• Rhyena Halpern

Moving the Needle of Your Mind Ever So Slightly

Greater Happiness Is Closer Than You Think


I found a new groove. I got my groove on. I am in the groove. I am groovin’. But it’s not what you think.


Do you remember playing records on a turntable and wanting to hear the next cut on an album, so you carefully lifted up the needle just a teeny tiny bit? Stay with me now…


Dark, rancid thoughts about all the crap my X-spouse pulled during the 23 years we were together.


There was his sour cheapness and refusal to support the family financially, unless it benefitting him directly.


There was the chronic, 24/7 soul-killing lack of help with the kids and the house. He was stoned all day every day. His insatiable need for constant pleasure and gratification could not be met. There were the obsessive porn watching and ultimately the sex-trafficked prostitutes.


There was the disengagement and denial whenever I wanted to talk about anything remotely relational. There was his scary screaming which he said was no big deal because he got over it fast, despite the reality that the kids and I did not.


There was me carrying the burden for the family alone day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. I became drained, chronically fatigued, overweight and inflamed, meeting his sharp, tight energy with my own unhappy willfulness.


I became my worst self. I mirrored his lack of generosity. I was resentful and critical. My closing down to him in the heart and groin. He was an energy vampire and I was in over my head. I wanted to leave but I knew it would be too wounding to my kids.


Underneath all the horror stories that made my therapist’s eyes fill with fury, I still cared about him. We still cared for each other. We had two babies. We buried 4 parents. We saw his older kids marry and have babies and we became grandparents.


We went through sickness and health, good times and bad. We knew each other’s stories and friends and trials and tribulations. We shared the same bed and home as companions for more than two decades. We kept forgiving and moved on. We were family.


Finally, one Covid day, it was over. My kids were in college. The rubberband was stretched too far and I could not spring back. I was free of him and this is what I had wanted for so long, biding my time til my kids were launched. Right?


I was free. I was unburdened. I was happy. So why did I miss him?


One night, a year ago by now, when the bad stories were far overwhelming the good ones in my mind, I just picked up the needle on the record player of my mind and moved it ever so gently just that tiny amount of space onto the next cut on the album.

Just slightly. Just a quick up with the needle and a skosh back down. Just that invisible nanno space.


And that’s all it took.


The needle came down lightly onto the next groove and my heart filled with forgiveness. It was a tiny shift; it was a profound one. My heart was open. I could see the good in him. In us. In me.


Moving that needle in my mind helped me whenever I had the awareness to access it. It could be any stress or tension that I wanted to release.


I found a space in close proximity to the noise in my mind where I was fine and at peace. Because that place was so proximal to the rank place, I eliminated the feelings of duality and could hold both without rancor, without aversion. I held them with loving kindness for all the lessons and all the love.


Do you want to move the needle of your mind over just a skosh?

Do you want to get free of the stuck grooves?

Do you want to see how nearby equanimity is?



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