Feeling Caught up and Getting out
What does it mean to be caught up? Feeling caught up in anything: our thoughts, our routines, our work, our dreams, our ties with friends, family, the community, feels the same way. We perceive ourselves to be quite busy even if we are not moving at all. Our minds are spinning with things to say and do, trapped, ensnared, entangled with thoughts of past and present.
Being caught up is being ungrounded. As soon as we reconnect our minds with our bodies, we find ourselves centered again, aware of the breath, the posture, the aspects of life that are sensible in the present moment. Our vision is noticeably different. Colors are brighter, the plants and things that surround us seem alive and with us.
Caught up, we are somehow blinded. Our vision moves quickly from one thing to the next, the way that the internet allows us to click, tab, scroll, skim, etc. Our thoughts move just as quickly and even randomly, jumping from one thing that seems very important right to the next.
Sometimes this level of productivity feels energizing, uplifting. We feel proud of accomplishments and yet there is a sense of not-knowing oneself. The body feels far away, the breath is somehow going on, there is a vague and familiar longing to reconnect within the self but because the mind is so busy, occupied with itself, the intensity of psychological time gives us the illusion of not having real time to pause.
It doesn’t require time to pause; it takes the strength of will to stabilize the mind. When we create inner stiillness, then our perception of time changes. We realize we are not busy, we are only caught up. And in that stillness we find the deeper energy source, the real clarity.
In that stillness, we see how we are responsible and engaged in so many aspects of life, both personal and professional. We have ties to friends and family, we have interests, and our health. All of these are woven together and when we are able to discern the differences, by becoming physical centered in body-breath, then priorities shine through.
Typically, love and loved ones are most important and least urgent. Work and daily duties seem most urgent but in broader awareness, are least important. Both urgent and important are the feelings and life within us: all we have to do is remember that.
From that stable center point, we can revision the way that we work our minds, so that we no longer feel caught up, lost in self, but clear and steady, purposeful and practical.
We begin with an encompassing awareness of everything we care for, seeing without rejecting, not overwhelmed but simply receptive. From there, we rearrange our perspective, like a game of Tetris, moving around the movable parts. When the image settles, our life looks complete.
It takes courage and energy to strip away the busy-ness that fills our days. Some of the entanglements are old, even life long, deeply held patterns that show up as posture and personality. It requires the energy of attention to honestly see the attachments within us, and to consider the freedoms of life without them.
But that energy will maintain itself and elevate our actions and well being as we learn to keep and cultivate the open space that allows energy to flow through us and our actions. With that sense of inner space, the feeling of time comes naturally, so that we can truly be with the people we care about.