This morning I was in rapid work mode. I’m one of those all or nothing types. I’m fast and furious or I’m stopped. When I’m producing, I produce until I I’m bleary eyed, my brain is mush and my back is screaming, but when I’m stopped it takes an act of God (like, really) to move me.
When I’m stopped I’m at peace, soooo at peace. I’m so content. And when I’m creating, I’m so on fire, so inspired.
They are both great spaces, so I’m good either way! What I find interesting though are the interruptions to either states of being. Ya know, like my kids needing to eat or something. When I’m at peace I can move through those motions in such harmony, loving what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and who I’m doing it for-I’ve trained myself to do that over the years and it’s an automatic response when I’m starting from a quiet place. But when I’m in hyper-work mode I find that my mind doesn’t quit figuring , planning, and creating just because 've left the space that my body was working in.
Today I was in rapid mode for a few hours. Loving it. Then it was time to take Tony to an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation of his knee which was dislocated a couple of times last week (it happened during an audition for a musical….”break a leg!”….really?!). Anyhow, we were halfway there and I suddenly realized that. Really, I suddenly realized I was driving, to the orthopedic surgeon, with my son sitting next to me. My mind was so active somewhere other than where I was that I wasn’t really even there.
I know I’m not the only one.
So, phew. Deep breath. Okay. Got it.
And a couple of minutes later it happens again!
My mind is out of control.
It’s not even wandering, it’s frantically running at full speed-somewhere else.
Now, I’m a pretty mindful person. I meditate every day. I do deep breathing exercises. I even sit down and score-yeah, SCORE-the quality of my thoughts and compare them to the quality of my experiences. And I can’t seem to get my self in this car with my kid.
The mind is a funny thing. It just loves to calculate, to find problems to solve-it looks for them, problems, that is. And if it can’t find one fast enough, it will create one! I mean, literally, it will MAKE ONE UP! Have ya noticed that? You’ve got about 7 seconds of consciousness in the morning before your mind knows you’re awake and starts looking for problems to solve.
I know you know it.
The funny thing is, I was enjoying it…I just love that active mental state. It wasn’t like I was letting my mind wander around the dark alleys and the scary places, it was running around in a playground I love playing in. I didn’t really want to get off the swings and get in the car with my kid. I was having fun!
Eventually I had to talk some sense into myself and parent the toddler in my head. Remembering and reminding my self that what I was about to do needed my attention, not just in the doctor’s office but most importantly in the moments before I got there. The moments before we do anything are the most important moments of all. Mental preparation makes-or lack of it breaks-everything we do. Not to mention the opportunity of the present moment in the car with my son that I was missing completely!
”Okay, fine”, I thought reluctantly, and I pulled myself into the present moment. Once my mind joined my body in the car, with my son, on the way to the orthopedic surgeon; peaceful and happy joined us for the ride. And we had a lovely and informative visit with the surgeon who even took the time to give me some advice about my crackly neck. (Tony needs 8 weeks of PT, all is well).
How to get back:
It really can be difficult to get present, especially if you haven’t done much training.
It’s almost like expecting a three-year-old to respond favorably to an unwanted request when he’s never been disciplined. And for many people, it’s easier not to fight it, just like it’s easier for some parents to let the three year old sit with the IPAD for hours rather than listening to him cry when it's taken away. You know what that toddler becomes over a long period of time without structure and discipline? That’s what some of you have got in your heads!
Usually, closing my eyes, bringing my gaze to the third eye and entering a slightly meditative state with a chant or two can do the trick; but let’s face it, there are times that’s not practical-like while driving, for example! That’s when I ask myself a series of four questions:
1.Where Am I?
2. What am I doing?
3. Why am I doing it?
4. Who am I going to be while doing it?
And I always pretty it up and add doses of gratitude to it, for the vibrational pick me up! For example, today went like this:
1. Where am I? I’m in my beautiful white Lexus, driving down a stunning country road with this amazing boy of mine on the second day of spring and the sun is shining! YAY!
2. What am I doing? I’m going to an orthopedic surgeon
3. Why am I doing it? Because my awesome son needs help and I love, love, looooveeeee him.
4. Who am I going to be while doing it? I am present, attentive, and focused. I am awake and aware. I am the light.
Ahhhhhhhh. I'm back. Here I am. Works every time.
And remember, here is where God is, right here, right now. If for no other reason, stay out of those dark alleys of the past and scary corners of the future. God’s not there.
Come on back now, ya’ here?
*****The four questions were introduced to me by Neale Donald Walsh in Awakening The Species*****