As I mentioned last week, my son recently came down with strep and I spent the weekend at home alone with him. When I wasn’t taking care of him or de-cluttering my home, I was watching Homeland… 12 hours of Homeland to be exact. I started at 7pm each night saying after each conclusion, “Just one more episode. This is the last for sure,” Yup. 2am snuck up on me quickly. Both nights.
As you can imagine, Brody and Carrie guest-starred in most of my dreams that weekend. All that TV made me feel pretty kooky. On Sunday night I was lying in bed and couldn’t press the mental pause button on an intense torture scene, so I started experimenting with different meditations I’d learned – hoping to change the channel. Nothing was working.
So I tried something new and began to systematically focus on each part of my body, in hopes to connect back to the here and now. I started with my skin, allowing small sections of my outer shell to tingle, my focus moving from limb to limb, head to toe.
Then I thought about my bones, my organs. I mentally peeled my skin back and concentrated so hard that I could see and feel, really feel, my bones. I felt my blood pulse through my heart. I focused on my kidneys, liver, stomach, connecting intimately with each organ and acknowledging the work they perform for me each day. They weren’t just a jumbled mess of mysterious globs taking up space under my skin. I offered gratitude to them.
Last stop on the organ train was my brain. I used everything I had to penetrate it. I dug through my third eye and imagined the two big lobes of grey macaroni-like substance, filling the top portion of my skull completely, pulsing with blood and ideas and power, creating pressure on the underside of my scalp. Though the brain is contained, its thoughts are limitless. With that acknowledgment, the pressure dissipated as the energy pulsing under my skull released into the world.
The intense and intentional connection to my body fostered the now moment and allowed me to let go of the previous 6 hours of television programming.
It’s funny, while sitting here writing, I’m conjuring those sensations all over again. It’s very grounding. Nothing else can be happening when we’re channeling all of our focus into our bodies. All the bullshit disappears. It’s liberating.
Next time you’re trapped in an episode of Homeland, or more likely an episode of your life, try turning your attention inward, literally. Tell me what happens. Or please share what you do to clean your clock.
From mine to yours,
p.s. Please share this meditation experiment with friends and family you think might find it helpful. Or with anyone watching Homeland. 🙂