Breathing Away The Worry

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Take a moment and breathe. Be present. Feel the air filling your lungs, drawing in through your nostrils. Allow your chest to expand. And then allow the air to flow back through your nose. Notice how you feel, how much of an affect being present in a constant process can have. We have a power to calm ourselves if we lock into our automatic processes and take control over them.

When I breathe, I imagine myself letting go of all the things I’m worrying about. All the small, unimportant things that consume my mind. I collect them all up in my arms on the inhale, and I release them on the exhale. I can feel them leaving me, floating up into the sky like bubbles. These things I worry about are just distractions. They will not mean anything in ten years, one year, six months, one week, one hour. They are crutches because I have an addiction to worry. I should always be worried about something, there should always be something I am working on improving.

This default, which I think many of us exist within, leaves no room for being. My dog never worries. She is just a dog doing dog things. My wee cactus plant doesn’t worry. It just is a cactus, presently and always doing cactus activities. The cactus is not worrying about improving or changing. It is cactus. A cactus is present.

I try to catch myself worrying. And my mind knows that it’s been caught, like a child sneaking extra sweets before dinner. Nabbed in the act. Worrying gives me a sense of purpose. ‘This is what we’re meant to be working on.’ It causes me to become dissatisfied until I work on it. I can’t be present. I can’t enjoy and be happy in a moment when I am considering what needs to be done in future moments.

The future may never come. But even if it does, it will be the present. and if I don’t change this need to worry, I’ll just be worrying in those moments when the future becomes the present. I’ll be thinking about the next thing and the next thing. Before long my time will be up, and I’ll have a sense that I missed out, because I never took the time to enjoy what’s going on now, but rather was too fixed on what might happen in a future I could never live in anyway.

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