As I listened to the rain falling on the cottage roof last night at 3 am, I recalled a recent conversation with a friend. Actually several different conversations came to mind all at once because that seems to be the way my mind works.
For a moment I felt a tensing in my belly -- the spot I carry my worry -- and then just as gently as the falling rain, I let it go. I realized it was not my worry to carry. No good would come from me taking that on.
Just a few short years ago I would have allowed those conversations and the pain my friends were in to take up residence within my belly, right along with my own list of things I worried about. After laying there in the dark visualizing all the worry filled possibilities to the things on my mind, I would have eventually fallen asleep with my stomach clenched and awoke again with it still clenched, never even realizing I had allowed it to become a part of me.
Now, through yoga and mindfulness, I have tuned into my body well enough to know when something foreign is attempting to work its way in, or when something out of my control is looking for a place to land. Thankfully I am now able to let go of what is not mine to carry. And once I do, I am at peace within my body again, and my mind is able to concentrate positively on what is right there in front of me.
The sweet sound of the rain on the roof brings me back to this present moment and I send up a grateful prayer for being safe, warm and dry on this night and then waves of appreciation begin to roll in for all that I have, and all that I am. I am thankful for this cottage and its special ability to make the world go away when I arrive here, the snoringly beautiful man beside me who chooses to love me no matter how many curve balls I throw at him, the little angel sleeping in the pack and play in the next room who I am honored to be able to help raise and call granddaughter. The list begins right there and goes on to include health and well wishes for my children who are not currently under this roof but who I pray are just as safe, for my friends who are struggling with their unique issues, for members of my family, etc.
Once I would have "worried" myself totally awake and into a racing state of mind. This time however, I am not worrying, I am at peace. I have learned to turn around/fend off "worry" into positive thoughts. I send love, light, happiness, strength, clarity, forgiveness, peace -- whatever is needed out in big beautiful waves from my heart. I used to carry so many struggles within me (as if I had the power to do something about them). It got me one big ugly ulcer and a negativity I never want to hold inside again and did nothing helpful for the people I took them from.
Now instead of focusing on the negative, I send a shot of positive to all who need it and let the clench go, knowing this is how I keep the best version of me centered in peace. This is how I show up in their lives as a light, as a calm, positive, loving light. Or on my best days, maybe even as an inspiration.
The rain works its way back into my consciousness and I smile. Happy and content that I am where I am. Safe, loved, thankful and ready for what curve balls life throws at me next.