reading the room

  • by
Petals on water

How are you? Stressed, sad, angry? A little/lot of each? Me, too. In the words of my six-year-old grandson, “There’s a lot going on.” Yes there is, my little buddy.

There are times when I don’t even know what to say about 2020, other than I fully expect to see “shitshow” added to to the OED any day now.

Some days are better than others. Where I live, in the Bay Area, we were treated to end-of-days orange skies this week and an air quality index creeping up toward 300 (much higher in some spots). So, in addition to my doomscrolling (another OED contender for 2020), I’ve been obsessively checking my phone to see if I want to risk getting outside for a bit. Even if you’re not dealing with fires, there are plenty of other worries.

Everyone I know is struggling, whether it’s with money concerns, feeling alone, feeling claustrophobic, homeschooling while working full-time, fear of getting sick . . . I could go on. Even while we struggle, is there a way to find some ease, some self-soothing? I try—with meditation, writing, reading, taking pictures, looking at art books, Netflix, and sometimes, cupcakes. And yet. This past week had me spinning. And at the same time, feeling heavy. I needed to try something new.

It was during a coaching call that I came up with a guided visualization that I’m sharing with you here, in the hope that you will find it relaxing, or fun, or something that will serve you well.

Imagine yourself at the threshold of a house. This can be your own home, or something you build in your imagination. I’ll get us started, but please feel welcome make this your own.

Your house is open and airy, swirling and curving, yet with nooks and crannies that are filled with delights. As you walk through your home, notice what’s there. What do you see when you open doors? Are there cubbyholes, filled with treasures? What colors cover the walls and the floors? Are there any corners, or do the walls and floors blend into each other? Are there any smells in this place? Maybe cinnamon, pine trees, the scent of late fall as it turns one day into winter? What sounds do you hear? Is there music? Maybe in one of those nooks is a record player. Is it playing a song from long ago? Does it bring you right back to a special day, whether it was a party in your misspent youth, or just an afternoon when you sat alone in your preteen room playing song after song, filled with both longing and hope for the future.

You’re walking slowly, lingering in each room, maybe losing track of the time and where you’ve been. You are moving along a path, though. It may not feel like one, for there are no straight lines, but you are winding your way somewhere, somewhere peaceful. Or maybe today your destination is really about staying in this moment. Maybe it’s that and moving forward gracefully, navigating between the now and forward, fluid motion. Whatever you decide is beautiful. This house is your creation, a place you can return to any time you like.

Would you prefer me to read this to you? Ok, I will.

I hope this gives you a moment of peace. Or more than a moment. I would love to hear your thoughts and any ideas you have for navigating these strange days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *