Today is a much needed quiet and rainy day, but it didn’t start out that way. It was raining, but it wasn’t intended to be quiet.
I woke up this morning feeling tired. I’ve felt this way for the past week or so. Work has been exceptionally stressful and I think my body has finally had enough. The rain doesn’t help, although we most definitely need it here in the Bay Area.
As I dragged myself to work this morning, I noticed Nature stirring around me. While I was wishing I was back in bed, the birds were chirping gleefully, the creek was running rapidly and there was a smell of freshness in the air. There was also the smell of a fire burning, most likely the stove of a nearby cafe, and it reminded me of raining days camping and the smell of damp wood campfire. This smell brought me to a place of joy and I felt a charge with which to begin my day!
When I arrived at my office, there were messages from patients cancelling their morning appointments. At first I was annoyed about the change in my schedule. I got up early, trudged to work, weathered the rain, and now I’m stuck with several free hours to myself. Oh the horror.
I made a few phone calls, sent a few emails, and then decided to meditate. I so often recommend the practice of meditation to my patients and so often deny myself the experience. Being a healer is like this sometimes. My mind is constantly at work thinking of ways to help others, but I can easily forget to take the time to care for myself. So I went into our larger treatment room and closed the door. (I brought the phone with me – I’ve still got to work). I took off my watch and my rain-dampened shoes, closed my eyes, and began to breathe. As always it took me a few moments to calm the breath and my mind. I worried that I shouldn’t have the music playing or should have turned the lights out but then I remembered that life always has distractions and the point of my practice is to find peace within the chaos, so I remained in my meditation and continued to become calm. My mind wandered as it always does, but the breath softened and became smooth. I remembered the smell of fire during my walk, and why it is so attractive to my senses. It brings me back to my love of the outdoors and Nature that gently forces me to abandon the daily routine and technological connections that I hold on to neurotically. When I’m on a camp site, there are no phones, no computers, I rarely even wear a watch. It’s just me and the wilderness. The breeze, the birds, the sounds of a nearby stream. I don’t think about the next episode of my favorite show, or my unanswered emails, or my facebook status. I am able to enter freely into the oneness that exists between myself and my world and let go of the shackles that bind me to my ego. I returned to my meditation. The same feeling had been accomplished. My breath softened further. I felt energy in my hands. My heart was free. Then the phone rang. It was a solicitor. It’s a work day after all. No worries. I gained what I needed.
I set back to work and began writing this blog entry, and then a patient who was supposed to be at 10:30 walked in a 11:40. How fortunate that another patient cancelled and my time became available to him. Also how fortunate that I was given the time to renew my senses and nourish my heart. I was now clear and renewed.
Sometimes it all works out!