An Exercise in Meditation

Tonight was my first time truly meditating on my own. I’ve spent some time getting into the groove of things prior to the start of yoga class, but I’ve never set out to sit with myself and my thoughts for 20 minutes alone until tonight. Lately, I feel like I’ve been on this precipice: Between all these markers of adulthood – working toward our own business, this fly-by-night urge to procreate, putting 10% of our income into a savings account – I’ve started to wonder, who am I? Is this me? Are these my rules or am I falling into some sort of prescribed lifestyle? It’s been sort of a harrowing ride. Tonight, though, I felt compelled to sit alone with my thoughts. I think they would have come to me whether I liked it or not. So, after about 20 minutes on a pillow in my bedroom, my transcript with my thoughts, as follows…

Me: “So…”

Self: “So…”

Me: “Um, Where do we go from here?”

Self: Minute’s worth of shuffling through thoughts, repeating the question. Then, a direct bee-line to my MIL’s door. “Take it easy.”

Me: “Yeah?” I nod my head. “Yeah, huh.”

Self: Same warm line to her door. “Yeah. Giver her some slack.”

Me: Lump in throat, welling up. “Yeah. You’re right.” Images of money and bills and who pays for what suddenly seem so silly and inconsequential. Sigh. “But what about me?”

Self: “What about you?”

Me: “I want to feel…. productive… Fulfilled.”

Self: Shuffling through warm images of my friend James, my friend Jess, my friend Erin, my friend Ashley. “Fulfilled?”

Me: Tears rolling down my cheeks. “Ok, ok. You’re right.”

Self: Shuffles through images of James & Jess again. “Fulfilled? What if your job right now is to learn how to be a friend? These friendships are fulfilling, right?”

Me: It’s so fucking clear. Jesus, I’m an idiot. “I get it. No, you’re right. I do, I get it… but… what about at home?” I practically subconsciously nod my head toward my husband sitting on the couch, unhappy, watching the Lakers game in the other room. I want more than anything to fix things for him, to have this new life, to start this new business, to make our dreams a reality.

Self: Empty space, but warm all the same.

Suddenly, I know.

Me: “This is really only about me, isn’t it.”

Warmer, emptier space.

Self: “This is about you. The time you spend learning to be a friend and fulfilling yourself with these close friendships is indeterminate. But this is where we are going.”

I picture these friends, where they are going, the accomplishments they’re achieving, their forward motion and all the spirit fingers I’ve promised them on their journeys.

Me: “So, what… a year? This is the year of friendships?”

Self: “There’s no timeline. But it is most important now.”

Me: “Ok. Ok. No, I get it. Ok.” I take a second to wipe the snot pouring from my nose. I decide at that instance that as a meditation novice I can break free of my sitting position to wipe my nose. I don’t open my eyes, I just lean over and use the corner of the duvet that’s hanging at nose-level. Maybe, in the future, meditating won’t turn on the waterworks so quickly.

Suddenly things get warmer. I forgot to mention that my palms get warm every time my Self responds. But now my whole body is experiencing this warmth. My back straightens all on its own. The crown of my head is reaching toward the stars. There’s a smile on my face that I have not consciously initiated, nor can I control (nor do I want to!). The same voice that came over me at last week’s yoga class is repeating the same mantra: “It’s ok to be here. It’s ok to be here.” Suddenly, the dark behind my eyes isn’t so dark. It’s changing shades of light I’ve never seen with my eyes closed. I’m rising up, lifting my head, grinning like an idiot but never once stopping to think about that or even care. Is this the blue light I’ve read about in texts? Mine’s more of a mauve hue, maybe a peach, but it just keeps getting lighter. There’s no one outside of me to watch, to judge, to gaze, to say that if anyone were watching right now they’d totally laugh their asses off, watching me inch upward like a trained snake. No, it’s ok to be here. To be right here. To follow this feeling wherever it takes me. To…

To reach for my BlackBerry when my alarm marking 20 minutes pipes up. To break down into silent sobs with this breakthrough. To watch the wisps of that connection drift away with a final, “ok. No, ok. You’re right.”

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