Those Pesky Fly Thoughts

Moment by Moment, Breath by Breath

      Because I’m what they call “a kinesthetic person,” someone who processes life through my body, the easiest way for me to relax is to do a walking meditation. The steady rhythm of putting one foot in front of the other quickly brings my mind-body back into alignment.

      One step, one moment. Another step, a new moment. And yet another step, another new moment. With each moment, with each step, I have a choice. I can choose to hold on to what’s been stressing me or I can let it go. It’s my choice, my moment, my step, my breath.

      It is amazing how when I’m walking along, with the phone put away, by the shore or a country road, that out of the blue an old memory of some grievance comes to mind. Perhaps a memory of someone that “Done me wrong.” Or perhaps a memory of a less than stellar episode on my part. It hits from out of the blue—Where did that come from?

      I used to feel persecuted by those wandering tormentors from the past. But I’ve since learned to thank them for the gift they bring. They remind me there’s something there I haven’t cleared up yet. Do I need to forgive myself? Or do I need to forgive that other guy? Is there an action I need to take that has been left undone? Sometimes those tormentors are meant to get us moving, like the sharp kick of a spur.

      I’ve learned the memories that still sting are gifts to us, to point us in the direction of where we need to clean our emotional closets—to remind us that there’s work to be done.  We know we’re clear when we can look the memory in the face say to ourselves with a little smile, “Yeah, well, that’s the past. Not this moment.  And not my future.”

    No matter how you meditate, walking or still, in silence or with sound, when those pesky flies of the past dart into your inner space don’t resist them. Thank them for reminding you it’s time to clean your emotional closets. Then prepare to let them go, moment by moment, breath by breath.