Deep Breaths: The Peace found in The Pause
7:20am or so I wake up to my dog incessantly scratching himself. He has allergy problems that keep him from sleeping, as well as anyone else in the room. I feel bad for him and know I need to get up to go get his medication. I notice feeling annoyed that he woke me up, and I feel bad about that.
I spend some mindless time glancing at social media and notice 25 minutes have passed. I notice judgements that come along with what I read, what I see. The annoyed feeling climbs, and I tell myself I'm wasting time. I get up and get moving.
I notice the expectations I have of others as my day gets started, though they are not communicated. My irritability becomes welcomed by willfulness, which accompanies me as I move myself along the morning. I'm asked how i'm doing, and say "fine" in a quick way. I can feel myself carrying along the sourness from not sleeping, from the mindless meandering and from my to do list. I start to feel annoyed for being asked how i'm doing, and the willfulness carries on.
I'm off to get the medications for the pup, and notice the frustration brewing as I get a check in call, because I didn't seem "fine" this morning, I insist, and list the reasons that I have for not being "happy" in the moment-"I'm tired, I don't feel well, I'm stressed, I'm overwhelmed-Ok?"-and I don't want to talk about it anymore either.
As I drive back home, I stop to get myself something to eat and leave without getting my change. I'm frustrated with myself (as I've been) and the willful part of myself is feeling satisfied with my behavior, as well as the small (but noticeable) critical thoughts that come with it.
It's 8:36am now, "it's going to be one of those days"-that thought starts to settle in. I notice this thought, and choose to be curious instead of blindly accepting it as fact. I say to myself "this is a new moment, this is a new moment" and remind myself that a series of disappointment and frustration does not have to turn into a day of it. I call my partner to acknowledge my frustration and my mood, apologize for being short. I am able to begin turning the morning around by allowing myself to let it stay in the past.
The phrase "this is a new moment" may seem trivial; but for me, it's the difference between a bad moment and a bad day, a bad day and a bad week, or a bad month and a bad year. It feels so easy to get stuck in what has been instead of what is. I find that willfulness feels welcome to settle in when i'm feeling frustrated, especially when i'm frustrated with myself.
When I can pause to acknowledge where i'm at, what i'm feeling (in a way that is not judging the experience) I can see where I am prolonging suffering instead of allowing it to pass. I don't choose how I feel, though I am responsible for how I respond. Taking a pause, a deep breath to find a moment of clarity gives me a chance to see the moment for exactly what it is; merely a drop in an endless sea. I know that this will happen again as mindfulness is a practice (it always will be), but i'm comforted in knowing that this practice, these skills are a part of my life.
How can my morning be of service to you? Consider this: the next time you notice frustration, see if you can observe it and allow it to pass, as it is meant to do.
May you be well,