Choosing thoughts wisely

I started my run this morning at 5:15 AM.

Waking up early after a late night binge eating session – my stomach still feels full, I feel a little nauseous. But here I am… here I am.

The thoughts are anxious, I notice. I want to just notice them, rather than be swept away. This is the task of mindfulness: observe, don’t get sucked in and become unconscious. So, I am observing. And I am observing. And so much of what I observe lately is this anxious state. I see myself worrying all week about the fact that I signed up for a marathon and don’t have a plan together yet. I see myself worrying right now about how far my run will be, what exact route I should take, how fast I should go. Maybe it’s better to plan everything out and not leave room for spontaneity. I contemplate this tug inside me, between the desire for spontaneity and freedom, and the idea that planning things gives you a different kind of freedom. Mental freedom, in the moment. Freedom to not worry about what comes next because you have a plan. Does it work like that?

I see that I’ve gone down a train of thought, and I return to watching, to listening. I start talking to myself, talking to life, out loud. It’s early, there is no one out here but me. “Okay, life. How do I live better? I don’t want to be anxious like this all the time. I want to be peaceful and happy.” And I wait, I listen, hoping to get an answer.

My footsteps. The darkness. Lamplight. Still the anxiety is there. What will fill the silence? More of my own thoughts?

And then I see it: it’s up to me. I get to choose what to put in the silence of my mind, in these moments. It’s my own choice. It’s time to stop waiting for an answer and to create an answer for myself. There is a quietness in my mind right now – what am I filling it with? More anxious thoughts? How about something good? Something loving?

“I can do it. I’m worth it. I am good enough.”

And then there is a lightness. A relief. I repeat these thoughts, and settle into a rhythm.

I am a work in progress… This is good progress.

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