I’m at the beach right now. A much needed getaway for a few days to process all the stuff of recent life. I need the ocean; its vastness always stretches out before me like open arms and tells me, give me all of it. Let go of all of it. Release all of it. The first morning I’m here, it feels like heaven. I love the ocean, the waves, the clouds, the seabirds, the sand. I breathe.

And then . . . I notice how long it takes me to relax. I’ve made space, and in all that space I notice all the stuff that is coming up.  I notice all the edginess I am experiencing. My legs are restless. I have trouble sleeping. My mind is conjuring up all kinds of crazy old thoughts and experiences. It might feel hellish if I didn’t have tools I developed over many years of mindfulness practice.  I still feel very uncomfortable, while I notice, while I breathe, while I can’t sleep. I also know all this discomfort and edginess is just energy moving, rising up for release.

Some of what is coming up is stuff that needs forgiving, resolving or maybe even to actually do something about; some of what comes up may not reveal itself as to what the energy is. Whatever it is, I just need to breathe through it and trust it will move through, no matter how temporarily uncomfortable it is.

And those are some of the keys: remembering that all that uncomfortable edginess, that creepy crawly anxious feeling of the energy moving through my physical body, the difficulty breathing . . . all of it is ultimately energy felt physically, it is temporary, and it will move. Eventually I will be able to sleep.  Perhaps I can talk about it with someone close; not looking for a solution or even feedback, just a loving being who listens and accepts where I am at the moment.  I can be willing to be aware, and tender and kind to myself for whatever I feel, whatever I’m going through. All of it.

Heaven or hell can be right here on earth in daily life. We might even experience both in the same day, the same hour. It’s OK. Both will change, both will pass, both will transform to something else. We just keep coming back to our center, the loving core of our being, to our breath, and give it time.