Six AM

The world is so different at this hour.  The moon shining so brightly through the bedroom shades that I surrendered any hope of sleep and got up.  What a delight!  From the upper back deck I can see to the west where the moon is slowly sinking behind the mountains, one lone star for company as the horizon begins to brighten to the east.  The smell of wood smoke on the still cold air, I hear the last hoot of an owl and the first testing peeps of a songbird.  Joining it almost immediately are the gobble and yips of the turkeys to the south, and in seconds they are in full cry as the entire flock awakens and begins to move about.  The sunrise is still a way off, but the light to the east is enough that the landscape is beginning to show its colors again. I cannot imagine a better way to start the day.

I work with a guide to understand the mind-body connection and we devised an activity, part physical therapy, part meditation directed at the unhappiness I referred to in an earlier post.  Since my personal spot to store my unhappiness, in this case anger, is in my lower back, we addressed that particular area.  Using a therapy ball, I stretched backwards over the ball and gently rocked the ball to flex my back while paying particular attention to my breathing.  On the exhale when I was fully flexed I pictured the anger releasing in small particles from my body after being broken loose from the tightness in my back.  I would have been the first to tell you a year ago that this was just a bunch of new age hocus pocus, but after a year of being mindful, tuning into my body and paying attention to the connection between how my body is feeling and what my emotions and thoughts are telling me, I am a convert.  I would now say, if it works for you, by all means, do it!

I stepped outside for a moment to breathe the mountain air once more and even though the sun has not quite shown its face, the colors are deepening and the thin clouds to the east are a brilliant pink.  A woodpecker has added percussion to the bird symphony, as the natural world gives birth to another cheerful day.

Grabbing Joy

Sunday I planned to spend the day shopping, one of my less favorite activities.  But we had our first day of the year of temperatures in the 50’s and it seemed too fine a day to spend in a car or a big box store.  Instead I enjoyed my morning coffee watching the sunrise and the day warm as the birds made their presence known, sounding as joyous as I felt.  I was able to wander around the property looking to see what the melting snow had uncovered and feeling the soil soften under my feet.

Just before dusk as I was heading in I heard a rustle in the grass and turned to find the biggest flock of wild turkeys I had seen so far.  My best estimate, counting turkeys on the move being what it is, was at least sixty.  Although they are a less attractive bird from a distance, up close their feathers are iridescent and catch the sun as they scurry along.  Another sight I would have missed.

Seeking out moments of joy, even if it means a change of plans to soak up an unexpected opportunity can not only offer the immediate pleasure, but a happiness boost (now that is something they need to offer at Jamba Juice!), every time that I  recall the experience.  Just now thinking about turning around to see the flock come trooping out of the trees makes me smile.

Today I will turn my mindfulness to finding a sight or sound I can savor, even as I am shopping for the mundane.