We sure have had to navigate some choppy waters recently, haven’t we? How have you handled it? I have to admit, I was really afraid at first and I am still lonely. It’s weird admitting that because I crave my time alone and love being in the space of only my own thoughts and energy most of the time.
Life can be hard and our brains are wired to look for what’s wrong – legitimately – that’s what it is designed to do. The good news is that the neurons that wire together fire together, so we can change the neurological pathways in our brains by consciously focussing on what is right.
I’ve been venturing out of my apartment to go on bike rides and walks and it’s the best form of therapy I can give myself right now. I am still lonely but being around other people gives me hope. Every time I leave my building, I see people just going about living their lives and trying to be as “normal” as possible. There’s so much beauty around us if we open our eyes and I seek out life-affirming moments.
We have been in the dog days of summer and while out walking, I got caught in a cool summer rain. It was one of the most romantic things that’s happened to me in a while.
Earlier this week in Central Park, I saw an older couple shuffling along, holding hands. How beautiful is it that these two people who I assume have been married for over 50 years are still walking together, hand-in-hand? What have they learned about being in a partnership? They must have so much wisdom to share. I seriously wanted to stop and ask them alllllll the questions but I probably would have frightened them with my enthusiasm and I’m super not into giving people heart attacks.
Earlier that day in the park, I saw a group of women going all out, doing a tribal dance while some men played the bongos and congas. I sat under a tree a watched in awe while my head couldn’t stop boppin and shoulders couldn’t stop rockin. I wanted to be the dancer and the drummer. I feel like I would slay at both.
On Saturday, I was walking home and happened upon a live jazz band in Riverside Park and then I saw lightening bugs! It seems silly to get excited about things like that but the amount of joy I feel these days from the little things can’t be emphasized enough.
Today, I climbed hill after hill on my bike to ride to Fort Tryon Park, then walked among huge trees and meandered through the paths while listening to music. I felt lucky to have such a solitary experience, yet feel so connected to the moment.
Walking home, I saw a young man pick up a woman’s cane and hand it to her with a smile. There are so many instances of kindness and compassion and beauty everywhere – we just have to look for it. Change the structure of your brain to look for what’s right.
What are your life-affirming moments right now? How do you seek the beauty around you?
Right now, I have my windows open and a cool breeze is drifting in from the river as the sun is setting and I feel like everything is just as it should be.
Addendum: this morning, I woke to a rainbow so I would say today is going to be a good day.
For this class, I ask that you bring to mind moments that you’ve noticed that brought your heart a bit of joy and wonder. This will be a morning quickie practice – 30 minutes – so hopefully you can re-take it when you need to remind yourself of the beauty in the world.