At first it's just the simplest instruction: be here. Now.
Not at your workplace where that endless mountain of paperwork awaits you. Where there's voicemails and e-mails to return. Where the daily grind really lives its meaning.
Not at home where chores and adult responsibilities lie: always something to do, always some other project.
Not in the past where mistakes and failures lie in wait to torment you with reminders of where you weren't good enough.
And not in the future where a million fears are ready to pounce and weigh you down in the incessant possibilities of ways in which life can go wrong.
Just here in this safe, quiet space that you create for yourself. Everything else on hold, nothing you have to do other than be present with yourself. Be here.
Then the smallest, quietest breathe connecting you to your body. Bringing the attention away from that busy mind where all those thoughts still swirl in that chaotic, constant vortex. Notice the body, notice the movement, notice all the sensations that arise. Feel, don't think. Be, don't do.
Then the inevitable ebb and flow begins. In- to the heartbeat, the creaks and cracks, the touch. To the muscles, the joints, the bones. And deeper down to the earth holding you up, supporting you. And out- to the connectedness you tap into while in this space. Part of the whole, joined with the all. Not separate and lonely but part of and so, so loved. In and out. In and out. Feel, don't think. Notice, don't judge.
Her words are your guides, leading into the spaces your conscious mind can't go. You follow the lines of your tendons, your veins. An intricate network of sensations and feelings you normally never notice, never sense. And the ways in which you react, the great teacher your body can be. It's not about comfort, it's about watching, seeing, tracking. The whys and hows draw connections that the mind can't understand but the soul knows all too well. There are stories there. There are vitally important tales to tell and retell. There is a song that only you can sing.
And for a moment- the briefest, most imperceptibly small moment- there is peace. Nothing else matters. Nowhere else, no one else, nothing but you. Completely settled. Completely present. Loved and supported and held. Perfect in all the impossible ways- in the crevices of all your bumps and bruises and scars. You. Here. Now. Breathe and be.
And then the gentle reminder: you can't stay here forever. Tiny, kind movements. Being as gentle to yourself as possible with little wiggles and pushes. The mind comes back into the driver's seat with all of those dutiful reminders. Life needs to be lived, afterall. So you come back to the thoughts and tasks of the day. You come back to the plans and "I have to"s. You let go of that wonderful space in which you felt so free from all of this.
But you know how to get there now. You can come back. The map is written in every cell of your body and it's so easy to follow you can do it without thinking. You must do it without thinking. Just follow those lines, let the body take you in, drift on the ocean of your own experience. It's really that simple. Just take the time to go and you will go. Just create the space in which to be and you will be.
That same ebb and flow on a greater scale- in to this space, and out to the real world. In to the quiet and out to the chaos. Learning to see the lessons in all of it- all of those times, all of those places, all of those experiences. Learning to follow the tide of your own existence without resistance. Surrendering to the movement, the cycles of change. Letting go.
Ebb and flow.