Be with it

Is everything going exactly as you planned today? Maybe you sat in traffic longer than usual. Or a colleague didn’t respond to an email the way you wanted. Or your head hurts, or you feel bored and your energy is flat. What little annoyance is sticking to you and making you uncomfortable just now? What is making this moment a less-than-perfect experience? That single thing–whether it is big or small–is evidence of the way we resist the reality of the present moment. “It shouldn’t be this way,” we think, and that creates a little push-back within us, separating us from the reality of the present.

Here’s how to befriend that tiny thing and close the gap of our resistance.  Let things get quiet inside for a moment. Then ask yourself, where in my body am I holding that tension? Let compassion flow into that space; thank your back, your shoulders, your neck–wherever you feel the tension–for helping to buffer you from the shocks and irritations of your day. Breathe into that place and sit beside the tension. Just allow it to be there. Don’t try to change it; don’t wish it away, just let it be, and touch it lightly with your breath. Let yourself softly realize, “This is what I feel right now.”

The simple act of caringly looking toward the self, with the intention to just sit with our experience–whether it’s pain or joy or something in-between–is a lovely act of self-care. Our day gets better, and more real, as we become more present. When the gap closes, we return to peace.

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