I walked to the bank today to make a deposit. It is very satisfying to do my errands on foot. As I walked I was starting to obsess and I realized that the content didn't matter. Whatever story my mind was weaving was bringing me out of the present. I could use it as a vehicle to come back no matter what it is.
I can even be grateful for my worries if I can see them as a signpost that I have wandered away from my center. Then I can draw my circle around myself and breathe into my body and bring myself back. When I want to pick my nails I can notice wanting to pick my nails and bring myself back to the sensation in my body. I have been practicing today. When I want to pick my nails or eat when I'm not hungry I am anxious. If I can embrace the anxiety and be with myself with it, it is possible to interrupt the behaior before it happens. It is empowering to show up for myself and see these behaviors as a strategy to avoid being present with what is. They keep me from experiencing and releasing and moving through it. My ego tells me that whatever is in my experience is too scary to feel or it won't do any good anyway or that I am weak for feeling it in the first place. There is a world of difference between bullying myself to"Get over it" and compassionately bringing my attention to myself saying, "I understand that you could feel this way. I care about you or I care about your suffering." Bringing my breath to whatever I am experiencing and moving down from my head to my body allows me to be present with what is. I am learning I can use anything that comes up to return myself to the present. I don't even have to criticize myself for thinking what I am thinking,"You're thinking THAT again". Even if I do I can use the criticism of my thoughts to bring myself to my breath. I learned some strategies to avoid being present. Then I learned some stories about those strategies and some core beliefs to keep them in place. In my circle breathing into my body right here and right now, I remember who I am beyond all of that. With it I forgive myself for not remembering. I am learning to recognize when I am calling for my own attention and actually giving myself the attention I am calling for. I remember a quote by Eda LeShan that I used in my book. "The little girl inside me just wanted to be loved, to be held to be listened to. I gave her food instead." What do you give yourself when what you want is your own attention? When could you take a moment to draw your circle around yourself, create a boundary for you to be with you and give yourself that attention. I am going to stop writing now and go hang out on my living room floor in my circle.