It’s official. Day one of Real Happiness. Although being awake at 4am is never my idea of happiness, I decide to do a mixture of practices (listening, body scan, tea drinking, breathing) at this unhappy hour. Truth be told, there is something quite exquisite about the stillness. And yet, as I often notice, even the stillness is a façade. Beneath the surface is a whirlwind of activity. And beneath that whirlwind an expanse.
I cradle a cup of Sleepy Time tea in my hands as I sit and notice my breath, in and out, in and out, the soothing scent of peppermint and chamomile floating to my nose. Sharp needle like pains in my head scare the wits out of me for a moment, and then I remember: fleeting, not here to stay. Just lingering sinusitis. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
My husband is snoring, softly. Someone in the apartment above is awake, stomping about, mindlessly it seems to me. Of course, the clock is ticking like Big Ben.
When sleepiness finally overcomes me 10 minutes later, I welcome it and climb into bed, breathing out the barrage of thoughts that threaten to keep me awake still longer.
Arising groggy a few hours later, I commit to sit for just 5 minutes, and notice almost immediately a wave of sadness. Investigating its origin, I remain uncertain, and remind myself to receive, and release. Just breathe and be. 10 minutes later I focus my attention on lovingkindness to myself, a few close friends, the apartment building in which I live, the dojo community of which I am a part, my husband, the universe.
For the moment, I am happy.