I’ve practiced mindfulness a long time and it’s greatly improved my ability to be present in the moment. I don’t experience as much attachment. I’m more quick to catch myself not being mindful and then bam, I’m back in the present. I’m even able to do this during more uncomfortable or painful experiences.
Due to this, I’m much more engaged in my life and the benefits are infinite. Time seems to slow down. I’m less reactive. I feel more gratitude. I’m more joyful, at peace, and experience clarity to a greater degree. Overall, it’s been the best thing ever.
But it isn’t always easy. Sometimes it seems to entirely escape me. Like today.
I had an awesome weekend. I mean awesome! So awesome that this morning I woke up with a bit of a buzz kill.
I don’t normally have a negative reaction to Mondays. I love my work and have a funky schedule so Mondays aren’t a whole lot different than any other day of the week.
But since I didn’t do any work over the weekend, I woke up knowing I had a lot of responsibilities to take care of. More work than it seemed there was time for so I worried about how I’d fit it in and what to prioritize.
There’s also been a lot of heavy stuff in the emotional atmosphere lately. This requires a very specific mindset to hold the space for people to process it all. A mindset I didn’t particularly feel prepared for when the sun rose this morning.
So I spent most of the morning fighting it.
I mindlessly scrolled through my phone, which is never a inspirational start to the day. Eventually I swung my legs over the side of the bed and placed my feet to the floor. This was only after I couldn’t take the sounds of the dog whining any longer. I let him out and then questioned my decision to get a dog altogether as he continued to whine while I had a bit of breakfast and finished my morning free write. Mind you this fool chose to sleep for approximately 36 hours and now he wanted me to take him out!
I then forced myself to take the dog on a run because I had a training run planned anyway and he desperately needed the exercise. The entire time I ruminated about how tired I was, how much I didn’t want to be running, how the dog sucks at running, how I don’t want to do the rest of the day. Then the dog freaked out when someone opened their front door and almost took me out in his effort to sprint away from this threat.
After my initial frustration toward the dog, I told myself I had to get it together. He was probably picking up on my crappy attitude. I also didn’t particularly want to spend the rest of my day feeling like this or create crappy karma. So I focused on my breath, felt the physical sensations I’d been avoiding, and allowed the thoughts to pass through my head without fixating so much on them.
And now I feel great!
Okay, maybe not quite great but I feel much better after accepting that I’m feeling disappointed. Still, I don’t want to live in the weekend past or anticipation that this week won’t live up to the last couple days. I don’t know that it won’t be even more amazing. Or if it isn’t that’s just life. Plus I’m judging it all as good or bad anyway. But this is where I’m at right now and when I’m mindful it’s okay.
Also, in the irony of the powers that be, as soon as I accepted my crabbiness in all its glory, my schedule cleared to allow more time for some of the things I worried I may not have time to get to today, including this. It isn’t easy but the magic truly is in the present moment.