Hitting the Logic Wall

I hate to love running.

Mostly, I hate running on the treadmill. Every time, even with the distraction of music thumping in my ears, I cannot keep my eyes away from the clock. I continuously try to shame or logic myself out of this dolorous habit, because I KNOW from a lifetime of experience the truth that David Bowie so eloquently and simply expressed : I can't change time.

The disappointment of seeing the mere seconds tick by when I though surely it had been at least one minute is crushing in its finality. It's infallibility. I cannot outrun a clock. And I find myself wrestling with time at other moments in my day - waiting at a red light, doing my physical therapy exercises, wishing the kettle would boil faster. My brain can (and does) tell me that the only way out is forward, and it's totally right.  Come on, logic, why aren't you kicking in to spare me this self-imposed mental aggravation!

How to alleviate this misery? Practice and patience. UGH! The bane of every procrastinator, every human EVER. Practice?! But that means paying attention! Patience?! THAT means paying even more attention, particularly at the purgatorial moments that I currently perceive as painful!  And most daunting of all, both practice and patient involve FEELING rather than THINKING.  I am not conditioned well to feel. 

However, I don't have to suffer.  But it is not logic that saves my agitated nerves. The true power of my brain/body/self is my FEELINGS. Ya - take that, logic. It's hard to accept, but that's what the practice is for. I can't argue with experience - evidence. What if I could own the power of my feelings over my whole person? What if I could acknowledge them as legitimate? The feelings of irritation and frantic rushing that I have at a red light are there. But through noticing (practice) and breathing (patience) I make space for that tight ball of stress to dissipate. Running on the treadmill, when I can step back and notice the absurdity of my human-hamster-self sweating on a wheel for the sheer joy of using my body, it becomes a bit more bearable. When I have compassion for my habit of looking at the clock, it becomes less desperate.

When I can frame my present moment with my present feelings, noticing and breathing, life becomes lighter.  Practicing awareness, finding patience in the process. Because, really, there is no magic finish line. Time will change me regardless. I'm the only one struggling here - it's not a fight.

Will I react blindly to my feelings, or can I breathe into them?


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