I’m aware that I’m decompressing following four months of overwork. The fact that I am aware of being aware shows that I’m returning to my natural state of compassionate self-witnessing. I haven’t been able to achieve this for a while. My daily sitting meditations had become shorter and consisted of ‘to do’ lists and circular thinking about pressures at work. Sometimes, I could only get about an inch above this monkey mind chatter and was only then able to acknowledge that I was mentally on the point of exhaustion.

This state of mind is leaving me now. When I was mucking out the stable this morning, I was aware that I was not thinking; I was just aware of the somatic sensations of the weight of the shovel, the resistance of the trampled straw and of the movement of the wheelbarrow. I could feel the spaciousness opening up in my mind and the lengthening gap between the inevitable monkey commentary and tangential explorations as it swung through the dendrites of my neural jungle. I became aware of a very gentle popping and unfolding sensation in my brain as the energy began to move with a greater ease and flow, rather than eddying in the deep pool of ‘Must dos’.

I’m grateful that my daily spiritual practice is so well established and feel a renewed gratitude to those who taught me years ago and those who support me now. Just three days back into regular somatic check-ins as part of my usual morning routine, followed by a long meditation session and the rhythm of peaceful awareness has returned like the warmth that’s in today’s early March sun.

I know that today I will be as productive at work as I have had to be over the past four months, but that now this productivity will be coloured by a greater intelligence and quality.

[Written by Sarah Jane Williamson, Spiritual Companions Educator.]