Early this morning, I walked along the Erie Canal. I notice my cell phone battery is dead (once again),
so no podcasts, music,or conversations to keep me company today.
Gray skies and barren trees; I was searching for beauty in the landscape.
While it wasn’t apparent at first glance, but when I looked closer, I found it in the
paths, bridges, and locks and in the old barns along the trail.
A pair of mallard ducks glide by. Wanting them to move closer, I slowly move to the
edge of the canal and they turn the other way. I turn again, and so do they. I smile
and leave them be without my trifling interference.
I think how lucky I am to live where I do. There are so many trails, parks, and lakes. And
we’re close to mountains and New York City, too. (Okay, I’m in my head now, and off the
trail so to speak, so I’ll give these thoughts a moment or two.)
I don’t often think of myself as lucky and silently wonder, do we make our own luck? No. Scratch that. That wasn’t what I truly know and believe. What do I really think? Yes. I think we do the footwork, we work to live more consciously and that the right people, opportunities, environments are provided regarding what our individual souls require and desire for this journey; and that.. Maybe. Well, sometimes shit just happens and sometimes you get lucky. I know that I don’t know for sure, and I’m not too proud to admit it. That is for sure! One thing I do know, is that getting back into the moment and practicing mindfulness, increases one’s capacity to see things from a larger perspective. The concept of wise mind is one that I seem to include in several posts; it’s so important..Wisdom. Wisdom is what is needed now,insight.
The wise mind integrates the head and the heart.
I think it has become challenging to be mindful these days. ~Challenging to calm the mind and relax the body when there is such a heavy intensity in the air due to the mass shootings across this nation In addition, there is increased violence all over the globe. Then, an increase level of stress related to the polarizing views and response to the violence which provokes and further incites reactivity. It’s difficult not to get caught up in reactionary behaviors ourselves.
This past weekend, I had a couple instances of looking at social media posts and articles on line, and my buttons were acutely pushed; my emotional mind was spinning like a top; More anger and fear was expressed in the numerous comments that followed. Clearly, reactive emotional responses. When a person behaves solely from emotional mind, often, what results is shame, regret, sadness, and blame.
My initial urge was to respond adamantly by engaging in my own message writing which I quickly realized would further stir the pot. This pot needs no further stirring! It is at a rapid boil. Mindfulness prevailed. I observed my feelings and thoughts and let them move on by. This, for me, was not the time or place to address these issues.
The challenge, I believe, is not to go unconscious and deny the level of intensity of the struggles that we are faced with in our lives. It is to be able to acknowledge both our emotional and rational minds without judgment, working to develop our Wise Mind (the observing ego). To do this, one needs ways to tolerate the distress that comes from stress response. We can develop mindfulness with ongoing practice. None of us is perfect.
One way to practice mindfulness is to go for a daily walk. Notice your surroundings. Just Observe what you see, hear, feel. Present moment awareness. When we live in the moment our suffering leaves, and we are able to begin to see the miracles of life. The present moment is the only moment that we have. It’s the only moment that we can experience and influence.
“The present moment is the field where the game of life is played.” ~Eckhart Tolle
I’m heading there, now. Back home to the present moment. It’s a pretty cool place to be.