Woooo, today was SO busy that I just, at eleven pm, wrinkled my brow and grabbed my phone to check…surely I had posted today? Ach, crivens; I had not!
Fortunatelyish, the 8pm flight that consumed all of my day that wasn't spent working is now delayed to midnight at least, soooo yeah, I've read most of a book this evening and still got time to kill. Yay?
(But in spite of the long wait, I want to keep this short, because you can't trust airports or battery-power, really. :P I hope you understand!)
A SUPER useful habit I've developed lately is to "fall back to breathing". I mean "fall back" in the attention-sense: By removing my focus from everything else for a short time. Loud thoughts, especially aggressively unpleasant ones, can't be easily replaced with other thoughts or no thoughts…but, at least for me, paying attention to the body does a pretty good job of filling the channels with more useful chatter. I've known for a while that I could use taiji to quiet my brain, but that's complicated and takes some space and is really easy to talk yourself out of doing when things are tough.
Breathing, though, is always there. You don't have to do anything other than notice it; and because it's a movement, it's easier to notice than other feelings in your body. But in spite of its ease and obviousness, it's still enough, I'm finding, to get spinning thoughts to wind down.
Focusing on your breathing works a lot better when you do it just a little longer than you think you want to, by the way. I've done it for ten to thirty seconds plenty before, but recently I was asked to set a timer for three minutes, and I find that much more helpful, while still being wicked fast.
I've not quite gotten the hang of "practicing" this kind of quiet on a regular basis, but I am getting pretty good at responding to difficult things — such as spending your entire evening in an airport! — by stealing three minutes and for that time, just holding my attention tight to my breathing, and bringing it back there whenever it wanders. It was a bit tricky to sustain at first, but now, those little breaks are almost as good as a nap sometimes. I said almost!
But still, almost nap-levels of restorative is damn impressive, so I figured this is something y'all might want to play with, if you haven't.
Oh and lastly, I would like to remind everyone that most airports are horrendously designed, and the fact that they make it difficult to nap in them is gobsmackingly ludicrous.
Thank you and have a nice night. :)