I reached an afternoon lull at work today and ventured outside to get some fresh air. It was gray out; the clouds a large crumpled blanket below the faded periwinkle in the distance. I welcomed the rain to drench me or the sun to burn me, the roar of the train to rumble through my veins. I wanted to feel anything but the mundane sensation slowly decaying every last bit of creativity in my body. This shouldn’t be how your job makes you feel.
Though I wanted to pop into a bar and get a drink, I opted for a vegan juice from the convenience store and walked over to an empty bench by a nearby fountain. Once settled, I began to write. What came over me was nothing short of fascinating.
The sun broke through the clouds and suddenly there was wind blowing through the branches above me, my hair, across my skin. I closed my eyes and listened to the water splash inside the fountain. A little bird chirped as it hopped around my feet. I was taken back to a time when I was interning in Washington, D.C. In the mornings before I went into the office, I’d get coffee and sit by the large fountain behind the congressional building. It was peaceful; there were beds of flowers and open grass and best of all, it was hidden. People seldom visited the space while I was there, so I could use it to write, reflect, meditate and just be free.
I wondered if this feeling is what mindfulness is–being able to transport your entire being into a peaceful state while simultaneously allowing chaotic emotion to flow through you without moving to stop it or quell it from existing.
Feelings are transient. Sometimes they can feel so overwhelming, but breathing them in and then out, can help lessen their intensity. In reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s Peace is Every Step, I’ve been able to slowly adopt some of his teachings and remind myself to let the feelings flow through me, observe them and breathe them out. One moment at a time.