There’s nothing like it.
My mind can be going 1,000 miles per hour, worrying life like a dog worries a bone, oh so busy “figuring things out.” Making Plans A and B, sometimes C and D. Analyzing. Focusing on what is wrong: I should be making more money, should spend more time honing my skills, should try a new strategy, study anatomy more, work on my touch, learn that.
And then there are those home chores that I keep procrastinating on — fixing the duct-taped leaky pipe, weatherstripping, taking that giant pile of unneeded stuff to Salvation Army.
And then there was that disappointing social interaction that didn’t meet my needs. I should have said this, done that. Why didn’t I? Et cetera ad nauseum. I get so sick of myself sometimes!
Oh, my life is a mess. Just a glorious messed-up messy mess. I am bouncing between fear, resentment, and The Serenity Prayer’s courage of changing what I can change. Somehow, acceptance seems far. Wisdom seems far.
And then I decide to sit. I prop myself with cushions, get my posture good and straight. I tell Siri, “Set timer for 20 minutes”. Siri says (in his nice British accent), “Okay. Twenty minutes and counting.”
I bring my attention to my breath, but it doesn’t want to stay there. It takes a minute or so for my mind to actually register, “Oh, I can stop thinking now. I’m doing something different so I can stop thinking. Oh, yeah, I remember now! I live in a body! I feel it breathing! Wow!”
And my thoughts pause and return, pause, and return. Pause. Return. Pause….
And I’m in my body, inhabiting it, noticing a tightness in my left sartorius, a bit of residual resentment in my heart.
I can let that go now. Ah, there we go…
And I feel some kind of transformation happening. The edges of “me” begin to blur, to loosen, to dissipate. And now it’s just me, the essence of me, sitting here quietly without armor, without boundaries, without thoughts.
I feel an opening in my energy field right at the crown of my head. It feels like dancing molecules of light are entering the top of my head at the same time as dancing molecules of light are flowing out to meet them. Welcome.
That feeling slides down over my face, and then down to my chest. I feel it surrounding me on my skin, a field of energy. And it isn’t outside me or separate from me. I am in it. I am it, and it is/I am boundless. I am awareness, floating in a quiet, subtle bliss. I stay there for a while.
The conga drum timer plays its rhythm, and I shut it off and decide to share this experience in writing.
I must remember this.
And thoughts return, and they are much softer, kinder, and slower than before. With spaces in between. Positive, loving, constructive thoughts. As if I better know “the difference” in the Serenity Prayer, and this is both its path and its dividend.
I will forget again how powerful this is. I will resist doing it, caught up in the whirl of thoughts. And I will get sick of myself again and find my way back to this practice.
Making it a daily habit (again) is the wisest and most loving, the most powerful and transformative thing I can possibly do with my life. This is how I change the one thing I (sort of) have control over, my self.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.