This sucks


For the last few years, encounters with a certain citrus-colored someone always cause me anxiety. It’s led to some positive behavior changes in my life (I almost never watch the news now) and highlighted other potential “development” areas (like when I stick my fingers in my ears, close my eyes, and say “Lalalala”).
I’m happy to report I’m making progress. In fact, this past Tuesday morning, when my eyes, like a moth to the flame, glanced at the news screen in the elevator and saw his 5-letter name, I also noticed a sinking feeling in my stomach. However, this time, instead of ignoring it, pushing it down, turning against myself, and possibly derailing my day, a voice inside me said, “This sucks.” That tiny moment of recognition made all the difference, and before I even arrived at my floor, the anxiety had passed. Every time I admit what I’m feeling, anxiety gets its wings and flies away. 

That’s how powerful mindfulness is. Simple awareness of your bodily experience, grounding yourself in the sensations of the moment, can change your day and, dare I say, your life. Two things happen: you understand that thoughts and feelings come and go and that you can choose your response to them.
Meditation is a way to practice mindfulness in short, focused bursts. It has both short-term benefits (the slow-to-dissolve residue of relaxation post-sit) and long-term life effects (more resilience, for example).
This month, I’m meditating every day with one of my “be here now” heroes, Sharon Salzberg, to get better at living. Join us.