Monday, July 29, 2013

Starting This New Day

"The mind turns. the thoughts churn. those old familiar tunes re-play themselves over and over in my stubborn head." Marcie Scudder

We begin each new day, each new activity, each attempt to love what is, with where we are. It may feel just like yesterday, but if we look close enough, it isn't precisely the same. That tune that sounds so familiar is slightly different.  I like to look out the window near my computer and meditate on who I am right at the beginning of a new day. This morning, it turns out I'm in hangover from the emotional overload of the weekend. I feel a bit like this:

If I'd paid attention, really paid attention to the tune in my head, I never would have decided to charge into a computer problem that seems to interfere with readers leaving comments. I only recently found out google+ might be the culprit, and I want to opt out, so of course I googled for directions on how to do that. Not such a good choice. I immediately came to this fork in the road. "I understand that deleting the service can't be undone and data I delete can't be restored." With a click of the button I can "remove selected services," but what am I removing? It's too early in the morning to make such a commitment. Today I'm not an armored knight. Actually I need a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, I definitely need more selected services and I haven't had breakfast.

It's easy enough to decide not to deal with google+ on an empty stomach and a too full head, and maybe one of you can find me on Facebook and tell me how to do it. For now,  I'm getting a glass of lemon water and a cheese stick so I can continue to write and get my sugar level up a bit. OK, I hear you. Maybe not a cheese stick.

My yoga teacher advises me to remember I'm not asking for perfection. I only need to make space in my body to listen. She suggests I breathe. I close my eyes and concentrate on my breath. Maybe I'll put myself in this mountain scene. This is a photo of hike into Lake Winnemucca I took last weekend. You could sit here for a bit while I breathe.

While I breathe, I focus on the in and out of my breath, and then the thought came that I should call an old friend and ask for her help. I thanked the thought and went back to focus on my breath. "Just this," a mantra I used in the past came next. "Just this moment. Just this step. Just this one thing." Yes. I thank the thought and go back to following my breath. Next in my mind I'm doing the sun salutation. After decades as a yoga student, I haven't practiced the asanas in months. In my mind as I go through the steps I am rusty, but the thought comes, "trust your muscle memory." Yes. It's where I need to be today. For today I need to trust just this. Trust just this breath. Trust just this feeling. Move from moment to moment, because as we all know, moment to moment is all we have anyway. Perhaps I should have continued to meditate longer, I wish I had, but for now it is a good starting place for my day.

So here I am. I've shown up for the day and I've made space for my body to listen and begin to pay attention, to play this new tune louder than the old static trying to take over but lower in volume now. "Trust just his moment."I choose this intention to take me into my day for now, knowing I may slip away, knowing I can come back, knowing I have muscle memory for this thought too.

Baruch ata prayers the last few nights have been simple ones. "Help!"Today I start with the prayer to trust myself to stay in the present moment. Please help me stay in the present moment, thanking my other thoughts for their opinions, but trusting where I need to be is with just this one thought, just this one moment, just this one step. It's not an easy practice. Help. Amen


  1. After experiencing 3 busy weeks with 3 active grandchildren in a one room cabin at beautiful Silver Lake also, I found myself saying over and over to all 3 of them: "Don't worry about 2 hours from now." "I can't handle tomorrow yet." "Live in the present moment, Jacob." Being a member of a support group that highly endorses this principle, I have learned the lesson well and try to live the principle moment by moment. Beautiful blog and pictures, Barbara.

  2. I love the way you wrestle, Barbara. I think of you when I struggle and of your brave spirit. You have a courageous way of being honest about learning curves. Sending you a prayer now that all the help that you need may come to you.