finding time for zen

I feel paralyzed today. The news is full of chaos, a tragedy happened at my neighbor’s house, the skies are grey and cold, and the world seems like a cruel place. I feel like I am letting myself drown in a cacophony of self-consciousness and anxiety. So how do I stop? How do I live in the moment?

If I could pick up the phone and ask God a question right now, that’s what I would ask. I wouldn’t want him to tell me about the future, or answer all of my whys, I’d just want to know: how can I live in the moment?

breatheBreathe.

He’d tell me to breathe.

Take a really deep breath. The kind where it hurts as it fills parts of your lungs that don’t get used, that are left alone, that have fallen into amnesia. Let it out slowly. Don’t rush the air out, filled with emotion. Close your eyes. Breathe.

Love.

He’d tell me to love. Love how curious Dom is and that he wants to know about everything. “Why? why? why?” Love Gabbi’s smiles, even in the middle of the night when you’re switching sides while nursing, trying not to make eye contact to wake her up, but she catches a glimpse of your vision and gives you the biggest smile. Love Nathan’s constant support as he works a difficult job to support our small family and then comes home and holds a crying baby so I can eat some dinner. Love your friends. Love your neighbor that you don’t know how to possibly help right now. Love.

Don’t focus on the future. That becomes worry. And don’t ruminate on the past.

Don’t think too hard about what you’re thinking about.

Relish and luxuriate in the moment.

Breathe. (You already lost focus on that.)

Stop looking at the clock.

And accept the emotion of this moment.

Currently, I am still feeling anxious. I could list off the reasons why I am anxious, but that puts my focus on the worry I can so easily shape about the future. So instead, I will try to accept it. I am feeling anxious right now. And even though anxiety, I know, is a negative emotion, it’s what has my tummy tied all up in knots and it’s not going away with a simple snap of my fingers. I feel anxious. It just is.

I will breathe.

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5 comments

  1. Perfect response, especially when nothing is perfect. I need this—accept each emotion as it happens. Live and let it flow through you. Good advice, Larrie.

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  2. Yes, let your body feel the anxiety. Worse things happen when you try to ignore it, or push it away. And yes, breathe. Breathe, breath, breathe. Love to you, my friend.

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  3. this is one of my favorite of your posts. such wise thoughts. why worry afterall? things tend to work out eventually. and meanwhile worrying just makes them worse, so take the frozen advice and let it go. just breathe. slow, full, deep, and exhale all the way. managing anxiety is a wonderful practice. hugs to you guys. i hope peace returns soon.

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