Finding Calm in Zone One

(My only Black Friday sale purchase was access to a thermal spa for two at the Spa Experience by Better in East London. I’ve been here before, it is a fantastic facility for the price and sometimes is just a much needed way to feel pampered without breaking the bank).

It was in the heat and mist of the eucalyptus and mint steam room (the hottest one-my favourite), where I kind of truly stopped for a few minutes. I know switching off is something I can be terrible at. A couple chattered quietly on the other side of the room, and drops fell from the ceiling where they had condensed from steam. Months ago these things, these little noises, would have me quietly seething. After all, how can I be ‘quiet’ when all isn’t QUIET?

Mindfulness is simply allowing time to pass, without adding one’s ‘stamp’ onto each passing moment

Many times when I was first starting out, I really struggled with background noise, with closing my eyes which allowed thoughts to race through my head. The more that appeared, the more I would assume failure.

I feel my study of mindfulness/meditation has helped me find a place, that place in my chest, where I can place my awareness and allow the noises to be where they are. And it struck me that all mindfulness and meditation are is simply allowing time to pass, without adding one’s ‘stamp’ onto each passing moment.

Every time we try to control a moment, or do something else, or try and extract every bit of value from something (what I’m guilty of the other 99% of my day) is akin to us trying to add our own stamp to time. Ro almost own it. This feels something we do, without realising, from a place of ego.

Why must we attempt to own every second? To fill each hour with long to-do lists of tasks we should do and people we ought to see. There is a certain beauty in movies unwatched, laundry unironed, and simply feeling time pass by.

Two great challenges to feel this slow ticking of time, the universal heartbeat are to:

  1. Enjoy a lazy lunch deal in a restarant with no entertainment, taste your food, and let the natural progress of the meal be your only clock.
  2. Like I did, try and find a sauna or steam room somewhere. A garden or beach would also work perfectly. Place your awareness in what I imagine to be an elevator from your head down into your chest, at your heart chakra, and let those thoughts pass through your mind unanswered.

So there I was, not being perfect, not being a zen master, but simply allowing thoughts and time to pass.

As it will always continue to do, regardless.