The past three weeks have been the hardest of my entire life. Thoughts of the future overwhelmed me and threw me into a downward spiral of anxiety and fear. Thoughts of the past reminded me of the sorrow and heartache I felt. I could not find peace. Life seemed unbearable. So I prayed. I prayed almost every moment of every day. That sounds impossible, but it’s the truth. I was in constant conversation with God. Asking him for help, praying for peace, thanking Him for everything I could think of to thank Him for. I prayed my rosary, I prayed scripture, I prayed the serenity prayer, I even spent 5 minutes at a time just saying the name of Jesus over and over again to help me through situations.
Then this week I heard Him. In the smallest whisper He said, “Elizabeth, just be and let it be.”
First off, I love how He says my name. There is something in the way He says it that makes it specific to me. Even if the room were full of Elizabeths I would know he was talking specifically to me.
Second, how do I just be and let it be?
This week I have been practicing just being and letting it be. And this is what I found:
Just being means living in this very moment. Living in the now. Not letting my thoughts run ahead of me into the future. I spent the first couple days going through my day saying exactly what I was doing in the moment, to keep me focused on the moment. “Now I am brushing my teeth, I am brushing my teeth, still brushing my teeth. All I have to do right now is brush my teeth.” After 60 seconds of teeth brushing I moved onto getting changed, and then putting my shoes on. I felt like Bill Murray in “What About Bob” (If you haven’t seen it, it’s a good laugh).
Letting it be is all about acceptance. There are so many unknowns in my life right now and I was trying to figure out every single one of them. I was acting as if I was God, as if I had to be the one to fix and to understand every thing. I don’t. I just have to trust. I just have to accept.
Every time I start to feel anxious it is because I am either looking ahead or trying to figure something out. I have to reign myself back into the moment. I have to keep things simple right now. Each moment I focus on just that moment and accept it for what it is. In the sorrow I allow myself to cry. In the joy, I laugh.
My mind has a tendency to wander though, which makes it hard to stay in the moment. In the times that it wonders I practice yoga. Its very hard to let your mind wander while doing yoga. The focus on breath and body doesn’t allow for wandering thoughts. I personally use it as a time of prayer as well. So, I thought it was awesome when I stumbled upon this yoga practice which was all about living in the now!