I am hung up in more traffic than I want to be in. It is hot. The glare of the day is wearing on me. I have to go to the bathroom. I am all done with the whole errand thing. Physically, and by association, emotionally, I am on overload. I just want to be home.
Because of how much I do not want to be where I am, I have found my way into an old thinking loop about someone else. None of what I am thinking about is pleasant, in my control, or any of my business. Suddenly I catch myself: Where are you, and why, of all places to be, are you here, in this particular place, in your mind?
Now, I could give you all kinds of reasons around why I am trapped in this ancient thought pattern from the past. And it would sound real, true, and legitimate. Yet, something in me knows better, and it has been revealed in the question I have been willing to ask myself.
What I see in this moment is that I have left myself. I have flown the coop of my own roost because it is just too uncomfortable to be here in this body right now. And as uncomfortable as the thought pattern about this other person is, it somehow feels preferable, less awful, than how I feel right now in my own body. Recognizing this, I jump into all of the sensations I have been avoiding.
I turn towards the heat which leads me to adjust the temperature in the car. I turn towards being done with errands, getting that message loud and clear; leading me to cross everything else off the list for the day. I turn towards needing to go to the bathroom, and decide that despite what my mind has said about waiting until I get home, I am going to use the porta potty at the farm; no matter what shape it’s in.
This all sounds so obvious. Ridiculously simplistic even. It almost feels embarrassing to point it out like it is some kind of revelation. And I could almost go there, except for the fact that I know better. And what I know is this. Despite how natural it should or could be to turn towards our most basic needs, we often do not. Despite how obvious it seems to make the adjustments we need to be comfortable across a day, we often do not. Despite the simple truth that as mammals this is built in, for far too many of us, we do not connect to this for it has been lost to us.
It is nothing short of revelatory to notice that when your mind is going nuts, there is a absolutely a physical origin or corollary. And that if you can crawl your way into the experience of being in a body, you will find the resolve you are seeking. Try it. The next time you are in a difficult mind state, ask yourself, Where Am I? Begin with the body.