(inspired by Annie Lighthart’s The Second Music)
Underneath all the noise,
the constant mind chatter
of excitement and longing,
between email and phone calls,
driving to work and the grocery store,
there is a second music always
playing in the background.
You could almost miss it
if you aren’t paying attention.
You would surely miss it
if you forget the best friend
whispering to you through a slow
inbreath and long outbreath,
the one who has asked all these years
I’m here. Are you here?
The one who has always known
your song by heart
patiently waiting for you to listen.
Do you ever feel like a kite, flying from one thing to the next, guided by some mysterious hands that feel so far away?
Back into the full swing of work, family life, and gearing up for some mindfulness projects, the New Year’s retreat feels so far way. I know I’m tethered to something important that’s guiding me, but it can get lost
underneath all the noise, the constant mind chatter of excitement and longing, between email and phone calls, driving to work and the grocery store.
When your attention is split between all the people and things calling to you, how do you ground and unify the heart-mind to greet them one at a time? Who/what do you say no thank you to in order to have authentic energy for loving presence?
Last Thursday on a weekday off from work, I had the option to participate in a mindful mom’s yoga class, collaborate with a friend on an upcoming mindful parenting class, spend time with family, catch up with patient care online, and attend a performance in San Francisco about healing and human connection in medicine. I can’t tell you how many times I went back and forth about these options (especially in the 24 four hours preceding that day).
I was missing a best friend’s whispers until I sat down to meditate Thursday morning and fully embodied a warrior pose in yoga class drawing the line between what was needed, and what would need to wait. Between slow in breaths and long outbreaths, I was asked many times, “I’m here. Are you here?”
I often get anxious with a busy schedule or a long to do list. When I decide not to do something, an inner critic reminds me of all the missed opportunities, all the people I’m disappointing.
This is the time I especially need to listen to the one who has always known my song by heart. I need to trust this heart-mind to direct the energy where it is needed most. If I can concentrate on what I am doing, one breath, one step at a time, I’m more likely to hear the second music, to confidently step into the Great Mystery and become a part of its benevolent design.