Throwing Spirit Rocks


My dad, ever the literary allusionist, still enjoys teasing my brother and me with references to esoteric literature, mostly of the ye olde English and suffering Irish variety, and that’s definitely being used in the Sunday New York Times crossword (at which he excels, natch). One that his been on the playlist since my childhood is to point out one’s low mood that has been hanging on for a spell as wallowing in the “slough of despond.” I bring this up  not only to improve your own crossword scores, but to give you a window into what counts as humor in my family; it has to be dark, twisted and hysterical, oh, I mean heretical. (Author’s note: I am NOT depressed! Been there, done that, I’m just in a rut, a knee-pained, boggy, godless rut.) <smiley face>

Because I am in this slough of physical bleargh, and I want not to be, I decided to get my worried, noticeably softening thighs into a meditation class so I could at least start to address the issue of my distracted and nearly manic headspace. And since running is what I would count as my meditation time, and I have not run a regular set of miles since April, I had to do something. Also, it’s on my Life List. 

I took the day off last Friday and went out to Spirit Rock Meditation Center in West Marin. Their weekly Friday Morning Yoga and Mediation class welcomes all comers, newbies and buddhas alike. We did an hour of (too) gentle (for me) yoga, then set up for a 30-45 minute “sit” or guided meditation. The theme for the day was resiliency, and focus on the breath to bring the mind back to the desired state of supple buoyancy, the place where we are able to be present and observant, not brittle or reactive. Resilience resonates with me; I often think of a tee shirt  I have (I got it right around the time when my marriage ended) that is emblazoned with the slogan, “Brilliant Rhymes with Resilient” as a mantra for strength. Little did I know how long I’d be stuck in that slough and that it was Resilience that would always carry me through!

Resilience is also the medicine this time, and life experience has taught me that this too shall pass. However, I’m not at peace with the pace of this current passing. It’s too slow, I’m way too impatient, and I’m angry that limited funds is what is actually slowing the process down further because I sure as hell know the doctors, bodyworkers and coaches that could speed this recovery and support my creativity. The good news is, it came to me in the mediation just how pissed off I really am, and that I have to figure out what to do with that anger, since I cannot f’ing go for a run and writing has become quite hard without it.

Meditate more? Probably.

Do the damn 15 minute a day writing exercises for 30 straight days? Duh.

Go on a fast? Don’t judge me.

Start fast walking? Yes.

Do a brain dump?

Dump my boyfriend? Oh wait, I need to get one first. And I’m only in the market for a great, committed ONE, not idiots I have to dump.

If I were to ask my dad for some words of wisdom, he’d not turn to Shakespeare or Joyce this time. He’d simply say, “chicken soup.” Simple. Brilliant. And makes you resilient.

(This post also appears at Go Mighty!)


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