It's been a rough week. TGIF has never been more heartfelt as it echoed through my mind this morning, just as an unladylike four-letter word echoed through my quiet room right after the alarm began to sound...
At times like these, when there's an internal conflict involving trepidation and stress, and when thinking about the problem doesn't make it better, but only attacking it proactively would, but you're too exhausted and confused to even formulate a plan, much less do anything about it, I have a practice that always helps.
It's simple, but more difficult than you may automatically think.
The effect is also simple - it's as if you've placed your mind and your point of perceiving (your Self with a capital S) into a stream. It's almost as if your mind is washed with cool, clear, moving water and you begin to feel refreshed and renewed. It's subtle though, and usually takes a couple of hours to take effect.
For me, it takes less than an hour to start to make me feel better. It takes longer to finish. Roughly a day.
The trick I use is to stretch out to the edges of my skin.
It sounds funny, I know.
And it also doesn't work well at all if I'm in physical pain of any kind.
But, when the pain and fatigue is mental (it also works nicely if you're a bit physically tired), this does the job nicely.
I put all of my attention on two of my five senses. The main one is touch. I really feel everything that I touch. My fingertips tingle with aliveness. My spine straightens and becomes stronger and more graceful with the attention I'm giving it. My jaw relaxes and my eyes become more alert. That's when the second sense kicks in - sight. And not just everything, but how colors and shapes and light are in the world around me.
This is more subtle, again, I envision it as stretching out within myself and inhabiting only the edges of my body. I think most of us usually feel buried in here somewhere. Spending time noticing things you don't ordinarily take account of is freeing. For instance, I'm typing right now. How often do I notice what these keys feel like under my fingers? Not as often as I should.
How often do I notice, really notice, the cool breeze against my cheeks as I walk outside? Or feel my keys as they jangle in my hand? We're used to the meaning of it all (I pay attention to WHAT I'm typing, not just the ACT of typing), rather than the feel of doing it. Once you learn how to wield a fork and knife as a child it's as if your hand disappears. You're not aware of its action, only of what you want to happen because of it - you darned well know where those fork prongs are, but where is your pinkie finger? As I sit and type this, I honestly can't tell you where the heck it lies when I use silverware.
And on and on.
After awhile what I've found is that my body takes over and feels the pure joy in just living that tends to get buried under the 'in-your-head'ness of it all....and that visceral joy commandeers your attention and emotion, so you can't help dancing just a little too.
On the inside, of course.
And like I said, it's subtle.
But just for kicks, try it. Give it a go. Tell me what happens.
Today's whiteboard quote:
"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time."