Despite low confidence in my ability to follow my own advice, of last week, I did. Upon calling in sick (thank you Elian and Angie for covering DRC-Canton), and then visiting Urgent Care this past Monday, I was not surprised to learn that the extreme allergy symptoms had again morphed into bronchitis. (To eliminate the possibility of any other ailments in the times of COVID, I requested the test - the results were negative.)
In a pattern that has become all too familiar - my brain cruised into hyper-speed. I was already feeling overwhelmed by illness and too little time in a day to get everything done that needed doing - when an intense volley of schemes hit without warning. The ideas pelted my conscious mind for days, so fast there was no way I could keep up.
Most of you will understand what I mean when I say it was a literal brainstorm. The combination of worries, unease, weird obsessive and repetitive word games (don't ask), feelings of inadequacy, and fear, combined with the new schemes swirled around in my head, blinding me, worse than any snowstorm, to any potential peace or calm.
I wasn't sleeping much. And, when I did, I had intense dreams that placed me in out-of-control situations (run-away cars without brakes, etc.).
I woke up yesterday morning with the conviction to "get out of my head" and get myself grounded. First, I laid on the floor in my typical Saturday morning yoga pose with my feet up on the wall, willing my brain and breath to slow down - repeating my mantra - to no avail.
Then I did something I had not done in months - I pulled on my shorts, a t-shirt, and sneakers, grabbed my phone, and began to walk. Within moments, I could feel my brain shifting. I began to notice the vivid spots of color, the sun shining through the canopy, the coolness of the breeze, and birds calling. Then, without warning, words flowed - I began to count syllables, and by the time I had reached my "turn around tree," I had a fully formed haiku in my head.
The combination of physical activity and the sights and sounds of an early Fall morning induced a creative meditation that will always bring me back to myself. (Now, to remember the next time I feel overwhelmed and buffeted by my hyperactive ponderings.)
In this non-stop world, my greatest wish is that you have already found the strategy that brings you back to your essential self (and that you remember to utilize it).
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