Each day, WordPress sends out an email with a writing prompt. On Fridays, they send out photo prompts. You, dear readers and watchers, have seen some of my photos from the prompts. But until today, I hadn’t taken up any of the writing prompts although I had saved several of them to think about.
Today’s, interestingly enough, was “just what I needed” a phrase many of you have said to me after reading one or another of my posts–whatever I said was something you needed to hear. Today’s from WordPress filled that slot for me.
The prompt, although perhaps not exactly the way it went out so I won’t use quote marks, said to find a safe place to stop, decide how long you can keep your eyes closed, close your eyes and count, and write about what comes up.
Meditating is something I’ve done a fair amount of although not lately, so I decided, 150, I could do that. I’d never counted during meditation before but I did; and an interesting outcome of that was my mind had something to do. I’m a counter. I count when I’m kneading bread; I count when I’m swimming or exercising; I count when I’m walking. I count. That’s what I do.
Somewhere around 100, my mind went to sets of fours–four slow counts to breathe in, four slow c0unts to breathe out–and I sort of lost track of the numbers, but what came to me, loud and clear, is how seldom I stop. Just stop.
Much of the time, because there’s so much that needs doing, I’m multi-tasking and moving from one need to another and back again so as not to waste any time. Too many things are constantly clamouring for my attention. I know that’s also true for many others. You, perhaps. In the midst of multi-tasking, I still remember to breathe and drop my shoulders–I’ve had a lot of practice in those habits–but I seldom, as I said, stop.
Years ago, when I practiced changing the chatter in my head, I put post-its all over on which I’d written, “Trust.” And I practiced saying trust over and over until I’d formed new neural pathways in my brain and worry no longer took over my mind.
Stopping is something that needs practice. When Cliff and I married, in part of my vows to him I said, “…when you tell me to stop, I’ll stop.” And everyone there laughed. But I meant it–and sometimes, he does. But it seems that I’m now being told that stopping is something that needs practice in my life.
I guess it’s time to pull out the post-its.