There is always something to be grateful for – even in anxiety and sleepless nights. You suffer in both, sometimes unbearably. Never a stoic, someone who can keep a stiff upper lip, I seek for relief relentlessly. It is no surprise that I have a whole library of self-help books. By now, I could write my own. I should start making notes. What I know for sure is, there is no permanent fix. But you can learn from each episode and make it easier for your next time. It’s still about doing your best and then letting go. Perhaps, you might find me too direct, up front and revealing. But what/who does that hurt – admitting that I am human and flawed? I am with you all in the
milieu catastrophe of life.
In the middle of a sleepless angst, I rose from my bed one night and migrated to the kitchen. I made a cup of ginger tea and cuddled up under my Hudson’s Bay blanket with an old friend – Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living. I’ve read it a time or two and have practiced some of the exercises in it. You know how we human beings are. When the going gets tough, we are so serious and dedicated. Once the crisis is over, we stray and then abandon the practice altogether – till the next time.
This is my next time. I’m doing the practice again – of sitting and watching my breath for 15 minutes. The first time was not too bad, being the first. I was full of resolve. I can do anything in that state. I felt some discomfort the 2nd time. My thoughts strayed. I wanted to water the plants. I wanted to make soup. I wanted to get out of my skin! I breathed and felt the rise and fall of my belly. The 15 minutes passed.
Today is my 3rd day. The 15 minutes are easier. The mind wanders. I accept it. It is what it is. I have 4 more days to complete the week. Then it is 7 more weeks, working up to 45 minutes of formal meditation, of watching my breath. Can I do it? Yes! Yes! Yes! It is worth the effort to come out from under the thumb of my misfiring mind. If I don’t try, it won’t happen. I can always do my best, whatever it is on any given day.
Miraculously I am myself again. It is as if someone has put the patches on my chest and defibrillated me. I am at ease. It is as if it never happened. It’s like a bad dream, a nightmare. I shake my head and wonder what the hell had happened. It matters not. I pick myself up, dust myself off and truck on down the road. Life goes on. So do I – not quite an EverReady battery.