I’m trying to make sense of the times that we’re in.
It’s now been 3 weeks since the cubs have been with me. It could be more; I’ve lost count. I’m balancing the loneliness and vacuum with a morning wakeup call from eldest, lunchtime updates and Facetime at bedtime.
Thankfully, I’m also self-aware so I recognise the need to take action. Not before the Universe gives me a little more incentive.
First World Problems
During lockdown I stick to routine. Wake, wash, work or watch (movies..) workout, wepeat..
Then my wifi dropped out. I tried to put it into perspective (global pandemic and all) but as I sat down to do something else my stomach knotted, causing physical pain. Add to this, a digital date that I had been talking to for the past two months had gone cold and has enabled ghost mode. Bummer. Easy come; easy go but none the less, I took the signs.
‘ it’s not the journey that wears you down, its the stone in your shoe ‘
I sat on my sofa, looking out onto the freshly cut lawn and watched the sun stream in. I opened the windows. Thankfully, my ‘share the love for our music’ neighbours were yet to start broadcasting, allowing nature to flood in.
I switched everything off at the wall and sat down.
I decided to meditate. Something that I hadn’t done in a while. I decided to count backwards from 100, breathing; where in would be one count; out would be two. I closed my eyes and started.
This is actually harder than I thought. I saccade regressively (or whatever the cognitive equivalent is) and end up double counting.
The intrusive thoughts are immeasurable. Everything tries to push me off my path; I won’t let it happen.
I notice a tightness in my chest; I keep going.
My line manager pops up. We get into an argument about goodness knows what.
I create a grey, swirling mist and use my mind to push him back into it. I’m in control of my thoughts; they are not in control of me.
I noticed my teeth are clenched.
I can feel the morning air on my skin. I breathe it in. I breathe out pollution; dirt, more swirling mist and use my mind to push it away.
I unclench my teeth.
My posture relaxes and I find some extra softness in my seat.
I’m still hyper vigilant. It helps with my job but I’m not. there. now. That has to go too.
I start to go through rapid eye movement (REM). Usual for a sleep state but something I have done historically, whilst stressed and fully awake.
I recognise it.
I now hear my breathing. I slow it, I deepen it; I want to get past the tidal volume and into my reserves. If I can clear out the stale air inside me, I can reset my physical state and my mental state.
I look inside; I visualise my lungs; tidal, reserve out; fresh, clean, cool, in. I’m now actively controlling my diaphragm.
The count slows. The feeling is amazing.
Although my eyes are shut I can see the sunshine outside. It appears to be flowing into my lounge, into me.
I can feel the oxygenated blood moving through me after my heart and lungs exchange the gasses; what’s been used goes out; what I need comes in.
Birdsong. I’ve made much of this with the reduction in traffic and so have they. I can pick out individual songs; a blackbird; a very vocal robin, a song-thrush and some sparrows.
Nature is making the most of the lockdown.
I don’t want this to end. I slow my breath and count even further.
I do something I haven’t done in too long. I pick up a pen and begin to format a blog post. Just things that I’m thinking; just my thoughts..
And in the beginning
I’m reminded of who I am. My core identity that I rely on for everything. The strong foundation and self awareness that sees me through anything.
Times are tough but they could be a lot, lot worse.
At times like these, hold on to the positives.