Honestly sometimes trying to still the left side of my brain (which is busy plotting out what I am going to be doing 6 months ahead of time and sketching out 3 alternate strategies in case one fails) often feels like a waste of time. The fault is mine. I really like that side of my brain (it’s where all the words comes from) and it is extremely useful for planning. But given a chance it takes over, gallops ahead and then, like one of the characters in No-one Belongs Here More Than You, ‘I rush through life like I am being chased… when I drink relaxing tea, I suck it down as if I’m in a contest for who can drink relaxing tea the quickest.’
Meditating isn’t nearly enough for me to stay in balance, I also need to nourish the right side of my brain with sensory experiences. With Laura I didn’t have to strive to do this. We were always laughing, dancing, touching, singing, playing and sunning under trees or in cafes. But living alone I can easily retreat inside my head. The last few weeks I’ve consciously tried to be present to sensations like touch (the feel of the sheets and pillows as I get into bed – I sleep much better afterwards), the burst of flavor when I am eating, the sweet perfume of spring, the feel of dancing or doing tai chi. If I can pleasurably connect with the present, it relaxes my whole system and fills me with joy.