“The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Rocks don't see it.
Bless and sit down.
Forgive and forget.
Practice kindness all day to everybody
and you will realize you’re already
in heaven now.
That’s the story.
That’s the message.
Nobody understands it,
nobody listens, they’re
all running around like chickens with heads cut
off. I will try to teach it but it will
be in vain, s’why I’ll
end up in a shack
praying and being
cool and singing
by my woodstove
On this first day of November
it is cold as a cave,
the sky the color
of neutral third parties.
I am cutting carrots
for the chicken soup.
Knife against carrot
again and again
sends a plop of pennies
into the pan.
when held to the gray light,
hold no noble president,
of some kaleidoscope
caught being pensive...
in the eye of this beholder,
who did not expect
this moment of marvel
while making an early supper
for the hungry children.
Cindy Gregg, “Monday” from Suddenly Autumn. © 2010 Cindy Gregg published by Wordplay Press. From The Writer’s Almanac November 1, 2021
|My father taught me how to eat breakfast|
those mornings when it was my turn to help
him milk the cows. I loved rising up from
the darkness and coming quietly down
the stairs while the others were still sleeping.
I’d take a bowl from the cupboard, a spoon
from the drawer, and slip into the pantry
where he was already eating spoonfuls
of cornflakes covered with mashed strawberries
from our own strawberry fields forever.
Didn’t talk much—except to mention how
good the strawberries tasted or the way
those clouds hung over the hay barn roof.
Simple—that’s how we started up the day.
A simple start to the day with a loved one is so comforting. What is your favorite morning ritual?
Feeling rushed by obligations and buried in chaos?
Morning space and time may help you set a confident pace for your day. Crafting mindful mornings is an art that needs intentional space for full expression. As a loss and life adjustment consultant trained in architecture and philosophy here is how I make room for my morning mindfulness routine.
Step 1: Clear one seat. Not a room. Not a big space. Just one comfortable chair, yoga mat, bed, step, any place where you can get comfortable. Don’t get sidetracked into cleaning an entire room. This adds yet another obligation to your load. My seat is a simple orange upholstered wide sofa in my study that I try to keep clear and open.
Step one is about identifying and giving yourself a space, location, and foundation for you-time.
Step 2: Clear space for one view. It can be a window, a picture, a candle. My window looks onto a suburban cul-de-sac, so I added little things I find beautiful, funny and calming on the window sill. Again, focus on just one view, spaces on your side and behind you can be filled with laundry, dishes, papers, toys, the mess of life. The key here is to curate a supportive perspective unique to you.
Step two helps you build emotional connections and boundaries, walls and windows that set and clarify your perspective from your chosen seat.
Step 3: Choose something to touch. Something soothing like a blanket, a pillow, or a stuffed animal. Choose something to hear like music, wind-chimes or nature sounds. Choose a comforting smell like incense, perfume, fruit, candles. I keep jasmine incense, a soft pillow to hold, and bird feeder outside my window. All three remind me of my time growing up in Bangladesh. For me, holding the warm cup of tea on my soft pillow while incense swirls in front of the window and birds chirp outside is calming.
Step three aims to support sensory comfort and safety through your personal choices.
How would you design your space for time?
Try sitting in your space for mindful time for 21 days. See if you notice any shifts in your self-confidence and let me know.
Long ago as an architecture student, I would dream about walking through the designs I was working on (this often turned into nightmares!). Even today, I often dream of being lost in interior spaces both familiar and unfamiliar. It is no surprise that architectural metaphors, thinking and space infuse my understanding of philosophy and therapy. After all, my dissertation was about Heidegger used in architecture. Now, I’m working on Eugene Gendlin’s understanding of Heidegger in Focusing therapy.
Most clients I work with are trapped in time. Traumatic time. For me, I work as their architect, creating space in their lives for the present, for love, for forgiveness, for openness, for beauty.
In therapy I invite others into my own metaphorical home where I am centered, happy and at peace. Maintaining this house is my professional duty. I spend one day a week, at least, cleaning, repairing and organizing this home. As I write, I am organizing this home by opening the windows into my process. This is related to Expressive Arts Therapy and an attempt to digest a reformated “introjection” about the idea of home for me.
Ask yourself, when do I feel completely at home?
The answer will show you the way to your inner eternal space, out of your time, your history, your expectations. This also the basis of the “safe place” mindfulness practice often utilized in treating trauma and anxiety.
Now ask yourself, what brings me back towards home, when I feel lost?
The answer will show you the road, the stops, the vehicle you need to return to yourself. For me, the road includes, connecting with my daughters, husband, reading and buying new books, learning something new, listening to music, eating something delicious ( I am after all the hungry-philosopher) and writing (as I am now).
Whether or not you work in counseling and healing services, it is imperative that you be a home maker.
A home-maker. An architect of your own soul NOT a house-wife, trapped in a role construction. Many of us, most our lives, live as housewives not homemakers.
Today may you be your own home-maker architect and may this confidence allow you to invite others who need space,
“What does the opposite of a seizure feel like for you? What are you doing when you are comfortable?”
“I am sipping coffee in the morning. The kids are off to school and it’s quiet.”
“Do you have a favorite coffee cup? Tomorrow morning try holding your coffee cup in your lap, feel the weight and texture of the cup, focus on how warm it is. Notice the steam rising. Take a sip. Follow the sip down into your belly. Feel the warmth travel.
Practice digesting quiet and easy moments like these. Grow the small joys, like following a sip of warm coffee in the morning. ”
May you fill your cup and follow your warmth today,