Being present means not being attached to any outcome. Not anticipating a particular result. Not wigging out but not going all giddy, either
When turning in bed, though, can’t I hope for a comfortable result?
Especially given the ordeal it is. Most nights, I try sending a mental signal to my body to roll over. When that doesn’t take, I break the process down into steps. Scoot hips. A little further. Straighten legs. Both legs. Push off with the lower arm. Use more force. Work those abs (ooh, those daily sit-ups come in handy). Swing the top arm around. All the way around.
I’m in a full sweat by the time I get through a quarter turn.
By this point, I kick off the blankets and rearrange the pillows. This takes some time. Finally, on the brink of tears of frustration one night, I think, Stop. What can I learn here in the dark? Well, number one on the worth-it list is that I can at enjoy a big breakfast in the morning given all the calories I’ve burned since midnight.
But, is there a bigger picture? I stare into the night trying to be yogic. Perhaps while I’m lying here awake, I think, I’ll witness a second item for the list.
My back aches and one hand won’t stop trembling. I stay the course, though, sure that I will discover a deeper meaning in it all.
I wait. I listen. I hear the furnace kick on in the basement.
So much for profound insight. I’d cry if I weren’t laughing. With some effort, I sit up and swing my legs over the side of the bed. The heat has lulled to a constant hum, the dog groans and starts to snore. I find myself dipping to the floor onto my hands and knees. With surprising ease, I arch and curl into a couple of cat and dog poses. Next, I’m stretching my arms and shoulders into puppy then reaching forward into a modified up dog. I end in child’s pose.
My back feels better. My wrist and fingers have stilled. I crawl into bed, ease onto my side, and I’m out.
I wake again before dawn. But I wait to turn onto my stomach. Not for a divine message. No, I wait until the mute button in my brain shuts off the busy talk that’s been trying to create the worth-it list. I’d been working so hard to make sense of being in the situation that I lost all sense of actually being in the moments that made up the situation.
Freeing up my brain from the chatter around my fabrications of the meaning of it all made room to hear what my body was telling me. Get up and move a little, it said. Will a few stretches always relieve the tension in my lower back? Will the result be that I’ll turn with ease? Probably not. But, my body will find a place of rest as my mind learns to be in a comfortable position.