This morning I took my dog for a walk. I was upset and my body was telling me to move, to expel some energy. Heeding the advice of new friends, I decided to practice mindfulness.
I focused on the leaves of each tree I passed, on their veins and bursts of color. I noted the way their ends curled and thought of how they might crunch underneath my feet once they fell. My mind abandoned it’s downward spiral and I found myself in some quiet.
The breeze, carrying summer out of town and ferrying in the fall, felt cold on my skin and delivered me some comfort. The sidewalk was a stark gray and littered with imperfections: divots, cracks, and abrupt inclines.
I practiced breathing. Two count in, two count hold, two count out.
I thought of my husband. I wasn’t sure what had happened last night or how something so small had become so large. I felt sad. I wished again that I would learn that I can’t turn back time, that I can’t rewind the hurtful things I say out of desperation to be heard.
Two count in, two count hold, two count out.
I thought of how fulfilled I felt in my life recently; so fulfilled that anger didn’t have much of a place in me anymore. It rolls off me differently than it used to, just months ago when it would bury in me like a splinter. I felt secure. Enough to not litter my night with thoughts of surrender and self-sabotage.
I breathed and felt my skin tighten to the cool air and my mind drift down, like a leaf falling slowly to the concrete. The high buzz of regret, indignation and righteousness that I had felt churning in my head this morning was gone. It had been reduced to a low hum.
And that’s loud progress.