My thoughts were going a mile a minute this morning. I was on my way to my yoga practice; it was a gorgeous, sunny spring morning; and I was caught in a situation in my mind, trying to figure it out, going over and over – and over and over – what wasn’t working and why.
It didn’t feel good.
But I was caught in it. I described and defended and detailed to myself all the things that were wrong and all the reasons I was upset. I outlined my position – my “justified” position – as I had, in my mind, many times before.
Again, it didn’t feel good.
It didn’t feel good, but again I was caught in it…or so I thought.
I write it here, I teach it to clients, I announce to just about anyone who will listen (which, I get, may annoy those around me) that we have a choice about what we think about and where we put our energy. That we have more control over our thoughts and our brain than we think we do. That we have the ability (even when we think we don’t) to “pick up our brain and put it somewhere else.”
I write that. I teach that. I announce that. And I forget that. But somehow, this morning, on my walk to my yoga studio, I remembered. Even as I got caught in my endless, over and over again loop, I remembered.
I somehow noticed that my thought patterns were bringing me further into frustration and a bit of fuming. I noticed that I was stuck in a spiral of complaining and justifying. I noticed that it didn’t feel very good. And so, I stopped.
I, instead, looked up at the blue sky and noticed, instead, the sunshine beaming down on me. I noticed, instead, as I often do, the crisp outline of the trees against the beautiful blue sky. I noticed, instead, the multitude of flowers along the path. And I felt myself ease and soothe into joy.
Right then, right there, I was in joy. I chose it. I looked for it. I allowed it.
I made my way into the yoga studio, lay down on my mat to focus on my breath before class, and remembered someone I wanted to let know about my reading this week in Great Neck, NY. I keep my phone with me in class, on every and all kinds of silent, so I held my Siri button down and whispered, “Remind me to call Peggy at 11.” Well, I guess I whispered too quietly, because Siri didn’t hear me, and as everyone around me was also lying on their yoga mats focusing on their breath, the loud, British Siri voice shouted from my phone, “Tell me what you want me to remind you of.”
I pushed every button I could to get Siri to shut up. To no avail. The class around me broke out in laughter, teacher included. I was mortified, and the perhaps explicable perhaps inexplicable overwhelming shame engulfed me. I knew that my mistake was a silly, little mistake, and that no one would remember it. No one at all. I also knew, in my false sense of knowing, that my mistake exemplified how “wrong” I was and that, please excuse me for this one, I deserved to die for my mistake – at least figuratively, if not literally.
Again, I somehow noticed that my thoughts were bringing me someplace I didn’t need to go. I didn’t deserve to go. I didn’t want to go. I noticed that I was, once again, listening to lies in my head. That my thinking was stinking, and that I could, once again, pick up my brain and put it somewhere else.
So, again, I did. I ceased the ceaseless negativity in my brain, put my hand on my heart, took a deep breath, and gave myself (again) a huge dose of self-compassion. And again, I felt myself ease and soothe.
Right here, right now, I can be in joy. It is a choice that I sometimes have to make minute-by-minute. It is a choice that I sometimes have to make over and over again. But it is a choice that I can make and that I’m remembering to make, more and more. And more and more.
Right here, right now, I am in joy. I choose it. I look for it. I allow it.
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