I learn about starting over from meditation. I intend to keep my attention on the breath, but it wanders off, planning my day, wondering about relationships, imagining character improvements. My task is to let those thoughts go and return my attention to my breath. Every inhalation invites a fresh start.
It’s easy to feel trapped in life: people whom I can’t love into happiness, a body I can’t cajole into health, projects I can’t seem to complete. When I feel trapped, I whine and blame and zone out. Feelings, like thoughts, come and go. My task is to let those feelings go and return my attention to my breath. Every inhalation is an invitation.
I tell myself stories to make it less simple. There are histories to be taken into account, I mutter. Parents who drank and disappeared. Autoimmune responses that can’t be ignored. A larger culture that sets the rules. I imagine these stories brick by brick and when I stand back to admire the foundation I have built, it is blown away with an exhale. Inhalation. Invitation.
There is always a fresh start.