I’ve done enough searching from the top self-help shelf to the bottom of my yoga mat to know that the key to feeling freakin’ awesome is to drain your brain.
And then, the Secret is to take that space and in its place, plant one pure, positive thought and hold onto it for just 17 seconds. Stick on that note for 68 seconds, and the vibration manifests.
Excellent in theory, so freakin’ hard in reality.
Summer, however, naturally lends itself to putting it all to rest, as some of the usual mind-bending daily logistics (i.e., carpools, lunch-making) melt in the sweet summer sun.
Now that we’re in the last throes of all that, the urge to purge at least once before the gerbil wheel starts spinning 24/7 again is all the more urgent. For me, the warning signal pinged my inbox recently when I got my first “SignUp Genius” invitation of the year. Seeing its noxious orange and green banner made me run for the hills…. well, at least to rummage though my closet to find my yoga mat.
When I sat down in the minimalist studio, I figured I was out of the woods, at least for one blessed moment.
And then, the random thoughts started coming:
Who the hell would ask Blake Lively to “edit” a “lifestyle blog‘?
I’m getting on a plane soon… will the Ebola virus be hiding in the air vents?
Will there ever be peace in the Middle East?
Did I fill in that goddamn Sign Up Genius?
Why are my thoughts so random?
WHY DO I HAVE ANY THOUGHTS? They’re supposed to be drifting by like white fluffy clouds. That’s what the teacher JUST said.
Meanwhile, my thoughts are like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man — gigantic, terrible, sticky messes that cling to any smooth and calm surface they can find.
So, then, I wonder, who ya gonna call? Maybe being in the moment is something only women borne with ironic silver spoons in their mouths (“cereal killer”) and effortlessly tousled fishbone braids can achieve.
Try as I may, listening to my breath just makes me tired, and rushing home from yoga class is exhausting.
Got places to go, people to see — always. A few days pass, and I’m shacked up for the first and last bittersweet vacation this summer. (No, not a staycation –although that’s helpful, too.) I’m a little anxious about cranking out my Bitch’in Suburbia blog post this week; we’re so busy “relaxing” that I’m not sure when I’m going to squeeze it in.
I ask my BBF what I should write about. My brain is too damn drained to think of one more clever thing.
“Being in the moment,” she says sweetly, and then she shares something she had kicking around her inbox (NOT a SignUp Genius, thank goodness!).
This one minute meditation from Martin Boroson called, “A Mint for Your Mind”:
Everything can get stale, even your mind. Especially if you don’t pay attention to it.
Fortunately, you can refresh your mind with just a moment of meditation. Simply close
your eyes and lose yourself in your breathing. When you open your eyes, you might
just have that tingly feeling … a mind that feels brand new.
Hmmm…. a mind mint. Sounds refreshing, and so I try it.
But then seconds in, someone starts yelling, and another voice chimes in, and I can’t help but yell back, and then, it’s all stale once again.
Fuck the moment, I think, as I head out to the kitchen to get dinner started.
The next day there is morning chaos, followed by frantic packing up for the beach, and the trek in the hot sun down the street to the shore.
I am trailing the kids, and suddenly a thought strikes that almost pushes me to my knees. The same four heads that are bobbing down the street, laughing loudly, pausing occasionally to playfully slug someone in the shoulder or fix a bath suit wedgie were, about five seconds ago, babies in strollers, then toddlers, and last time we were here, goofy 10 year-olds.
This is the kind of thought that strikes me with some frequency, and when those time flies realizations zoom through my mind, I can’t help but wish there was some magic clock that could freeze it all right here, right now.
And then I realize, there is: just gotta stop thinking that time is a bitch, and instead, practice the things that will make her my bitch.
So I stop wishing things could slow down, and the rest of the afternoon, I listen to the sweet laughter of the children, suck in the salty, pungent, ocean air, feel the hot sun singe my left shoulder just a bit too much, and sink into the sand with gratitude.
So if you see me lingering as the sun sets over the ocean, just know that I’m in the moment, watching the clouds drift by. After all, yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift — which is why we call it the present (Joan Rivers said that — funny, ha?)
Speaking of presents, here’s a freebie from Blake Lively’s new “lifestyle” site, Preserve.us. Intriguingly, it’s pretty much the same theme as this week’s blog, but (spoiler alert!) it includes a chick painting the words “amaze balls” in glitter and that moment made me laugh harder than anything else in recent history. And… You’re welcome.