There’s a lyric in the song “Always Love” by Nada Surf that resignated with me today (2nd April 2011). The lyric is ‘To make a mountain of your life is just a choice‘. I have been holding this beautiful sentence in my heart since I woke up with it this morning, back in Ireland.
Last night for the few hours (and I’m not even exaggerating by saying few) I was meant to be resting, I spent tossing and turning making a mountain of my life. Shovelling unhealthy thought on top of unhealthy though until I almost became emotional with the weight on my mind.
Stupidly, I became passive, ignoring my true authentic self, I ran to old habits; letting, willingly giving my power to a conversation a half a dozen hours ago. Guilt, fear, worry, doubt crept in on me as I lay in bed. I can assure you, the energy I was giving off was not a calm and assertive one but tense and anxious, I am in awe of my cat who could sleep next to me!
Even when I began my day; the pattern’s voice rang loud and clear. It became hypnotising as I gathered my bag together, put on my makeup, ate my breakfast and brushed my teeth. “How dare you even consider going away this weekend???!!!!!” “You’re doing the wrong thing.” “You shouldn’t be doing this!!” “What will people think?” It’s voice grew frantic as I stepped onto the bus and began my journey. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??” It yelled, “This is stupid, you should be at home, turn back, you need to study, you have things to do!!”
It barked and it battled and it almost won, almost. Sometimes its hard not to just give in to that voice, easier to just do the ‘right’ thing, the ‘smart’ thing. All those times, I’m realizing is not because it’s hard not to, no its because its easy to. We take the easy way out. Never step out to feel the ocean, making excuses.
In the moments of the battle on the bus, that song rang loud and clear above the voice, making me smile, switching me back into my state of my mind. The song is about listening to the little voice inside you that says always love, that we are the captain of our thoughts.
While tthis song was God given, it became apparent that I needed something stronger to make me fully present as my mind kept wandering into the past. I received my very own ‘E collar’ treatment! (Dog Whisperer reference, go watch it.)
Five minutes before arriving at the airport, I looked at my boarding pass and I suddenly realized I had only fifteen minutes before my gate closed!!!! Checking the time and boarding pass again, I confirmed that yes, only fifteen minutes, not an hour and a half that I had planned. I searched my brain to try and figure out what had happened, what went wrong? I figured I had picked 4.50am which was the arrival time of the aircoach at the airport and mistaken that as the departing time. It was now five forty and my gate closed at 5.55am, and we weren’t even at the terminal yet!
Instantly my thoughts turned to failure, it followed a previous story of once when I was late for a plane in London and I missed it. I was obviously going to miss it again, the same thing was about to happen, I was doomed!!!!!
Instead of feeling sorry for myself, panicking or getting upset I started going through what I could do now that I’ve missed it. Could I catch another flight? Would there be another flight today? Would I have to wait long? Could I afford it? How much would it be? Should I call my parents? Call Crystalbel who I was meant to see in a couple of hours? Believe it or not that thought train took a matter of seconds. Then the song came into my mind again and put me into the state again. A state I had learned which connected me to my true self. I looked to my right and there sat next to me, a friendly looking man. Who, believe it or not again, had decided to sit there only minutes before I went into this realization. He had moved up from the back and said, ‘I just want to sit here for a moment’. I hadn’t given him much notice because I was too busy battling with my mind. But now firmly in the present, here he was.
“I just realized I only have fifteen minutes before my gate closes”. He said, “Me too” as if he had expected it, as if he planned for himself to have only this amount of time, which comforted me slightly. “I’m a bit scared”, I vulnerably told him, now my firm friend. He looked at my boarding pass, took it in and then told me, “Ah you’ll be fine, just get through security and sprint it, they don’t usually start boarding until 6.10, just join the back of the queue.” I took this information in as if I was a baby learning to walk for the first time. You mean the information and story I was telling myself wasn’t ordainly true, that there was hope? I changed my story, I could now catch my plane! Wow! I wanted this to be true so bad I could taste it.
I walked into the airport with meaning and purpose and flew into security, then to my gate like lightning. As I stopped for the first time since I got to the airport, at the back of the boarding gate, I could feel my heart in my throat, the rest of my organs catching up. I did it! I was capable and able and as I stepped onto the plane immense joy lit my being. My last words to that man was “Good luck” He smiled and said, “I’ll be fine, I’ve an extra five minutes, remember don’t worry, you’ll be fine!” I smiled at him, and checked one of the boards, when I returned my gaze, the man had gone, he had served his purpose.
I write about this because it is so easy to get lost in a thought, to get stuck in the past or worrying about the future. I even find myself wandering happy places in the future to avoid being frozen in the past but that can be as dangerous and as much of a waste of time. It was not until I realized my mistake in the bus that I truly began living in the present. Everything else disappeared, unhealthy thoughts were sent packing, so that energy could be saved to focus on what mattered, moment by moment.
Sitting here in costa in Birmingham airport. I can honestly say I’m experiencing and acknowledging every moment, it’s a very kinesthetic process. I can feel the floor beneath my feet, the table beneath my notebook, the pen in my hand, even the air not only around me but in my lungs. All my senses are alive. So much of life is missed out on by being stuck in the mind. Of foregoing power to another source and by giving up. How very exciting it is that it is so possible and easy to change the story, now I can go forward healthily and positively because in reality, what’s to stop me? In my life I have found that I am well looked after, there is great power in being present and in challenging information that is ingrained, after all we are lifetime students. What is stopping you? Or rather, what lesson is out there waiting for you? Remember, don’t worry, you’ll be fine!