The practice is simply this: keep coming back to your breath during the day. Just take a moment. This will give your mind a steadiness and your breath a gracefulness . . . There’s so much to let go of, isn’t there? Your nostalgia and your regrets. Your fantasies and your fears. What you think you want instead of what is happening right now. Breathe.
~ Rodney Yee, Yoga: The Poetry of the Body
It’s morning, and I’m sitting here thinking about, concentrating on, the breath. Inhale. Exhale. Too shallow. Try again. Inhale. Exhale. Take a deep breath. Pause. Let it go. What is it I’m letting go of? The breath, the tension, the fear.
I am dealing with a fear today. It’s a silly little thing, but I’ve had it forever and no amount of immersion therapy seems to help. However, it is something I need to do so I will do it. I am going to get in the car and drive for the first time since moving to the Eastern Shore.
Those who have followed me for a while already know, maybe, that I have a fear of driving. I drive when I have to, but it seems that every time I drive the car, the fear grows worse, and I worry that there is a limit to that fear, that I have so many drives left in me before I can’t do it at all. I know that isn’t true, although it could be true if I were to allow it to be true.
Driving here should be easy for me, I think, once I get past this first drive. There is some traffic around here, but not much (especially if you compare it to the traffic in the Baltimore and D.C. areas). I want to be able to drive myself to Assateague Island so I can roam around with my camera and not feel as if I’m holding someone else up while I slow walk or spend an hour in the same area, watching and listening and learning. I want to be able to take myself to the store to do the shopping. I want to go to Chincoteague or to the library or to get my hair cut without having M drive me. Mostly, I want to banish this fear, but wonder if that’s even possible at this point.
In about an hour or so I will get in the driver’s seat of the car, start it up, grasp the steering wheel tightly, and white knuckle my way to a hair salon to get my hair cut. It’s an easy drive. A left out of the driveway (and I have 1/4 mile of driveway to warm up and recall my driving skills!), a right at the end of our road, a left at the first light, straight on for about 14 miles, take a left, stay to the right around a small curve in the road, and I’m there. The return trip will be even easier. Left and around the curve, right to get back on the highway, right on a road that runs on a diagonal (a shortcut on a back road), another right, a left, and the final right back to the driveway and home.
The important thing is to remember to breathe.
Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?
~ Mary Oliver
Time for me to get up and walk and think about other things for a little while. Thank you for visiting, and sitting with me as I work my way through my fear. I feel better already. When I return from my trip, I’ll go for a walk and see what the strong wind wrought yesterday.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂