Create. Hope. Rising.
I love a bendy straw, don’t you? Maybe for you it’s something else; a song, a certain sweater, a perfect sitting rock by the lake.
In every moment, we only have to look around to find our own personal bendy straw ah-ha moment.
In April of 2011, I spent time in the hospital while the doctors tried to figure out exactly why I was having a stop-the-press, and shut-the-door, non-stop headache. In the middle of that hospital stay, and after multiple tests, the doctor came in with potential diagnosis. Some of it sounded pretty scary, and even more scary after I scanned the internet for information.
My first reaction was fear. My reptilian brain flared up with stories about losing my life, and fears for my family and loved ones. As I lay in bed, pain increasing rapidly, I cried and a compassionate and beautiful aide dropped by, sitting next to me and holding my hand while I chocked out my fears between tight lips and liquid eyes.
Then I stopped and remembered. I was making up stories about a future that would never come true — at least never a future exactly like the one my vivid imagination was creating. I did not know what the future held. No single person does. Ever.
But I did know that in every moment there was potential for pleasure, peace, acceptance.
I decided to look around and find a place of pleasure. I accepted that the future can not be found in the present.
Then I thought about bendy straws.
No where else in my life could I punch a button and a lovely helper would magically appear with a small can of soda and a bendy straw. I love bendy straws. So, with a smile I punched that button and waited for my drink and bendy straw to arrive.
Here is my desk, cluttered with activity, with my bendy straw collection in sight. It reminds me that staying present in the moment, looking for places of peace, pleasure and contentment are within my power. And it is within your power, too.
When you are faced with sobering news, and caught in the painful cycle of imagining the future just stop, drop and roll, like the fire rules we learned in elementary school.
Stop, look around yourself and imagine something in the moment that could bring you pleasure and peace. Look at the clock and remind yourself that all that is real is that exact moment, it is all you know for sure.
Drop stories about the future, it will never look like you imagined, and you’ll waste precious real time, found only in the moment.
Roll with the feelings, let them pass through you, around you, and out so you can return to your center of peace.
I’m on the road to recovery now. Smile on face. Happy to be typing this blog, in this moment. Sharing with you. Lemon water and straw in hand. Cheers!
May your days be filled with bendy straw peace.