Sometimes life feels like I’m standing in front of one of those tennis ball dispensers without a racket. Am I the only one?
I woke up at 2 a.m. as usual to the unusual sound of silence in our home. The baby didn’t wake up, for the first time in months, for her usual middle of the night feed. I was ecstatic! But having been conditioned so well I was now stuck with nothing to do. And without the biological drain and hormonal influences on my sleep patterns which come after a baby feed – I was wired. And my brain was ticking.
Tossing and turning, my mind didn’t want to rest. And I was too physically tired from my previous day to want to actually do anything even as strenuous as read. So, I reached for my phone to mess about and thought to look up buying iPhone chargers (because I always misplace them) – and my device went dead…
I’m hoping some of you can relate. Or else my life is unique and everyone else has it together every day?
Annoyed – I made myself get up and do some work, it being 3 a.m. now and the perfect time to achieve everything. But sitting in front of the computer I was angry that I was the only person on the planet awake at this forsaken hour and started to rebel by looking at my desk and thinking how messy it was. I convinced myself I needed to write a list about everything in my life that needed to change right then and there. But my eyes were squinty in the light because they wanted to be closed… I was clearly in a rut, I couldn’t get out of. I got mad at myself.
So I said “Self! Self – we simply cannot have this! We have to work together. My mind is awake, but my body asleep. What are we going to do about it?” And because I couldn’t find an answer, I pulled up a cushion. Sat on it with my legs crossed and waited for the answer to come. I told myself, “Self, we simply aren’t doing anything else until we have a plan”.
“This is great I thought! NOT! I wanted to sleep but my mind is racing. I want to use my mind to wear it out, but my body doesn’t want to work. HMPH… Each is rebelling against the other and nothings getting accomplished. Not even sleep! I sat and I sat and I sat…and then it happened… I found myself “sitting in the moment.”
By sitting still – I was actually giving my mind something to focus on, because I wasn’t letting myself slouch or lie down, I was thinking about my posture and breathing. But by sitting still I was not active. I knew how to sit – I sat all the time – often while watching TV – telling myself I am resting.
People talk about this “being in the moment thing” like it’s fun, good, pleasant. It’s not, you know? Not at first…It’s more like sitting next to a frustrated baby who doesn’t know whether to play with a toy or cry because she doesn’t know what to do with it. It’s quite confronting. It’s quite unsettling. And it’s quite scary. Because you never really know what to do – because the baby can’t communicate its needs. All you can do (and all you’re supposed to do according to the experts), is sit there – and not DO but BE. Be empathetic. Be there. And for someone who likes to DO, it’s the most aggravating thing on the planet. EVER.
Slowly my stream of consciousness slowed and my body relaxed. As I sat there, in the moment… just being… Slowly, the world and everything in it seemed softer, clearer, simpler… and I thought maybe I could lie down a little? Interestingly – it had been less than 10 minutes.
Of course, then I had the idea that I had to tell everyone about this discovery and got up to type this out so you too could benefit from my enlightenment because I’m a Doer… You know what they say? -“You can’t change acrow into an echidna or a lion into a dove.” So hopefully, maybe next time, I will head back to sleep… maybe 🙂
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Happy Mothers Day from Ilana MendelsMay 12,2018