I'm always in motion. I feel like my soul rides on a train that never stops moving, even when it's parked in the station. When I'm at rest, my mind is racing off somewhere, as if ”now“ isn't quite good enough. But I wonder what I am missing out on by being "gone" all the time? What is so damn interesting about the past or the future that they continually call me away from the present? Do I really enjoy worrying or is it just a bad habit?
I know, I know...it sounds like I've read too many books by Ram Dass (Be Here Now,) or Buddhist manuscripts (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind is my favorite.) Truth be told, I have read my fair share, but those books don't mean a thing if I can't change the way I DO things. Believe me, I'm not writing this blog post to try and act like I know big important stuff. If I could change the break pads on my car, not that would be big. If I could fix that annoying leaky sink, now that would be important! But all kidding aside, I really do see a value in observing how my mind works, how it responds and reacts and emotes, in the hopes that I can be less chained to its every single whim, and I want to acknowledge how difficult, frustrating, and challenging that endeavor can be.
What if the only tiny bit of control and self-determination that I actually have is how I approach each moment? When the car in front of me cuts me off, do I extend my middle finger or just let the anger go? (Of course I don't flip the bird, road rage is for real, people!) And why do I find it so hard to move on from the daily let-downs that come along with being part of the human race?
My conclusion is that I've learned to feed off the distraction, disdain, and disappointment. Because as long as I have someone or something to trigger my endless train of thoughts, then I don't have to cast the light of self-reflection and repair upon myself. And if I sustain the endless 24/7 commentary of the blame game, then I won't have time to face the enormity of the vast universe inside of me.
So, I try to occasionally stop and reset. I ask my internal narrator to take a coffee break. And sometimes, right there in the middle of those crooked rusty train tracks, I find a sublime place that invites me to slow down for a second and just enjoy the experience of being alive. And that can be as invigorating, and more thrilling, than a runaway train.