It’s been about a week since I set up this site and committed to figuring out a way to handle my anxiety, restless energy and other things that were/are getting in my way of leading a healthier and more balanced life. I’ve meditated *almost* every day, and am feeling slightly more in control of what’s going on in my head.
The other night, I was listening to a guided meditation about anxiety from the 10 Percent app (which is rad, by the way). My mind would not stop racing and I was certainly not feeling very meditative. I think the narrator of the meditation had suggested finding a mantra or phrase to repeat when feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Or maybe she didn’t. I honestly can’t remember. What I do remember is the following words popping into my head.
You are here.
They grounded me faster than focusing on my breath ever has, and it startled me.
As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I struggle with this stuff. I am a skeptic, despite reading countless books and blogs and articles about other skeptics who have successfully found their way towards mindfulness and a sense of peace. So to all of a sudden find myself firmly rooted in present, even for a fleeting moment, was a surprise.
It’s easy for me to race ahead of myself, even when I’m not feeling actively anxious. I’ll start thinking about what I should make for lunch, and the next thing I know, I will find myself meal planning and prepping for the next week. Or I’ll start responding to an email, which will remind me of another task I need to complete, and within half an hour I’m so far from that original email that I can’t even remember what it was about.
When I’m feeling agitated, that racing mind kicks into overdrive. I’ll think about a single task that needs doing, and that thought will splinter into dozens of directions – other things I may need to do, semi-related tasks that could take priority, other things I could be doing instead of that one task… it makes it hard to move forward when it feels like you’re always at a crossroads of a million different paths. Seriously, even making lunch can sometimes feel like navigating one of those crazy traffic circles in the UK. (At least I think so. I’ve never actually done that).
You are here.
In that meditative moment, when those words came to me, I think I truly realized the power of the present for the first time. I am here. I can’t be in more than one place at once, I can’t split myself into a million pieces and go in a million different directions, I can’t race into the future and predict the outcomes of my current actions. I am here. And here is all that I can control.
Since then, I’ve tried adopting those three words as a bit of a mantra. Whenever I start to feel like a whirlwind, I try to remind myself that I am simply…here. No matter where my thoughts go, I am here and only here. There’s a little bit of peace in that.