Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Journey to Okay

And so began this day, much like any other ordinary day. It was winter in New England, windows were painted in frosty designs, shaking with each gust of wind against the house. Me, blurry-eyed and shuffling across the cold linoleum tiles, awaiting the caffeine-laden elixir which would, almost miraculously, bring me to full consciousness.

Lady, the queen beagle of the house, lay sleeping in front of the television. Her snores seemed to accentuate each headline of the morning news. Undaunted by the sound of sleet against the window, she shifted her position long enough to peek directly at my shadow. Satisfied, knowing it was me, she slid back into her canine fantasies.

I opened my laptop, typed in a familiar address, hit 'enter' and awaited the sign-in screen. My day had normal fashion. Nothing spectacular- nothing horrible. Little did I realize, this day would hold a special surprise. One whose magnitude would set off a chain of illuminating light bulb moments. For a time, I would walk on clouds of normalcy. In retrospect, I like that phrase- clouds of normalcy.

The skies cleared, I decided to venture out with my sister- and the canine princess accompanied us too. We trudged through the maze of snow banks, laughing at the effects of time on our worldly bodies. It sure was easier to worm through the snow drifts as a child, but still just as exhilarating-some thirty years later. Especially rewarding today, as it was my sister's first walk since spending time in the hospital. To say I was grateful for her company, would be an understatement.

As we rounded the corner to cut through a parking lot to our street and the safety of home, I had a mental chiropractic shift--something 'clicked'...this is what "okay" is....I wasn't racing home to thwart a panic attack nor was I over-analyzing everything that had just transpired....I was enjoying this excursion as it unfolded-one minute at a time...I had finally found "okay"--I had touched it- felt it- heard it-and it was just that, okay. Nothing more - nothing less....nor did it need to be. Its presence was enough-just the way it was, at that very moment. My only thought, "This is what okay is!" and the phrase continually echoed throughout my being.

Now I know many of you are thinking I have lost my marbles...or at least dropped a few. But let me take a couple minutes to explain. Life for me has always been a series of highs and lows. No middle ground. That was normal to me. I was conditioned to either be racing to the next thing or analyzing the last thing. Only last year, did I learn about mindfulness and how important- and how less stressful- it is to be 'here'-in this moment...where only this moment exists. But my struggle had been to make this moment 'okay' --to know and feel safe -comfortable- in all that is right here and right now. And on this particular winter day, I found 'okay'...and I rejoiced with my newly found treasure.

Then what to my amazement happened? I found 'okay' the smell of coffee in the morning, in the 'crunch' of snow under my feet, in the softness of my sister's voice, yes, even in the crispness of the winter air. Have you ever danced inside in total jubilation? I did. Not from winning a mega lottery, or getting a pay raise, no, my insides danced to the tune of a thousand songs in one...and all at the same time. Uninhibited joy...I began to relax into this new sense of well being...and life not only became "okay.", but I touched the enormity of such a simple little word.

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