Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weeding the Cracks

I'm using my weeder--a long, pointy metal dowel with a handle--to weed between the cracks of my fieldstone walkways.

I like creeping thyme or Irish moss or cute little mazus growing in the cracks. But the flowers (or weeds) that volunteer there are more likely to be tall phlox or prolific spiderwort. Bleeding heart likes to grow in the racks of my stone steps.

The weeder is a great narrow tool for getting down int those spots where a trowel won't go. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. The soil loosens, and the plant pops out with its roots attached. Whew!

What are the weeds that grow in the cracks of our lives? I'm sure you know these "familiars"--complaining, judging, desiring, anticipating, hoping, dreaming.

First, we use the tool of mindfulness to identify that weed (a plant growing in the wrong place or a stressful thought). Sometimes, just noticing "Irritation. Irritation." or "Hi, Judge" is sufficient for the thought to dissipate.

But there are some thoughts that come back and back and back. Here's where we need the "weeder" to pry into that thought. How does that thought feel in the body? Where in the body do you feel that thought? Focus, really focus on the sensations of that thought/feeling. What do you notice?

Sink into that sensation/feeling. Allow your attention to be completely consumed by it. What happens?

One by one, we pry stressful thoughts out of our lives. One step at a time, we become happier.

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