I had a blast on my birthday. My happiness meter hit a ten with all my birthday wishes, cards, emails and gifts. I was in such joy. I am hanging on to the thrill of it. I want to forever be surrounded by this good feeling.
A wise teacher once shared with me the importance of allowing emotions to keep moving through the body. Emotions come and go – the incredible highs and the devastating lows; the trembling fears and the raging hot floods of anger. Our bodies are vessels to experience all the emotions. I imagine my solar plexus area is an open window. I see panes on the window. I unlock the middle latch and open the window one side and then the other. The spring air lilts in. The curtains move with the light breeze. I smell moistness in the air and sense the blooming of spring. The birds are chirping. I can see and feel it as I stand in front of the window.
Thea and I decided to go for a ride yesterday to get out and do something different for my birthday. On the highway I noticed my joy was gone and the tense ache in my stomach and shoulders, a telltale sign of anxiety. Where did my joy go? As we drove toward the shore, I closed my eyes and felt the emotions I identified. I felt them in my stomach and my shoulders. I imagined the tension and the anxiety, the joy and the excitement all flow out the window. I use my breath to keep it moving.
Emotions are meant to be experienced. For too long I’ve filed them into the ‘keep forever’ file in my mind. I white-knuckle them into the perpetual ache in my body or the furrow in my forehead. I use my breath to keep them moving. Awareness is the first key. We are the artists that design our window and the scenery to receive our emotions.
Desiderata – Words for Life by Max Ehrmann, 1927
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;