sanctuary

About ten days into 2020, I started meditating for ten minutes a day. Our routine is to get up before 5:00, I start coffee and get breakfast and lunch prep to a point where I can leave it for ten minutes, and then head downstairs to sit on my ass and focus on my breathing. One thing I have noticed in recent years is that whole days of my life go by in which I barely sit down at all, and this past fall I received a warning message from the universe about that. After several days of excruciating leg pain in the evenings, I decided to start sitting down at least a little bit during each day, whether I had time to or not. Thankfully, the pain passed and I haven’t been receiving any more big messages like that, but I heard it. I decided 2020 has some built-in requirements for me. It is not so much a list of goals as a list of bare minimums; a quart of tea a day, a beach trip per month, a nap every time I need it, ten minutes of sitting on my butt daily. In 2020, I shall strive for nothing but mediocrity. I do have a few modest goals: to grow more flowers for butterflies and a few purple vegetables in my back yard.

I’ve been seeing a lot of eagles so far in 2020, and some of them have even been sitting down. I’ve been hearing a lot of owls, and at least one has been sitting itself down in the wedding trees, leaving behind the things it doesn’t need.

When I go sit down to meditate, it is an enforced ten minutes of sit time, right smack at the beginning of my day. On weeks when Quinn is home, I may not actually sit for even five minutes on a given morning, but now I do, it’s for sure. I also hardly ever “do nothing” and this is a must, as we all know from Winnie the Pooh. So now I do ten minutes of “nothing” to start the day, which feels like one thousand times more nothing than I had been doing. Already I have worked hard to achieve mediocrity in my meditation practice (I am not taking this class for a grade – thinking it was something you had to be good at kept me from attempting it). I went from sitting up with good posture in the middle of the bed to sitting with my back slouch-reclining on the headboard, my lap under the covers. I sit with my palms facing upward, like a butterfly unfolding its wings, open to receiving whatever is coming my way from the universe, which turns out to be my cat. Bart has been joining my meditation so the gift I receive daily is two handfuls of fluff, the gift of nineteen pounds of warm weight anchoring me in place, keeping me seated.

The feeling of warmth flooding my frontal cortex when it is ever so briefly not just keeping from overthinking, but avoiding thinking altogether seems a logical extension of cultivating a gratitude practice, another way of keeping a part of my heart set aside as a sanctuary for the butterflies of summer.

1 comment to sanctuary

  • camp boss

    yeah for you!!! Striving for mediocrity is a great goal. i think many of us are in the same boat , too much “stuff” in life and not enough time for it all. Spending adult time with my fav sis is definitely one of the things on my boxes with words in them mediocrity list.

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