Being in the Moment

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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.

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On Being Free & Grounded

I’ve been practicing mindfulness today and this idea of being free and grounded keeps circulating in my thoughts. I imagine a bird flying in a bright blue sky with an anchor around its torso, weighing it down as it struggles to soar. Then I realize I’m projecting and really what it means to be both free and grounded is having the ability to fly but landing whenever you need or want to. Having a deep sense of self that allows you to know who are and what you’re capable of. And not letting anyone or anything get in your way.

It’s too easy lately to fall into this irrational state of being where even my imagination has been influenced by the negativity in my life. As I strive to rid this toxic energy from my life, I remember this line from Sylvia Plath:

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Unpacking

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I’m striving to become more aware of what my body is telling me and making sure to not only notice what’s happening inside me, but also around me. I’m constantly being reminded that I have to trust my gut and follow my heart. What I’m realizing through overdue introspection is that I do neither of those things consistently and if I’m being completely forthright, I rarely do them. This needs to change.

All that to say, there’s something significant about these 3 things that kept recurring in my mind today–I’m not sure how or why yet, but I can feel it. I’m still unpacking what they might mean, but very much welcome these “signs” and the creative energy flowing through me.

  1. Humming the Sesame Street theme song most of the day. Kinda weird, I know.
  2. The stories that hands tell and how they show love.
  3. My favorite poem by Li-young Lee, “Early in the Morning”