By Julia Prentice
This will have been my fourth major move in 12 years.
I am faced with weeks of unpacking and settling, repositioning and relegating. So far having unpacked about 30 boxes, there are many handy things not yet found. The worst: the shipping company lost my husband’s desk. I was trying keep mindful of the endgame of having a bigger place and paying much less, as a prize for moving to the East Coast. Still, little things annoy me and my typical calm nature is strained.
SO, am I meditating? Barely. Am I practicing yoga? Well, a few times.
Now you could say there isn’t enough time, but I know that is a big cop out. The trick is to make time— make a quiet soothing place to do these things. To be mindful of the cup of tea, the pretty trees blooming, the comfort of my cat on my lap. These can bring me back to center, if I just make the effort to be in the now.
I read an article about habits and procrastination. I don’t remember all of it, but it made the argument for why we can struggle with forming new habits. We are hard-wired for survival, and that means paying attention to the basics (food, shelter, safety). The ancestor that was distracted didn’t survive, so habitual activities helped species preservation.
I don’t know if that is true, but I and many others know that creating a new habit is quite easy, but performing it daily or at least regularly is not.
So why is mindfulness so unattainable for me? I have had much training and even trained others in breathing techniques, guided meditation and relaxation practices. But doing them myself consistently is the difficulty. Sometimes my mindfulness turns to dreadful worry—not peaceful at all. Then I am roasted on the spit of my own imagination. It takes acts of will to escape the dread in my mind or the chaos around me. Piles of boxes, random jetsam of life in abnormal placement can rock my psyche. And then, all I have to do is close my eyes, breathe, and relax into the peace of it.
I will do it today, I will do it now.
(Or perhaps not).
A deeply feeling Cancer, Julia has been writing poetry since her teen years. She lives in NC with her soulmate and furry companion. An ASL interpreter, current passionate peer supporter of persons with mental health challenges and knitter, crafter and singer. Published in five six anthologies and many online journals and blogs.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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