeps me neurotic and full of angst? If I were merely a perpetually perky parts model, this would be a vapid boring blog all about nail products and celebrity encounters.

Why not have Choid steer the wheel from time to time? Sure, I’d prefer him to take a backseat, but that never stops the bastard from insisting I take the Highway to Hell, while he points out warnings ahead, grumbles about my poor driving skills, complains about the other drivers, and reminds me I’m LATE and may never arrive…

Whether I like it or not, Choid is along for the ride. But it’s my choice to either tune into his backseat direction, or turn up the volume in the front seat to drown out all that noise with a sweet song.

With every part and all my heart,
Adele

 

Tips and Picks For Pretty Parts

 

 

Believe it or not, Choid can’t find a problem with this product!

Whoops, I lied. He just reminded me that this brand of mascara is made of chemicals and with all the concerns over toxins in cosmetics, who knows if it’ll eventually cause eye tumors?

That being said, while I’m a strong believer in staying as au natural as possible, I also recognize that once in a while, a little science won’t kill ya’ (I hope).

I’ve tried numerous mascaras, from expensive designer brands, to the organic variety at health food stores, and I keep coming back to Maybelline Great Lash. It wears well, doesn’t clump, is inexpensive and conveniently found at any drugstore. And if you’re dark like me (and my inner android, Choid), it comes in Blackest Black – my favorite shade for long lush-looking lashes!

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Comments

  1. http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/8945bf9829dc438ec8e13ea2a528491b?s=32&d=retro&r=G lynn zavaro says:

    Well it was a pleasant surprise to wake up this morning and be reminded of retreat! We all have our Choid, he exists within all of us. The Buddha called him Mara. The trick was for the Buddha to simply see him, become aware of him, point him out and he would be gone. Even on his death bed, Mara came and said “look at what you have done to help so many people! you are so great! you’ve done so much! etc. ” and the Buddha said, “I see you Mara” and died. So Mara is with us until the day we die. And I just love how you showed how to deal with him moment-to-moment with such humor and beauty!! Thanks Adele, for another awesome blog!!

  2. http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/853cc38daeedb6ad116cbdc7606eee2e?s=32&d=retro&r=G Kelly says:

    Like usual, my dear, we have traveled similar paths, looking externally for answers and not being satisfied when we try to go internally. Like you, I have visited healers, psychics and astrologers all with varying degrees of “success”. After years of believing that I couldn’t be spiritual because I didn’t “see” anything when I tried to meditate, I finally realized just what you said about all of our paths being different. I may not “see” things but I “hear” them quite clearly. That’s my way.

    Thank you again for your beautiful and thoughtful words, Adele. It’s always a joy to read what you have to say.

    • http://adeleuddo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Adele-Uddo-c601-32x32.jpg Adele says:

      Kelly, I’m beginning to wonder if we were separated sometime…LONG ago. These coincidences are becoming rather constant. I too “hear” things (often Choid’s chatter), but especially when I’m writing. What’s that? Oh, some parts calling for the bathroom!

  3. http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/853cc38daeedb6ad116cbdc7606eee2e?s=32&d=retro&r=G Kelly says:

    I agree that there seems to be a rather deep, old connection going on with us. We really need to chat soon and hopefully get together in the near future. Let’s look at carving out some time to at least chat on the phone or via Skype soon. Deal?

    • http://adeleuddo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Adele-Uddo-c601-32x32.jpg Adele says:

      Kelly, it’s a deal! We’ll tawk…

      And Mind, your comment not only made me laugh out loud, but suddenly crave Cabernet in the snow… Why not? Damn I miss you!

  4. Uh, you forgot about all those chemicals in the drinking water and radioactive beta particles in flight and Rocky Mountain root rot, and, and..and fuck it, come have a glass (or a bottle) of wine with me and let’s talk about how fortunate we are. A very wise sage (I think it was one of the Indigo Girls) once said, “We are sculpted by life; it’s the chipping away that makes us weary.” Hence, the wine and friends.

    And can I just say that I love it that you are cradled by a robo-alien and named it Choid? Why not?

  5. http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/46a30e808e31e9c560b3b8a59752da53?s=32&d=retro&r=G Sarah Taylor says:

    I love this post! (and not just because I’m included in it. Ok, being included in it is awesome, too!) I’ve seen you come along way since getting intimately acquainted with Choid.

    I call my “Choid” my Negative Life Coach who I found, as well, through my meditation practice. I remember weeping when I realized how hard I’ve been on myself my entire life. Others’ harshness of me was only fodder for Negative Life Coach to say time and again: “See? They’re right! You SUCK!! Now get that Pop Tart outta yer mouth and start getting ‘better’!!”

    Knowing this little guy is part and parcel of knowing ourselves as well as knowing our true nature. There’s no linear finish line we reach when Choid or Negative Life Coach shuts the f*** up. We just start to see through them. And I’ve seen YOU do just that.

    xox

  6. http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/accab07442f4ed1b2ee6ed898265b928?s=32&d=retro&r=G carol says:

    Thanks for the mascara tip. What else can I say? Really enjoy your writings and I wish you happiness.

    • http://adeleuddo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Adele-Uddo-c601-32x32.jpg Adele says:

      Carol, thanks for the comment and kind wish. I too wish for more ‘happiness’, and in the meantime, I seem to be embracing the part of me that is unhappy…which in turn might make me at least more content, if not happier.

  7. http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/6add12ad7df1ee99aa68cc8f17bd4a31?s=32&d=retro&r=G tara says:

    This is my very favorite blog – your stuff is always exactly what I am going through and I was crying before I read this. I am laughing now. Nice work, Choid – even if you are a jackass. :)

    • http://adeleuddo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Adele-Uddo-c601-32x32.jpg Adele says:

      Oh T, don’t let your jackass make you cry :( Or…I suppose you could pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some opera and pretend you’re French. xx

  8. http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/499fd25f27f7cb1658cfce2e58283588?s=32&d=retro&r=G Julie says:

    I so enjoy everything you pour out of your heart. I feel so blessed to have “found” you. What a very special person you are. xoxo

    • http://adeleuddo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Adele-Uddo-c601-32x32.jpg Adele says:

      Mate you know just what to say to make Choid take a temporary hike ;) Thank you my sweet ‘found’ friend for expressing your heart too! xo

  9. http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/44aff95fcf1ef98aa6203dd4924f673c?s=32&d=retro&r=G Monica says:

    I want to thank you for such a funny/wonderful blog and especially for your honesty. It takes a courageous person to state what they were thinking at the risk of sounding foolish to some. Our ego seems to sabotage us time and time again with its negative chatter. We are so hard on ourselves and need to learn to be kinder and love ourselves just as we are. I have also been seeking inspiration/spirituality, trying to elevate my consciousness and working on being happy in the moment which is all that we really have: the now. Much like yourself, I too am a big self help consumer and have recently been listening/reading Dr. Wayne Dyer’s CD’s/books which propose to live in gratitude, perform acts of kindness, to not be judgmental, eat healthy, exercise, meditate, and to ignore the opinions of others. Sounds simple right? Not so much, it’s hard work. I’ve been saying positive affirmations to myself daily. Dr. Dyer says that we are all divine and God like so therefore we are perfect as we are. In my search for happiness, I found that it doesn’t necessarily increase with time, it’s more about being content with what we have rather than focus on what’s missing as well as attaining meaningful relationships. Dr. Dyer himself, at age 71, has not gotten rid of his ego completely; he also has a life couch. After writing over 30 books, he too was devastated and depressed for 2 yrs when his wife divorced him. He says to not be attached to outcome or what’s going to happen in the future, its all an expression or different forms of fear. We can either live in fear or live in love with an open heart. I know that your heart is big and the fact that you’re searching for meaning is the first step to spirituality and contentment. I think that the fears and anxiety that we experience stem from events in our childhood and that we have attached false or unrealistic beliefs to them and until we learn to forgive those who have hurt us that we can’t move forward. Easier said than done my friend, but we have to try. If it wasn’t for the past pain/lesson, we might not be so compassionate and be living a much more superficial life and clearly we are much deeper than that. Much love to you my friend. Your soul sista.

    • http://adeleuddo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Adele-Uddo-c601-32x32.jpg Adele says:

      Thank you for sharing your journey and wisdom Ms Mon! So true that seemingly simple things like ‘living in gratitude and meditating’ are NOT so easy. For me, I’m not sure the goal is to live without fear, since that seems rather impossible – but to have more awareness when fear (or Choid) surfaces so it doesn’t run the show and convince me that I’m a piece o’ crap, and the world a mere retrograde dirtball. Perhaps, as you say, cultivating more kindness (and trust) also helps balance the scales so that fear is a passenger rather than an out of control pilot. I saw Dr. Dyer speak once on TV and was mesmerized – would love to hear more. In the meantime, I love hearing from YOU. xo

  10. Hello Adele,

    Someone from Facebook turned me onto this blog. An interesting entry for me to read. I have a theory about Choid or as some call it “It” (Landmark Forum), Inner Critic (Artist’s Way), etc.

    We tend to think of our own personal Choids as bad or negative. But what if they are there to protect us? Our subconscious minds have a wonderful way of trying to keep us in our comfort zones because no matter how troubling our current situations may be, we still know what to expect and are basically safe. When we’re trying to move out of that zone, our subconscious kicks in and says, “Hey wait a minute. You’re not as smart as you think you are.” This is why people gain weight back after they lost a ton or wind up back to broke a year or two after winning the lottery. Our instincts are trying to keep us safe based on past information that may no longer be useful or accurate.

    Think of it like our department of defense. During the Cold War we realized that to keep our country safe we had to have the biggest military, the most nukes, etc. And it kept us safe. The world has changed now. We may never fight another conventional war where a large army is necessary, but we continue to operate under the same notions: building large armies, more weapons, etc. because it all kept us safe in the past.

    So it’s my theory that your and my “Choids” are not good or bad. They are just internal voices that try to keep us safe. A lot of times their advice is based on things we picked up in high school or earlier. I don’t really care if I can meditate well either, but my inner voice knows what it’s like to not be asked to the big homecoming party because I made a fool of myself once. So I better damn well act like I know how to meditate if I want acceptance by the people meditating. Hense the outdated warnings/advice from Choid.

    Just remember, we demonize our “Choids” but cherish our “Intuitions” and “Gut Feelings.” I have a sneaking suspicion they all come from the same place. Our Choids are perhaps a bit misunderstood.

    Anyway, I fought all the noises in my head and wrote out what I thought on some stranger’s blog. I will now try not to constantly check to see if there is a reply or an admonition.

    Keep up the writing.

    Rich

    • http://adeleuddo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Adele-Uddo-c601-32x32.jpg Adele says:

      Rich, what a wonderful and wise comment to wake up to! Thanks so much for your thoughts and for tuning in. I agree with you completely, Choid is more often there to protect against further pain. For me personally, sometimes Choid works overtime and reminds me of to beware of things that are no longer threatening or relevant. Hence, I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I feel the need to keep HIM in check a bit, so that I can step more into the present moment and enjoy my current life. I love that you point out that Choids are “not good or bad” – Too often I’ve labelled things as such and missed out on what that ‘negative’ thing had to offer. I now try to find the redemptive side in everything (even that which seems ‘bad’). Thanks again for contributing your great thoughts and insights – they indeed deserve a reply! ;)

  11. at the point when i realized that my mind was never going to be totally quiet while sitting, i found i enjoyed meditating more and a whole new world opened up for me through this process. i had no expectations or attachment to a certain outcome anymore. that was very liberating for me. one of the things i loved most about this particular blog was all the comments by your “followers.” it really stirred up things in people which surprised and pleased me. a lot of deep sharing. maybe now it is just more that we all trust you to open yourself up and really be vulnerable. i respect and love that about your blogs, adele. muchas gracias!

    • http://adeleuddo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Adele-Uddo-c601-32x32.jpg Adele says:

      Nancy, I can imagine that once you dropped the expectation to certain outcome, mediation would indeed be a totally different experience. That’s where I get stuck too often: attachment to outcome. I’m working on it though…while also trying to accept where I am right now (attachments and all). Thanks for sharing – you’ve set off a few light bulbs.

      Hi Joyce, I wish i knew the answer to your question. If you find out, would you please let me know? ;)

  12. http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/5b9c8cd38da84af4370aeaacbaf372e1?s=32&d=retro&r=G Michele says:

    I’m a fixer. I could gun down Choid for you…. no?

  13. http://1.gravatar.com/avatar/9e6cdaf59bc46b3709b6f7cb13b614fb?s=32&d=retro&r=G Chris G. says:

    I believe that CHOID comes as a stock part on the human mainframe.

    And boy does CHOID need nourishment.  You see if CHOID thinks at any point in time it may not be employed, it fights back with a vengeance.  

    “I’m here remember me?”  It’s like a paranoid sentinel awaiting the onslaught.  

    The trick is NOT to avoid CHOID as it will only get louder and nastier.  You must create a new relationship with it, where you honor its gifts…then toss out the rest.

    CHOID just told me that this comment is lame.

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