One of my yoga teachers offers this instruction at the start of every class:
"Put it down. Put it all down; the thoughts, the chatter, everything."
Oh, if it were only that easy.
I've been trying, though, to put it down if even for a few seconds every day.
My best opportunity for this is in the early morning. These days, I'm waking up super early (don't even ask) and starting my day with the requisite email check and facebook review, followed by some reading in my meditation book. I even write in my gigantic journal.
After that, I'm generally awake enough to roll out my yoga mat and practice for 30 or 40 minutes.
Ambitious, I know. Plain crazy, definitely.
Then, I come back to the idea of mediation by closing my eyes (whilst reclining in bed, of course) and by taking some deep breaths.
This is how things went this morning:
6:40am - Complete yoga practice, roll up mat, slip back into bed, throw on the covers, throw off the covers, turn the ceiling fan on, flip the bedside lamp off, drop the remote, curse loudly.
6:43am - Close eyes, commence meditation.
6:43am - Notice that the garbage trucks are uncharacteristically loud this morning. Wonder if it was my recycle can that was just dropped. Worry that I do not have time to call the utilities company if my recycle can is broken. Or worse, lost. Send good karma vibes to the neighbor who sometimes pulls the cans in for me.
6:44am - Hear very loud owl outside my open window. Contemplate putting an owl house in the backyard for Ben. Remember ex's failed attempt at this. Decide that Ben can visit his grandpa's owl colony.
6:44am - Try to slow down breathing and notice that my stomach is starting to hurt. Is a half a pot of coffee before 7am, on an empty stomach, really necessary? Flip onto belly. Uncomfortable. Flip back.
6:45am - Pony tail is crushed against pillow. Ouch. Release the elastic band. Ahhhhhh, so much better. Why have this long hair anyway? I've been growing it for a year and half and it is lovely and full and practically an ad for Clairol, but what good is all that when it's back in a pony almost all of the time? Oh right, my young clients say men like long hair. Best not to cut it just yet. But what about the color? Every-five-week salon visits are a killer. Speaking of the salon, I need a facial. And my eyebrows are in bad shape. I could use some Botox, too. Everything's feeling wrinkly. I really am high maintenance. I'm a nightmare. God, I hate camping. I could end up dating a man who loves camping. Camping might be a deal-breaker. I think it is.
6:47am - Stomach is insanely growling. On my dietitian's hunger scale of 1 to 10, 1 being famished, 10 being in a food coma, I am a 0. Totally empty. Weak. Depleted. I don't think she has me on enough calories. Just as I was starting to get used to all these curves, I'll be a toothpick by Christmas. Maybe by next week, at this rate. What's for breakfast today? Oh yeah, the meal plan says high fiber cereal and nuts. Fail. Where's the meal plan with blueberry pancakes? That's the meal plan I want!
6:48am - The indecisiveness of the men in my life is making me C-R-A-Z-Y. And I am making everyone else C-R-A-Z-Y with my rants on this subject. Why am I cursed with dating C-R-A-Z-I-N-E-S-S? Why? I'm the nice girl who's getting it all together; I don't even do crazy. Is my head starting to hurt now? No, it's just my heart: I'm used to that.
6:49am - Glad, oh-so-very-glad that I bought two beach umbrellas to take to Santa Cruz. My mother is going to insist on riding in the backseat with Ben all the way there, and all the way home. Not quite sure how the umbrellas are going to fit into their back seat accommodations, as I'm sure there will be discussion of safety, decapitation. Decapitation. I need a working house alarm. Umbrella? Where is my leopard umbrella from last winter? I'll be seriously pissed if I've lost it. I might have to go back to NYC for another. Maybe I'll take whomever I'm dating.
6:50am - Crazy dating again. GET OUT OF MY HEAD, you, you and you, too! I'm not in control! Everyone else is! Give it up, Janeen. Surrender. This is way bigger than you.
6:50am - The owl and the garbage truck are back, in tandem. How can anyone get any meditating done around here with all this racket? Oh, and there goes the broken sprinkler too. Hundreds of dollars into a new sprinkler system and the faulty one is next to my bedroom window. Figures. Good thing I can't sleep in past 3:30am.
6:51am - Breathe. Ignore rumbling tummy. Don't think about pancakes. Mmmmmm, Kashi cereal and cantaloupe in 9 minutes. Mmmmmmm.
6:51am - Can't believe that my stomach is going to turn itself inside out from hunger pangs. Who knew that yoga revved up the old metabolism so efficiently? Because it's not like I just did a 5 mile run.
6:51a - Kevin. Fall Ball. Ugggghhhhhh. We need a closer (better) League. Wondering if our local league is more normal than that *other* league we played for? Maybe I'll actually meet some nice mom friends; scope out better looking guys. Why is the dog barking? This can't be good. Someone is breaking in. Even though it's morning and seriously bright, the bad guys have found the single girl on the block. I'm toast.
6:51am - Mmmmmm, toast. Whole grain toast with real butter. French toast. Tower Cafe French Toast. Why don't I ever go there?
6:52am - I never go anywhere. I'm relegated to reading and journal writing and yoga. OMG. I need three cats for this existence. Ben is riding me hard for a cat. My mom is publishing, "1o1 Reasons Janeen Should Not Get A Cat." She's already lecturing on the topic. Caught between the boy and the mother. Is there any Valium in the house? Oh right, of course there is. Now, who gets it? The mother or the daughter?
6:52: I just heard a kick from Ben's room. Damn, I hope he's not in a foul mood this morning. I've been up two hours already and he'll be firing up any second in God knows what kind of mood, which will inevitably lead to me making more coffee and bribing him with time on my iphone.
6:53am - My iphone! Where is my iphone? Is it possible that I left it in the garage when I was scooping up Molly's breakfast? Ohmygod, I have been up too long. Where in God's name is that Valium?
6:54am - Is today a nap day? For me, not Ben! Who's canceled? Who's coming? Oh shit, oh shit, OH.SHIT. I forgot about my early morning client. How many days has it been since I've washed my hair? Five? Six? Thank God for the ponytail. I have camping hair.
6:55am - MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYY! Come get me! I am ready to get up! Where's my girl, Molly?
Thank you, sweet Jesus for little boys in great moods and for 12 minute meditations and please, for the love of all things holy, let this writer's block pass soon. I promise I'll meditate and pray more.