Woke up to another frigid fall morning, but all forecasts point to another scorching afternoon. I’m feeling good despite my late start and lazy bones. We’re on the downhill side of the week and the work and as we make our way to the weekend, there’s promise of more time to myself and a little space to think.
My pocket notebook has been filling fast these past days, but my larger ones—the journal and the planner—are languishing, unloved at home. I miss the surprising insights that come from such private expression and the chance to document the days before the nightly culling of mundane facts in favor of space and efficiency.
I keep saying to myself that I don’t have the time, but I know I do. I watched three episodes at least last night of Reservation Dogs and while the show was entertaining and certainly took my mind off the day, there is more I could have done. It’s not so much a drive to be productive, but a simple need to feel fulfilled.
When I reflect on how I spend my time, how I eat, the things I say, and all the things I don’t do, I feel more regret than pride. I wonder, who is that person? And why can’t she do the good thing, the right thing, the hard thing? I feel out of control as if I’m made of little more than a cobbling together of cravings and reflexes. I’m troubled by how little of who I am turns out to be my choice.
But I’d like to change. I’d like to be more aware. It starts with noticing the body. The way my physical self feels and moves. It starts with noticing my need, my hunger, my hurts. It takes slowing down and noting the position, posture, and proximity of my body to people and objects and moving toward or away with purpose.
Some takeaways so far: 1. I tend to tense rather than relax into a slouched posture. 2. The muscles of my lower abdomen clench when I am stressed the way others might in the jaw or shoulders. 3. I hold my breath often as if I am waiting for something—or bracing for a blow—that never comes.
Forcing the shoulders back, the spine straight, and taking a deep breath helps relax the gut and soften the disposition.