A quick way to re-center

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I learned this little practice from someone back in NYC:

Put down your phone or pen. Maybe walk away from the keyboard and screen (though you don’t even have to do that). Take a breath. Now complete each of the following statements three times; then two times; then just one time.

I see ___.

I hear ___.

I feel ___.

For example, earlier this afternoon I got off a call that left me all abuzz. My mind raced. In the few moments that followed I turned off the air conditioner, ate half an ice cream bar, and opened way too many browser windows to be productive – all in record time.

So I went outside on the patio and completed the sentences:

I see green leaves rustling. I see the sun shining hard on the concrete. I see the white cross above the church down the street against the bright blue roof of the IHOP.

I hear the elevated train off in the distance. I hear the jackhammer at the construction site. I hear the kids playing at the school down the block.

I feel energized by that meeting. I feel satiated from the ice cream. I feel the wind on my arms.

I see the limbs of the tree extending from the solid dark trunk. I see the bright red crane against the blue sky.

I hear the construction workers calling commands. I hear the wind in the trees.

I feel my hair tickling my neck and forehead. I feel the weight of my hands on my waist.

I see the clutter of plants and furniture on the neighbors’ patio.

I hear an ambulance siren.

I feel the hot pavement underneath my feet.

Three, three, three, two, two, two, one, one, one. It really works.

Photo: 35mm, May 2013, Maryland.

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