Before you read this article, just
PAUSE. Take a deep breath. Take another deeeep
breath, following both the inhale (notice how it takes
a little work to do this) and the luxury of the exhale
(you don’t have to do anything…just let it
go…letting your breath float down). Isn’t
it interesting to really feel the difference between the
inhale and the exhale? Sure, check that one out again.
As you continue to breathe, notice any sensations in your
body. Notice how each breath can be an invitation to let
go of any thoughts or worries about what’s next,
any tightness in your body. Can you simply allow, just
for this short moment, whatever you are experiencing?
Isn’t it fascinating how stress has become
the I.D. badge of being an Accomplished Somebody?
No matter that all of the neurological studies indicate
that our brains weren’t constructed to multi-task,
nor the research that has demonstrated time and again
that too much stress impairs both our immune systems AND
our effectiveness. And what about the equation we all
know—“more stress=less patience”—and
how that plays out with those near and/or dear. Even those
of us blessed with wonderful professional and personal
lives, with all of our material needs met and then some,
often feel we are caught in the real challenge of abundance.
All of this stimulation can lead to that familiar
refrain, “I’m going out of my mind!”
Interesting…our minds do not reside solely
in our brains. Rather, our minds are created by our entire
bodily experience of that intangible but very real Consciousness
or spirit. Given the pace of modern life, our minds tend
to get lost in the past, in the future, actually anywhere
but HERE. We get flooded by feelings, too many thoughts
clogging our thinking, and without a clue of anything
going on from the neck on down.
In Radical Acceptance, psychologist and meditation
teacher Tara Brach, Ph.D. wrote of weaving a “sacred
pause” into our daily lives by pausing a few moments
each hour or as we begin and end activities. We breathe
a little extra space into the moment. This allows us an
opportunity to “re-mind” ourselves, to get
back into our bodies, to return from the grip of tension
or the lists of “to do’s” in our heads.
We allow a fresh connection to what is most real and mysterious,
the only moment that is actually here and now.
So before you read on, pause again. Re-mind
yourself: Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, relax,
and bring awareness to whatever is happening inside you.
When the pause has ended, notice if anything changes in
Reprinted with permission from Whitman-Walker
Clinic Lesbian Services Program newsletter "Care
Connection," Vol. 13, Spring 2006.