My mind has been VERY busy lately. I have had a hard time focusing, sleeping, and simply letting myself be still. I am a natural worrier. Anxiety and I are close pals. It is easy for me to get wrapped up and swept away with my thoughts. I’m really good at worrying about something that just happened or something that might happen soon. When I say I’m really good I mean REALLY good. I have had lots and lots of practice. I have a regular meditation practice and let’s just say my usual love-hate relationship with this practice has been airing on the side of pure hate as of late. The act of sitting to meditate has felt like pure torture this week. I find it hard to be nonjudgmental toward myself; I am very hard on myself (I’m working on being kinder to myself). It is hard to be okay with my practice and accept it for exactly what it is when my mind decides to run a marathon every minute of my practice. Where is that calm, that stillness that I can usually access, even if only briefly?
Today I had finally had it with myself. I was feeling exhausted and run down physically, emotionally, and mentally. I was home from work and while I had lots of work that needed to be done from home (sometimes I wish those theses would edit themselves) I decided to watch the amazing storm as it brewed and finally hit. I watched the sky darken until it looked like night in my apartment. My mind kept yelling, “Do something! You have work to do! There a million things you should be accomplishing this afternoon!” I listened to the thunder rumbling. My mind started thinking, “Well if you won’t do something I will just start rehashing that thing that happened yesterday.” I watched as lightening struck across the sky. My mind, not fully present, but getting a little quieter, “Remember that time…” I started really smelling the rain in the air. I focused on the trees swaying in the wind. My mind was a faint whisper, slowly giving up. And then the torrential downpour hit. I took it all in, in stillness. I watched the sheets of rain cascading down and hitting my windowpanes. I felt the cool breeze coming through the windows. I heard the rain hitting the trees and ground below, cascading off my rooftop. I smelled the dampness in the air. I could taste the changes all around me. I allowed myself to be fully present in each moment. I allowed for my mind to quiet. Almost instantly I felt calmer, more at ease, grounded in my own life again. It was brief, but I kept allowing myself to come back to all of my senses. I allowed the rain to wash everything away for a little while. None of the stuff I had to do had been done and none of the problems I have been worrying about had concrete solutions, but I felt able to get back to the things that needed attending to.