And when the feeling comes, I focus on the movement of my breath and the feelings (as well as the thoughts that feed them) come unhinged. They detach from me and float somewhere in space.
Often the feelings come when I think about my mother or my blood family. What starts as Puzzlement turns into Grief and then into Frustration....and then into a sense of limitation and bondage.
I focus on the movement of my breath and the thoughts and feelings detach. They float away from me. My heart lightens and I am boundless. For a few moments, there are no thoughts or feelings at all. There is only Being.
My social contact is minimal these days. Even when I leave the loaned room where I sleep, direct interaction with other humans is minimal. Verbal interactions often trigger feelings of need: need to escape from the relentless stream of unconscious talk, worried talk, trying-to-be-something-else talk, trying-to-be-somewhere-else talk, wishing-and-waiting-for-something-else talk that characterizes most human utterance. Everyone seems to be either unhappy or diligently guarding and stoking some fragile happiness they've found.
A standard opening activity in the improv playshops I facilitate on Tuesday and Thursday is the Circle of Seeing. I look forward to this time when I can be with other people, just as as I am and they are just as they are. There is room to see and be.
Players sit or stand in a circle. Silently, look at the others in the circle. Don't make up a story. If you find yourself making up a story, just shift your attention to your breath. Notice -- without judging -- the thoughts and feelings you have as you look and are looked at.
and I begin to feel trapped or lonely or alienated or sad
I pull my attention to my breath....the breath that breathes me. I just let Breath Breathe and observe it, follow it. Without judgment or joy.
I can still hear their voice, still understand the meaning of their words but I detach, divest. Their words, my words, their thoughts and feelings and my own become elements among myriad other observable elements that compromise the present moment: that warped floor board, the light on the quivering leaves outside the window, the textured surface of the painting, my chapped lips, the sound of a door opening down the hall...
And I become aware of the myriad unobservable elements.
Breath stretches me out and I blend with everything -- observable and unobservable.
This is Being. It's a place to hang out.