“We can never know about the days to come, but we think about them anyway” – Carly Simon, “Anticipation”
I had dinner with an old friend the other night. Our birthdays are a couple of weeks apart, so we try once a year to get together and celebrate.
When we met this year, he told me that he was recently diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and was “taking it easy” these days. Even though he’s had quite a journey dealing with his exhaustion, he seemed happy. And I think I know why.
He has discovered something that many people long for.
Mindfulness practices teach it. Yoga teachers preach it.
And sages and gurus throughout the centuries have written about it.
The universal yearning for this “it” has become the new search for the Holy Grail.
And as long as we keep searching, the more “it” seems to evade.
Why is that?
Because “it,” can’t be obtained. “It” can only be experienced. That may sound a little esoteric, but hear me out.
Our minds are conditioned (by a fast-paced culture) to go, go, go. We are always doing, and never just being. And the last time I checked, we were still called human beings.
Are we to become human doings instead?
I fear we already have.
And the consequences of our new identities as evidenced by the epidemic or perhaps pandemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other serious ailments are worrisome.
There is however, a remedy.
Take a moment to notice your breath. What happened?
Your body inhaled, then it exhaled, and then ...
That’s our natural rhythm. Inhale exhale pause, inhale exhale pause, not inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale exhale, etc.
The rhythm of our culture doesn’t take time to pause. It’s not in sync with how we are meant to be. And if we don’t take the time to pause, our bodies will make us.
Take time each day to “pause” and simply “be” in that gap, then watch what happens.
You may just find that that is where your Holy Grail lies.
Maura Matarese, M.A. LMHC, R.Y.T. is a psychotherapist practicing in Sudbury,
MA. To learn more about Maura and her
practice, visit www.mauramatarese.com.