I got angry this week more than usual—that is both a result of lack of sleep and allowing frustration to build without dealing with it straight on. Being “tired of” and “tired from” led me to say things I regret and acting as less than a calm and positive person. Where I found my high ground from the flood of impatience was in silence. Margaret Johnson started her Practice of Presence class—which she is so generously offering as a gift to Kabbalah Experience—at lunchtime this past Tuesday. I joined as a participant among my fellow learners to deepen my capacity to come back to breath, calmness of mind, to find my higher ground.
This past week the weather pattern has included an almost daily downpour in the afternoon or evening. The first of these occurred last Thursday at rush hour. I too was finishing my work day and saw a group of people readying, yet hesitating to exit our office building. The rain was coming down in torrents and there was no indication when it would let up. Fortunately, I only have a short distance to travel between my therapy office and home. So, I, in concert with many others made the soaking dash to our cars and cautiously headed out.
The roads were already flooding and cars were backing up—but I had alternate side streets to steer a clear path home. A phone call from Rita alerted me to not head down the main street near our home as she could see from the window a small lake forming and cars already stalling as they tried to navigate through the water. I passed many cars already water logged and drained of engine power. I circumvented the now sizeable lake on our block and then watched as well as some cars went through the flooded intersection and other stalled out. The rain stopped a few minutes after I arrived home and remarkably—within a matter of a few more minutes—what had been a formidable impasse receded fully and the only sign of the flood that remained was wet pavement.
When Margaret Johnson asked us to consider a word or image to bring us back to calmness, to being present, I thought of the lake in front of my house—the receding water. If I, along with so many others, had not been in “rush” (mode) hour—had sat and meditated for a few minutes in the dryness of our offices or in the safety of our cars, the water would have receded by the time we got to that given intersection. And so it is with the flood of anger. Waiting a few moments—coming back to calmness and breath. It is but a few moments—that allow us to pass by with ease or sputter, cause damage and drain our engines in the process.