I awakened this morning to the sound of my mind chattering away. It was so busy in there that it took me some time to notice that there was virtually no space between my thoughts. This is how life used to be for me. It was painful to find myself back in the cramped and noisy prison cell of my mind.
It sneaks up on you, or at least it does me, this increasingly noisy mind, detached from reality, distanced from body and breath, lost in the narrative, separate from the moment, unable to access the real reality just outside ourselves.
How did I get here? TV, for one thing. Refreshing the NYT home page all day long for four days for another. But more than that, I climb up into my head when I am scared.
When I used to pick my son up from daycare after a full day of work, he would invariably cry, yell, and meltdown on the ride home. I couldn’t figure it out; the staff always told me what a good day he had. No one had bitten him, no punches were thrown, pizza abounded at Friday lunch, and yet here he was howling like a banshee the whole way home.
What I came to learn from my son is that when we feel safe we naturally discharge tension and distress. Until we feel safe, we carry it.
I take this morning’s nonstop narrative in my mind to mean that I have been in distress for the past four days, not to mention the past four years. Adults are a lot tricker than toddlers when it comes to feeling and expressing their emotions.
This morning reminded me that stuffed feelings can take the form of mental chatter. This chatter is far more of a problem than any temper tantrum because: a) we tend to believe our thoughts (no matter how off-base); and b) the cascading waterfall of thought distracts us from the quiet awareness just beneath our thoughts. Only when the rowboat of the mind is stilled do we notice the dawn of tranquility.
If you have a monkey-mind like me, take heart: there’s hope. I’m not great at stilling my thoughts in meditation, but I can dive beneath them with the help of the drumbeat. But maybe you find yourself in the throes of some old behavior again, your left eye has developed an involuntary tic, you keep accidentally breaking glassware, or you just want to yell or cry or sleep all day instead.
Consider the possibility that you are in the process of releasing pent-up stress and distress. And that’s a very good thing.
Bring an offering to the circle that symbolizes tranquility or safety for you. For the first-timers, we do a bit of a show-and-tell before we share our intentions and journey.
This week’s intention is wide open and responsive to whatever you feel you most need from Spirit at this time.
You are invited to join us for a free online journey circle this Wednesday, November 11 at 4 pm PST. Open to all skill levels. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.