Once more I wake to the sound of birdsongs. Must be … yes, the clock says 4:01 in the morning. Where am I: in bed, busy night of dreams. What is today: Tuesday I think; the wind has let up, sunshine maybe? How is my body: aching from yesterday’s workout, a little neck pain, otherwise fine. What’s ahead: physio at 9, lunch with D, afterwards a 3-hour volunteer shift, later coffee and what’s left of the weekend NY Times … ha! And your own day? Chock-a-block with appointments, commitments, routines tasks and responsibilities? Ha!
All this is imagined. None of it certain. How much of any given day, week, life is all charted out in our minds, only to be shattered by the unexpected? Do you know what news the next phone call will bring? Can you predict what’ll happen when you cross the street to get to work this morning? Did Petty Officer Craig Blake know that he’d be killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan yesterday?
All we know, at best, is what’s happening this very moment. And that only if we pay attention. Do it now, please. Stop whatever occupies you right now. Sit still, cease all busyness. Notice your body — without looking, become aware of your feet on the ground, your hands resting, you neck, your shoulders, your belly. Now your breath — inhale through the nose, feel air entering your body, expanding your chest, let it fill your abdomen; then exhale slowly.
Do this three times, slowly, deliberately. Gently escort your mind’s attention to where the breath enters and departs — rising and falling, expanding contracting. Nothing else. For just this moment. Everything else is added-on, unknown.
May your day go well.