We know that everything is constantly changing. The fall shows us this in colorful detail. Some changes, like the beauty of the colors, or the refreshing shift in temperature, clothes, and routines, feel good, but the reality of impermanence can often be unnerving for us human beings. While learning to flow with change is a life-long practice, there is something we can do to help us lose some of the natural tension that arises from it. I offer this tool in my A Mindful Life groups and I want to share it with everyone else, too, because I find it comforting and why not add some comfort to our lives. Like the rocks in this photograph I took in Maine, where the rocks seem placed to gently direct the flow of water, we too, can control the input of stress that change can have on us by asking a very simple question...
This exercise can be done with a partner and said aloud, or it makes a simple journaling prompt at the start of a day, or whenever you experience a feeling of being unmoored. If you do it with a partner, you might want to close your eyes so you can go inside and search without distraction and all your partner needs to do is hold the space. There is something about saying it aloud and finding what you discover before a witness that can deepen the experience. Your partner gets the added benefit of being comforted by hearing what you say, too.
Today I can rest in knowing...
~ Set a timer for 4 minutes
~ Start with the prompt: Today I can rest in knowing...
~ Wait and name the first thing that comes. Anything from: my refrigerator has food in it; my family and I are healthy right now; my car works; my colonoscopy came back clear; I have enough to pay the bills today; the sun is shining; the rain is nourishing the plants. Anything that, for right now, is true that you can take comfort in. Only say it if it truly brings you some comfort in recognizing it. It should feel genuine and specific to the moment you are in. This is not generalized gratitude for anything.
~ After you name the first one, take a pause to take it in and let yourself rest in this awareness for a moment before moving on. Let a breath come, a smile, or some letting go in your shoulders or your gut. And then say the refrain again: today I can rest in knowing... Continue with the prompt slowly until the timer goes off.
~ When the timer goes off, see how it feels to rest in all of these things of the present moment. If you did it with a partner, your partner can feel what it's like too, and then you can switch and take in even more comfort in listening.
Yes, change can be hard, but if we slow down and look deeply, there is always something we can take comfort in. I wish you all a beautiful week and for anyone celebrating Rosh Hashanah, I wish you a sweet and happy new year.