A Moment of Zen
Don’t go first thing in the morning. Wait.
Spend your day keeping frustrations inside. All the doubts, the hurt, the pain of being in this world. Hold on to it like some cherished memory you know you’ll need someday. Keep it all, because it’s yours. The hurt belongs to you. The anger came from inside of your heart. Your thoughts wouldn’t let you forget what kept you awake the night before, questioning. Any action taken against you, when you can’t respond in kind, wait. Any time you’re ignored, cast aside like a coat too weathered to hold the warmth inside, remember that feeling. No one else hurts the way you hurt. No one can know. You are alone in your solitude. And keep this all inside of you and wait. Let the day happen and Life occur to you. It will. Life is an ocean that brings things you never wanted to your shores. You never asked; you can’t stop the tide.
You will be battered. You will be misunderstood. The anger will come. The grief will settle in like an old friend.
Don’t go first thing in the morning. Wait. Go out and face your day, knowing Life will bring you the weight you’ll need to carry. No, after sunrise is too early. You are not heavy enough.
Walk out into your day and face life. When you’re shouted at, when your outreached hand is turned away, when your desperate grabs at success fall short, when your best just isn’t good enough, when those you love and care for hurt and despair while you’re powerless to help, and when the love you have in your heart dies a little bit…hold on to all of that. Don’t let go. Take it all with you.
Later, feeling helpless to change anything, lost in a storm, or burdened by the day, go to your door. Stretch. Deep breath. Remember your day and all that brought you here. And go.
No timers. No music. No goals. Just go. And think of everything that happened that day. Bring the hurt, the anger, the self-doubt…bring that all with you as your legs stretch out before you, not thinking of how your foot meets the ground but of how much it hurt. This day. How hard it was. Just go. Just let go. Listen to the wind and the sounds of the city. You are one among thousands. Skip up to meet the curb, dodge pedestrians, listen to your heart, feel the burn in your lungs, but don’t stop. The day is not over and you have the weight of the day to leave behind. Another block. Another six blocks. Relax. Use what your day brought to you and go another mile. Let your thoughts remember. Your calves don’t ache; your soul does. The fire is not in your breathing but in your heart. You saved it all; the time has come to let it go. Run. Run further. Don’t worry about time. Just the next step. Just the next memory. It hurt worse to go through that day than the pain firing through your body as you push on up the hill. So relax. You got this.
Another mile and you’re lighter. You’re leaving it all behind, burning the fuel that brought you outside. You’re doing it. You haven’t stopped. You will finish. All that came before no longer matters because you are in the now and only you know how this feels. Muscles fire and push against old concrete and this is all nothing more than the refusal to let Life win. Life is not with you when you run. There is nothing else but the run, the thing you saved for all day, and what made the day worth it.
Run and let go. Run and move on. Breath, hurt, relax, and think. Settle into that groove and just be. Relax your fists, shake your fingers, and just don’t stop. Stopping early means the day wasn’t heavy enough. So run. Run until you just can’t anymore.
When you stop, walking in circles with your hands on your hips, catching your breath, ask: what brought you out tonight? Does it seem as heavy now? Or did you do something with what you were feeling? Find your answer, know it, and forget it. Let go. Relax. Breath some more before the sun rises in the morning and does this to you again. Before the next time you run.