I’m having one of those weeks.
You know the ones I mean—when it seems like the planet is spinning in one direction, you’re running in circles going the opposite direction, and nothing quite makes sense. The days pass quickly in a whirl of activity but also so s-l-o-w-l-y at the same time that you begin to question, well, everything.
You start to ask yourself questions like:
>> Did you actually turn on the washing machine or did you just put the clothes into it and walk away?
>> Where did you leave your keys? Because, they’re definitely not in any of the likely, or unlikely, places.
>> When was the last meal you ate? Be honest.
>> Why am I here in this room, and how long have I been standing here trying to remember the answer to this question?
Pretty soon you’re feeling winded and shaky, tired, and rundown.
And it’s then that you realize you are winded and shaky, tired, and rundown and you don’t have to be. Yeah, you read that right: You don’t have to be.
I don’t know about you, but I know that I sometimes forget to meditate. I forget to stop and breathe. I forget to appreciate life going on around me because I’m lost in the minute details of trying to stay afloat.
This week I was kicking my feet and making waves, trying desperately to keep swimming, until I looked up and realized that I was in the shallow end of the wave pool. I could stand up. My feet could touch the ground, and delicately, I eased myself out of my own wave pool.
Life is chaotic. Even in the chaos—perhaps most often in the chaos—we need to keep ourselves rooted in the mindful life, in the practice of being in the now.
Nothing helps me root myself in the present more than my breath. Several years ago when I was facing a deadline, a friend sent me a link to help me stay calm. It was an almost-joke. She was serious, but the “tool” I found at the other end of the link was laughable. A GIF? Really?
She promised it would help, and it did. And it still does. It brings me back to the present moment every single time I open it and now I’d like to share it with you.
This is perhaps my favorite thing on the internet.
Why? Because it’s impossible not to smile when you realize that it has pulled you into the moment, calmed your breath, and brought you back to yourself.
It simply works.