A Pocket of Peace in a Concrete Jungle

September 6, 2019 in Out in the World - No Comments

The next few days (and who am I kidding, weeks) will be busy ones for me. Between social and professional commitments that I wouldn’t trade for anything, there is currently a lot of my plate. To make matters even more chaotic, I’ll be in New York City, perhaps the epicenter of noise and chaos. Connecting with Cassidy this week, I realized that I had options about how to incorporate my meditation practice into my life as I am more on the go than usual because in her words, “you don’t ‘need’ to meditate, but [that] you deserve to.” I knew that the benefits of meditation would do me a world of good within a whirlwind period of activity.

In my quiet corner of Connecticut, I have more opportunity to get peacefully lost in the flowers I smell, the leaves I note slowly changing, the dew on the grass in the morning as I walk the dog. But in the city? Forget about it. There are usually people glued to cell phones to dodge, mysterious puddles of liquid to skip over, and taxis driving as though they’re on racetracks rather than city streets to outrun. I find it near impossible to focus on my breath with my blood pressure on the rise. So what did I do early this morning? I silenced my phone and hit the pavement, determined to fold any distractions into my practice as Cassidy advised, practicing my version of open awareness meditation,

I walked while the streets had not fully come to life, taking side streets that I know to be less busy. I noted the brickwork of old brownstones, the humming of an idling delivery truck and then let these moments of awareness pass as I switched over to focusing on my breath and each step I took. As I reluctantly crossed back into reality (literally and metaphorically), I snapped this photo of the type of pretty block that I had meandered past as a reminder that we have a myriad of tools to find peace and awareness in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, we just have to remember to dig into our pockets to use them.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

-Michaela

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