The Wild River of My Mind

“To stay present in everyday life, it helps to be deeply rooted within yourself; otherwise, the mind, which has incredible momentum, will drag you along like a wild river.”

Eckhart Tolle

The wild river has been where I have lived for much of my life. And I’m gradually discovering a new wellbeing which is always there if I choose to remember it. The access door is being aware of being in my body right now this very moment. That simple. Nowness.

From being in my mind and its imaginary scenes generated from the past and the future, to being present. Breathe, and maybe shut my eyes for a second or two. What is actually happening right now this very second. I feel my body physically, whether I am walking, doing dishes, having a pee, brushing my hair, I enter that fully. Nowness. I leave the world and all its troubles for a few minutes. I leave the world inside my head for a few minutes.

I feel my feet as they walk or stand, I notice my breathing in and out in and out, what my arms are doing, how my trunk feels, which sensations are felt in my body. Then I might notice any sounds around me, and sights if I’m outside. It restores everything to peace. There is no problem, no threat in those moments. Nothing to worry about. Just being with what is happening.

This morning has been turbulent inside, I experienced much irritation, lost my temper and shouted at my kid. Doesnt matter why or how justified or not it was. It was painful.

As is so often the case when I forget to be present in this moment, thoughts raced about in my head and I got dragged all over the place emotionally. Scenarios played out of things that might go wrong in the future.I was in the wild river.

Thoughts of not having enough accompanied by dread. Conversations rehearsed with creditors demanding money, of tax authorities bursting through the door accusing me of something or other. I have GOT to do something about THAT, my mind rails at me….I have got to protect myself! One stressful thought led to another.

Scenarios were played out of situations in the past that didn’t go as I’d have wished, and I played out how they could have been, and what others ‘should’ have done instead of the way they acted. Judgements of myself and of others. All stressful and stimulating the brains primitive threat detection system producing a fight flight response with its accompanying release of cortisol and adrenaline. Whew. And all this happened in less the a few minutes as I got dressed.

So what next. Back into the body. I notice my breath in and out, and in and out. I feel my bum on the seat. I hear sounds around me. I smell the incense. I pat the dog. I make tea. I am relieved.

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