It's November finally in Nebraska. The fall cold swooped out of Canada last night and brought a thin layer of ice to the deck. The roses on my mini rose tree are frozen this morning. Finally the end has come for the last little flowers blooming in the sun.
I have been very busy. Very grateful. But busy. When I get too busy I forget to breathe. I forget to pay attention. I end up on a treadmill of returning calls and e mails and lists in my head about what I should do next. All of this is sprinkled with anxiety as the holidays blare through the minutia of my day to scream "THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO DO!!"
When I get like this, I know I am slipping away from mindfulness. I am drawn to a quick fix, a quick escape. A bite of this, a bite of that. Eat fast...hope that somewhere in that food there is an escape or some kind of sustenance for my soul when tiredness and numbness takes me over.
This morning, I went back to my basics. One, I crave my meditation this morning. I crave the quietness of a sunday morning. I am craving mindfulness. I want to be in my brain and body this morning to see what is really going on. To rally my forces as I contemplate this day. My basics? A cup of tea and a breath. I took a deep breath just now. I felt the back pain, the knee pain, the weirdness of my stomach from all the surgeries. My sinuses. I felt it all. I said "hello" and I made a commitment not to leave my body. Not right now. I stay.
While I was making my tea, I paid attention to the smells. I sniffed each flavor as I chose which tea would brew in my cup. Peach. It's always peach tea. Not always, sometimes I choose the dark English breakfast tea, but this morning it's peach. I boil the water and I pay close attention to the steam rising in my kitchen. I can feel the slight shift in humidity on this cold morning. I load the tea leaves into the bowl that will sit in my cup of hot water and turn it into a fragrant lovely drink. Thousands of years old this tradition. And this morning, I mindfully contemplate this tradition in so many different cultures. The tea of asia, England, Scotland, Ireland, America. The dialectic comes to mind. How simple to make a cup of tea, and yet, not simple to bring tea to my home. The planting, growing, and delivery of tea to my table. Complex. Simple and complex. Easy and hard. I send out an imaginary thank you to those who bent their backs to bring my tea.
As I bring the tea to my lips, the first thing I notice is the fragrance. The perfume of peach and the perfume of tea leaves. As I smell the tea my salivary glands react to the impending sip of delicious scented water. This morning, I pay attention. In connecting with my body, I notice that I am not hungry. I notice no stress. I notice achy muscles, and I thank them. I live with pain. It's only pain. No more, no less than any other day. Maybe less.
I look out at my oak tree whose orange leaves are fading to brown, but still after all that wind, full of leaves. I notice the marks on the oak from when we hung a hammock under the tree and I remember when my boys lived here and our first dog Molly getting caught in the tree. I remember laying on the hammock with 3 year old Bri and staring at the sky looking at stars. All in the marks on that tree.
I take another sip of tea and commit to peace in my heart. I am not going to feel like a victim today. I am not going to pay attention to the wrong doing of others, but instead to my reactions to the way the world is. I am going to commit to monitor my reactions for effectiveness. I am going to try to live connected to my body.
I don't know why I want to float away so badly at times. But the "why" does not matter. I can feel bad and guilty for all the ways I have fought with "now" but that would be living in the past and would not serve me in my endeavor today. So for today, I am going to stay in right now. I am going to sip each drink of tea and taste it. I am going to taste each morsel of food instead of focusing on the outcome of "getting the meal done". I am going to stay in this minute instead of worrying about each different part of this day.
Blessings as you find the joy in each moment.