I have many days free this time of the year. Easily sucked into the anxiety surrounding me and within me, I am not enjoying the free time. Logically, realistic reasons exist, but, as with anything, getting caught in that frenzy of what is not, what I do not have, what I need is keeping me out of the present moment. Yes, I can say at this present moment I need to pay rent, but this very second I do not. I don’t need to pay it for another week. Not that I am going to shirk paying it, but a clear anxiety-free mind and spirit is more likely to attract what I need. I am not observed as anxious and wouldn’t consider what I am feeling fear, but it is. Any time there’s number crunching, hiding away, ruminative thoughts, lots of planning on paper without a result, the person’s mind is effectively “closed for business”, is stuck, and energy is stagnating. Really the only “cure” is going out or going in and connecting. I am unproductive in attaining my goals when stagnated in rumination and long-term daydream-like planning. I had side-work which would have brought in a little money, but I can do it tomorrow. Clearing my mind with this exercise seemed important plus I was dying for a chunk of time to absorb a book.
So I tried it for a day. Friday.
I rolled out of bed at 7, smiling, no, smirking. No reason, but I guess I was giving permission for the day to unfold. I reheated yesterday’s coffee since I was out of coffee beans. I observed my sunny neighborhood from the window over the stove while I breathed in the coffee aroma and steam from the coffee wisped my chin. I took a deep breath. I prepared the living room for a morning of loungy reading; curtains wide open, Sam’s bed on her chair and my blanket, coffee, notebook and book ready. I actually started with a meditation which got the happiness rolling with its focus on interconnecting with nature to reconnect to the joy point. I could hear kids start piling into the schoolyard across the street as I finished the meditation. I was able to read the Book of Ruth (all three pages of it -yep, the Bible) and the heady TCM book for a few hours, ate my lunch for breakfast, and headed out to find some nature with no view of the city. Leaving the jumble of city energy is strong medicine for me but that was not possible today. I could feel all this bound energy just unravel from my chest as I watched the animals, water and every-so-slightly budding trees around me as well as absorbed everything I read at home. I breathed easily and deeply.
The cold finally numbing me, I went home to eat my breakfast for lunch, and crack open the books. This time, I looked for some good quotes from Beat-era authors. I only found a couple, both from Joyce Johnson, “I believe in the curative powers of love as the English believe in tea or Catholics believe in the Miracle of Lourdes” and “He took extraordinary pleasure in small things like that”. I think those are the themes for my day though I felt myself physically scoffing the first quote. I was searching for joy in the little things and waiting for it to cure what ails me.
I returned to reading my TCM book for a few hours and I broke for tea and toast, a little French cafe music, and playtime with Sam. Now hearing the kids running out of the schoolyard to the streets, I realized I spent an entire day without anxious thoughts and feelings, without chest tightness, without number crunching, just reading and being in the moment.
I now have the task, nay opportunity, of maintaining this feeling moment after moment after moment. Watch out, it might be catching!
PS friends asked what were my reverse meals. Nothing exciting. Lunch-for-breakfast was grilled almond cheese on gluten free bread with hummus and breakfast-for lunch was a granny smith apple with sunflower seed butter.