Sweet Rest

I start to settle down.

First, it feels like this: a long breath, full body and whole, exhaled coincidentally with a gust of wind that catches in the tall tulip poplars. Then, it feels like the sunlight on a fall afternoon: direct, penetrating.

It only lasts for as long as it takes me to notice the feeling of being grounded. But oh, the strength of a shimmer! I can cultivate this feeling, really, I can. How long has it been? Months, perhaps? As a Buddhist, sometimes I curse the body for all the sense perceptions it invites, holds onto, makes stories out of. Other times, I am grateful for its teachings and for the literal feeling of grounding in the world that the body provides. The only happy medium I’ve found is to not expect a happy medium. Hah!

Things will work out, I tell myself. I do not need to be anxious now about my fourth semester. I do not need to be anxious now about what a budding relationship will look like in two months. I do not, and this one is hard for me, need to be anxious just because I didn’t do everything that possibly needed doing on my list of THINGS TO DO today. Yes, I can sweep, dust, rake, weed whack, split wood, move gravel, collect kindling, and fix the locust pole fence later. And even though I didn’t do those things today or even this weekend, I can do them soon. And that will have to be soon enough.

I have to repeat this to myself often enough to believe it. Then I have to keep going on walks and doing yoga to strengthen my ankle (this helps my sense of independence hugely). And most importantly, just remember to take one day at a time.

Here is one of my favorite Buddhist slogans: “When you realize you’re thinking, let the thoughts go.”

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