I washed my hands for the first time in my life this morning
Ernie & I returned from our 4:15 AM outing. He was headed upstairs to tuck in to his pillow-fort for pre-breakfast winks. I headed to the sink to wash my hands.
I'm 49. Closing in on 50 in mere days. I have never before washed my hands as I experienced it this morning.
The coolness rippled between my fingers. My nerve endings swooned under gentle rivulets, imagining themselves in a waterfall far from the urban domesticity.
My breath caught.
How have I never felt exquisiteness in this habitual action before NOW? In 5 decades... nothing like this? Incredible.
IT IS THIS PRESENTNESS that is most magical in my days. And thankfully, I am awakening to how I experience my life as an endless source of re-newing.
One of the keys for me is concentrating on my physicality in each moment, ESPECIALLY moments when my gremlin mind-chatter keeping me "safe" (stifled) from "danger" (expansion) threatens to capsize my footing along my journey. Part of intuitive painting's power is in focusing me on the action the painting needs at this moment. Physical process is how I stay in the painting as it leads me to wherever we need to go.
My gremlin-chatter likes to look at end goals & criticize me for either not already being at my goal or raises doubts as to whether I am capable or deserving of reaching my desired aim.
As soon as I give attention to that doubtful noise, my body responds with fatigue. On my morning run, if I think "this hill is really a bugger, I'm not feeling very vigorous," my legs suddenly feel heavy, my brain tells me to walk, & I resent the hill for making me feel a failure. BUT if I am not invested in the top of the hill I am climbing as the be-all, I focus instead on THIS STEP. Does that footfall feel good? Was that an owl I heard? Wow, my breathing is relaxed. Hmm, tension in my fingers, relax my hand. ALL OF A SUDDEN, I am going down the other side of the uphill. Of course, it's not all of a sudden. I ASCENDED the hill with good old-fashioned step by step gusto. But my EXPERIENCE of it was not that of WANTING TO BE DONE but of APPRECIATING THIS STEP.
That sense of wanting to be other than we are is doom for me. My body listens to those thoughts & starts to give out. Such a spoiler for life. Wanting to be where we are not.
That sense of being alive to this moment brings a freshness to the ordinary, for this moment's vitality is unlike any we have ever experienced previously. Who knew washing my hands for the zillionth time could feel so unexpected?
Do you swing between both experiences, too?
TRY FOR YOURSELF:
When the gremlin chatter grows loud in our mind, bring all our concentration to the physical feelings in this moment. Then the next. Then the next. Pretty soon we realize we interrupted the loop of "danger" or "this is hard" in our brain... and we may well have opened ourselves to a new experience... a juiciness of partnering with each moment as our daily practice, feeling more wonder + vitality in our daily living.
I'd love to hear your experiences... how do you stay connected with your truth, your presentness when the mind-talk is derailing your oomph?
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