Yesterday was a long and busy day. I woke early, went to work in my psychotherapy practice where I met a new client, did my best to begin to get to know him and establish a therapeutic relationship and saw a few return appointments. I worked on last minute plans for a meeting of non-profit group that I am privileged to lead.
And then I answered a phone call telling me that a cousin, only two years older than I am, died last night. Her death although not unexpected, was sudden as she received a grim diagnosis just six weeks ago.
My attention turned to negotiating airline travel so my husband and I could attend the funeral.
I then rearranged my schedule, made plans for dog watching.
I spoke to my children. I spoke to a dear friend whose mother is undergoing a cancer work-up at our local hospital.
I made dinner for other friends with whom we are going to see a play. I insisted that cooking was therapeutic.
And I meditated. Finally I went to sleep.
Undoubtedly I am missing dozens of activities, decisions throughout the day. The above list… just the highlights.
And throughout the day, I was extremely grateful for my mindfulness practice. I was grateful for the spaciousness of the practice that affords me the opportunity to stop and notice my breath, even in the middle of an emotional storm, grateful for the awareness that cooking and eating in my own kitchen is comforting and reassuring, and grateful for the friends who said “Of course”.
And I was grateful for the colleague who called me first thing this morning to follow- up on a difficult conversation, remembering the importance of what we had discussed earlier in the week. Grateful too, for the meeting of the non-profit I attended where we sat in together for thirty minutes – a supported opportunity to return to quiet presence, where I became aware again and again of what is important and dear in my life. So as I get ready to board the plane in a few hours, to attend the funeral tomorrow for a cousin only two years older than I am, who was perfectly healthy two months ago and will be buried tomorrow, I am grateful for today. So very grateful.
Breathe in deeply and notice the sensation. And then simply let go of the breath and notice the sensation. Now if you’d like, repeat.
See if you can notice the spaciousness of each breath.
This spaciousness is a gift available as long as we are alive enough to notice the sensations of our breath.