Slow your mind. Visualize distractions floating away on a cloud...
A puffy cumulus cloud. Not a rain cloud. It hasn’t rained for months. We’re in the middle of a 7-year drought. I need to change my Brita water filter.
Relax your body. Trivial worries waft away…
Trivial worries waft away on a cool blue wave, rolling past islands and seaweed and...the Great Pacific Ocean garbage patch. I should definitely stop using straws.
Focus on your breath.
How long have I been sitting here? Three minutes? 14 months?
My head itches. Should I scratch it? Now my entire torso itches. What is this madness?
What if I stood up and screamed right now?
And exhale slowly.
What? Are they gonna ban me from the Zen Center? Never. That’s so un-zen.
Clear away commotion.
Okay. Commotion bobs away from me. Like a soft-boiled egg meandering in a bowl of ramen, which reminds me of that Japanese restaurant Kirk took me to on our first date. All he did was talk about how much he liked Mitt Romney and slurp his soup. And his chopstick skills. Ha! Should have known then. Mmm…I could eat.
If thoughts distract you, return to your breath.
Sitting still is doing nothing for my sciatica. I could leave right now. Just stand up, throw this uncomfortable $50 zafu cushion from Amazon at that silly gong, and bolt. There’s a gelato place across the street…
No really, return to your breath.
Distractions drift away like a plastic bag blowing in the wind. I should return those sun hats and wedge sandals to TJ Maxx before I miss the window for a refund and have to settle for store credit. $200 worth of stuff I don’t need, can’t afford, and only bought to soothe myself after a self-esteem-crushing afternoon trying on swimsuits. Even my elbows looked fat!
Let go of the worries of the day.
Okay, I’m back in the ocean. My negativity coasts past me, like a boat. An ocean liner. The Titanic! No, no...I’m terrible at this.
I don’t have to be perfect. My impossible standards drift away. On a manatee, a clumsy imperfect, yet still lovable sea cow. Wait...are they endangered?
Oh god! I’ve been holding my breath this whole time!
This kinda feels good.
Regrets fly away from me like a kite soaring in the sky. Like that time Kirk took me on a picnic to celebrate our second anniversary and he brought kites. Fun idea, until our kites got tangled in that oak tree. Stuck. Much like our clashing personalities and opposing views on everything from paint swatches to which was the better version of The Office.
Allow cleansing breath to nourish you.
Thoughts glide away like a paper airplane, which is what I should have folded those stupid divorce papers into when stupid Kirk handed them to me three days after we returned from that stupid wine country getaway that I stupidly used my last bit of vacation time on so we could celebrate the completion of his stupid book about the pitfalls of the stupid 2012 Romney campaign! And P.S. Kirk, the British version was better!
Honor the divinity within yourself.
Emotions are chemicals. I’m a walking periodic table of elements, bouncing around on a big planet of chemicals. None of this is real. My anger is a ball of chemical energy. And I’m watching it leave me. In a 2005 Toyota Camry, nearly out of gas, puttering away slowly, like my youth. And dreams. And cheek collagen.