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Katula

And her steaming cauldron of thoughts

Like every morning, Katala sat on the sofa and embraced with her hands a warm cup of freshly-made coffee. She was watching it steaming delicately and vanishing over the brim of the cup. “If only my thoughts could depart just like the coffee steam, all those thoughts which keep chattering inside my head…” - she sighed. 

Katula’s head felt like a hot pot, inside which a lot of emotions were boiling, emotions from previous days or even years. She had promised to herself a number of times that at the nearest occasion she would set boundaries and would not let anybody to put their finger in her bowl of soup. This time she would not allow herself to be enticed by deceptive prompts and persuasive suggestions. However, days were passing by bringing the same experiences over and over again, and Katula was too timid to divert the fixed course of things. Instead, she would throw some new ingredients into the pot turning it into somewhat indigestable mixture. “How hot should the devil’s potion be to eventually boil over?”

Katala was gulping down her life and while doing so she followed her home-made recipe. “Eat it all up which is on your plate. Even if you dislike something gulp it down in silence. Respect other’s effort, express it with a good word and a nice smile. Do not show it if you find your dish inedible as others may feel uneasy. If you happen to throw up, excuse yourself politely, explain the fit with your indigestion and never return to that uncomfortable incident. Her special culinary policy backfired all over her life, in her relationship with people in particular. However, she did not tend to see anything wrong in it. After all she believed that being a good person involved liking other people. Also welcoming others into her life even if that act brought about invading taking over part of her territory: “Other people’s help and willingness to be part of your life is a sign of brotherhood of men.” - her catholic upbringing kept sounding in her head.

The lid on Katula’s pot was chattering louder and louder. “Before you start to control your thoughts in the cauldron cut the power off first” -  she heard. The voice seemed to be coming from outside her head, though there was nobody around. Actually it was not a voice after all. It was rather a stream of loud thoughts flowing through her. It looked as if they had taken over her individual address system, put it into a silent mode and continued inside her head. And it was not the first time when it did happen. She had heard that voice man times before. Usually it was pushing her towards some change, which, in turn made, Katula feel scared. Her fear was much bigger comparing to her helplessness in which she seemed to have stuck for good. So, paradoxally, she refused to follow the voice as a result of the fear of fear. She tried to muffle it with a movie, book, socializing, going out, work, or travel. That morning, however, helplessness added up to the fear making it win. She was unable to hold down the hot lid any longer. It was scolding and she could not bear it. Too much had already boiled over, too much confusion had appeared in her head.

— Before you start to control your thoughts in the cauldron cut the power off first — the voice said it again. Take your apron off, throw away all the time-honoured family recipes, burn old cookbooks, and finally get rid of that scorched, battered cauldron!
— Hold on, hold on. I don’t get it! - she adressed the mistery guy inside her head.
— It is you who will understand it most. That is your world after all. There is no other one beside that one. No other interpretation beside yours.

The words surprised Katula as she was unable to grasp the idea of “her own world”. After all she does not live there alone. The planet is full of people and each of them dwells in the same world. “And what about the apron, cauldron and the power-cut? What does that mean?”

Right so. Let me explain it one more time. The apron means something that holds me back, creates boundaries. The recipes in the cookbook represent rules and behaviour patterns. The cauldron is a collection of my thoughts. But what about the power? It must be something that propels those thoughts, what emotionally heats them up - Katula felt she was right at nterpreting what she had heard. She was genuinly both surprised and excited at the same time.
— Very well… the apron, the books and the recipes… they all will do, but the power? After all is it possible to stop thinking? And how do you think without thoughts? How to turn them off?
— Just be the very moment that is happening.
— Could you be more specific, please?
— The process of thinking will lead you to two destinations - either to the future or the past. You either return to what has already happened, review the situation again or consider what you are going to do next time. Check it up for yourself. What were you thinking about a minute ago?
— I was thinking about what i was told by my mother-in-law. About her judgement on my son, judgement resulting from her upbringing. About the fact that for another time she made herself the victim of the situation that occured. She was trying to induce some doubts into me and leave me with a sense of guilt. I was thinking about my reluctance to meet her, about what I am going to tell her when we meet again. About that I am being angry with her, that she ought not to stir ma pot of soup and season it to her liking if I had just asked her to see to the boiling pot. I was thinking about her surpassing some boundaries. Katala took a deep breath, feeling choking sensation in her throat more and more. Right so - she carried on after a while. It was all about what has already been or might happen in the future, but, apart from that there is also some emotion arising by the situation and I am that emotion right now.
— An event lasts as long as the emotion triggered by the event stays whithin you. Now close your eyes and check it up what there is in your cauldron.

Katula shut her eyes and in her mind’s eyes she uplifted the cauldron’s lid. She looked inside. In the hot stew there were fatty chunks of past events as well as fleshy bites of her furue plans. All of it was boiling together in thick brew.

— It looks like hell.
— Yes, it does indeed . That is your own personal hell. There is no other. Besides, it was you who did create it.
— But it is impossible. If it hadn’t been for my mother-in-law, her behaviour and her words, I would have never produced thoughts like that.
— You are the only person to generate your thoughts. There is no one beside you to do that. And it is also you yourself who gives the meaning to the words you hear and you alone let them affect you. The people you come across behave according to your thinking; in other words, they act like a mirror of your own perception. It is you who interprets all that is happening. It is you who is experiencing other people within you.
— Within me?
— Why did somebody else’s words incite so much anger and that sense of guilt within yourself? It is so because those emotions generate the fire under your cauldron. Do you really want to go on like this?
— No, I do not.
— So put out the fire and empty the pot. It is high time you cleaned it all up. It is time you started to generate pure love towards yourself. It is time for you to love all inside you, every little thing within yourself. It is time for you to get rid of all the crumbs of guilty feelings and stains of anger. Sweep the floor and brush it up until all is clean. It is time for the biggest, thorough cleanings in your life - cleaning of your inner self. I will help you do that. Step by step. And then there will be time for you to start cooking again. This time you will follow a brand new recipe — the one of your own - being produced in the heart’s space. Is that not the way the best dishes are cooked?

Katula felt the fire under the cauldron was going out. The lid had calmed down. Sputtering had been replaced by silence. So tender and mild, incredibly soothing. She saw that her world had just turned upside-down. She tok a deep breath….

— I leave you in the state free of thoughts.

Katula glanced at her cup of coffee. It had stopped steaming, just like her head. She took a sip and was amazed by the taste. Like never before...

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