in: Mindful Moment

Mindful Moment #29 – Be Nice to the Printer

Take a deep breath
Be Nice to the Printer
I have one of those finicky printers. You have to put the paper in *just so* and close the drawer gently. You need to have it turned on from sleep mode before sending it a job, because it won’t always wake itself up. If you are copying something, you really ought to ask nicely before trying to use the multi-page feeder tray, because if you don’t, it might chew up your originals. I was explaining this to my adult kid the other day, and she was quite bemused about my “be nice to it” advice. 
“How does that work? How does good energy affect the printer?” She wasn’t asking snarkily. It was a legitimate wondering. I began to wonder myself. As someone who has had to “sweet talk” many office machines in my lifetime, I know that positivity and patience works about 85% of the time. It also seems to work for grumpy cars, struggling sewing machines, and persnickety coffee makers. But how? How can an inanimate object respond to niceness, respect, or “good vibes” offered by an animate object?
Am I just choosing to perceive that things are better when I am being kind? That’s possible, but an unsatisfying answer. I swear, the printer knows to be nice for me, but won’t work for my son two minutes later. He isn’t being especially mad or mean or anything, but the printer just won’t work. When I take over, everything is fine. 
I think it is a more elemental phenomenon in the same vein that talking nicely to plants helps them grow. There is something happening energetically that creates a positive effect in terms of functionality. If it’s at an atomic level, perhaps the positive energy is something like an entropy antidote. Perhaps it is a means by which the vibration of the object is matching the vibration of the user and therefore, it works more seamlessly than it would otherwise. I see it in my mind like the electrical communication between atoms is more unified and less scattered, creating a better working system.
“It’s like it knows you want it to succeed and are cheering for it,” my kid finally observed when her third attempt at a print job finally worked. She had given it a little pat and said, “I know you can do this, little printer!” When she collected the papers from the print tray, she went to leave, but turned back and said, “Thank you.”
Maybe it is unrealistic to exist in positivity and gratitude all the time in all situations for all substances all around us, but if we can intentionally set our mindfulness to include some attitude of cooperation and belonging to each other, we could all benefit from a better working system.
Here is a meditation to try focusing on a cooperative collective.
Sit down, relax, drop your shoulders, and relax your face. 
Take a deep breath, hold it, and exhale. Do this a few times.
Let’s imagine you are just waking up. Before you do, take a minute to visit your interior body. Consider the work of pumping your blood. With each heartbeat, your heart muscles are contracting and relaxing to move blood through your body. Your lungs are adding oxygen to the blood cells. The oxygen is transported to each and every cell. The exchange of oxygen allows cells to create energy, which your body then uses to move, think, and maintain itself. That energy is generated within the cooperative system that is your body. 
Now consider that the space around you is an extension of yourself. There are atoms in the air delivering the oxygen you are breathing. There are atoms in the floor of your space, working as a collective to support you as you move about. There are atoms in the water you use to bathe and drink and clean. Everything around you contains atoms working together to exist in whatever form they currently are, including you.
Imagine that you can tell every atom, “Thank you, I appreciate you, and I am happy to be here with you.” You can send this message out right now like a wave of energy from your heart and mind to all of the atoms around. Feel the wave leave you and return to you, like ocean waves to the shore. Out and in, out and in. The waves can go as far as you wish to send them out. You are part of the collective. The collective is part of you.
Continue to breathe deeply, enjoying the exchange of energy for as long as you like.
I send out my thanks and appreciation, friends. I am so happy to be able to share these ideas with you. And thank you, as always, for the kind words you send back in response. 
As ever, namaste.


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